I may never stop laughing homie pic.twitter.com/DiuWRVV4WH
— Gwen (@Claredaisy) September 2, 2015
A motion opposing any repeal of the Eighth Amendment [the 1983 constitutional ban on abortion] was carried at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis at the weekend.
Deputy Chairperson of the Pro Life Campaign Cora Sherlock sez:
“Since its passing in 1983, the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Article 40.3.3) has meant that Irish women receive all necessary medical treatment during pregnancy and at the same time has ensured that the unborn child’s right to life is protected. The reality is that tens of thousands of people are alive today thanks to the Eighth Amendment.
Despite the abortion legislation introduced by Fine Gael in 2013 which permits abortion throughout the full nine months of pregnancy in the case of threatened suicide with no medical evidence to back it up, the Constitutional protection contained in the Eighth Amendment must be robustly defended.
It is imperative that Fianna Fáil now builds on this commitment and works toward the repeal of the unjust abortion legislation introduced by Enda Kenny in 2013.”
Previously: The Eight Amendment on Broadsheet
[Ireland South MEP Brian Crowley with Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin at this year’s FF Ard Fheis]
Fianna Fáil’s Cheif Whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl has said his party is “reeling and indeed bewildered” by Brian Crowley’s decision to leave the liberal group in the European Parliament and join the grouping that includes British Conservatives and parties described as far right .
Mr Ó Fearghaíl told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland the parliamentary party will consider this “extraordinary development” and it will decide how to deal with Mr Crowley’s decision.
Mr Crowley was elected as a Fianna Fáil MEP running under the ALDE banner six weeks ago and he has now made a “unilateral” decision to transfer to a grouping in Europe with which Fianna Fáil has “absolutely nothing in common”, Mr Ó Fearghaíl said.
(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)
From a statement tonight by Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin via Politico.ie:
Although the central allegation against Bertie Ahern was not sustained, the evidence confirmed by the Tribunal and its comments relating to him are extremely serious. The receipt by a senior office holder of large amounts of money which a sworn Tribunal has held is of unclear origins and the failure to give any credible explanation requires an unequivocal response. No matter how high a member rises within the party and in elected office, they still carry a duty of trust for the members of Fianna Fáil and for the people who elected them.
The report records that Bertie Ahern gave a significant amount of evidence to the Tribunal which, in the opinion of the Tribunal, was untrue.
It is a matter of profound personal and professional regret to see confirmed in this Report the extent to which Bertie Ahern fell short of the standard of personal behaviour which is expected of the holders of high office. In the manner in which he received this money while holding high office and in the giving of rejected evidence to a sworn tribunal Bertie Ahern betrayed the trust placed in him by this country and this party.
I, together with the party’s officers with whom I have met and consulted, believe the conduct of Bertie Ahern as outlined in the evidence made public through the Tribunal and the findings of the Tribunal constitute conduct unbecoming a member of Fianna Fáil. Accordingly, I will propose a motion to expel him as a member of Fianna Fáil at the special meeting of National Executive. We are writing to Mr Ahern to inform him of this decision.
(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)
“When the final report of the Mahon Tribunal is published, we will act without fear or favour against anyone who is shown to have abused their position in Fianna Fail or in elected office. Action will be swift and comprehensive,”
Micheál Martin, Fianna Fail Ard Fheis, March 2, 2012
Sinead Desmond (presenter): “You’re representing a new Fianna Fail, but then I was thinking about two things from your past. One of them being a – totally legitimate – donation by [Cork property developer] Owen O’Callaghan that found its way into your wife’s Dublin bank account. That seemed strange to me and had a sniff of the old Fianna Fail. And the second thing, in the Mahon Tribunal you were asked if you ever brought Owen O’Callaghan to meet Bertie Ahern and you said no that you would have remembered if such a thing happened. And then you were shown Mr Ahern’s ministerial diary which seemed to recollect a meeting between yourself, Bertie Ahern and Owen O’Callaghan but you said you couldn’t recall it. I’ll give you a chance to explain but both of those incidents smell of the old Fianna Fail that put ourselves in the position we find ourselves in.”
Micheál Martin: “I think that’s very unfair because I gave a very comprehensive account to the Tribunal on this…You’ve picked out two things…I gave a very comprehensive account and documentary evidence to the effect in terms of that donation that the money was spent on the party’s electoral operation in that local election. We showed the receipts – we didn’t have the full receipts, but we showed the receipts also the money left very quickly in the month around the General Election itself so every political party got donations at that time and they didn’t have to declare them.
Desmond: “But it ended up in your wife’s bank account?”
Martin: “My wife and I worked together in terms of the politics at the time. There’s nothing strange about that. We both lived in Dublin for that period and so there was nothing in that. When I say I lived in Dublin I was up here during the week in the Dail. Mary worked in Dublin for that year so there’s nothing wrong with that at all and no one has ever suggested any impropriety or any wrongdoing in terms of that.”
Desmond: “Neither was I.”
Martin: “Yeah (laughs) but when it’s taken out like that in full isolation like that it creates an innuendo and it creates an issue when there was none and in fact all I was ever was asked and every TD was asked at the time was for a list of donations that they received from that gentleman (O’Callaghan). And I gave them full comprehensive information with receipts which I even didn’t have to have at the time but I did and presented what I had at that time and there’s never been a suggestion by anyone that there anything wrong or any impropriety in relation to that”
Desmond: “What about the meeting mentioned in The Mahon Tribunal.”
Martin: “I never had a meeting with Bertie and Owen O’Callaghan.”
Desmond: “It’s all there recorded in his diary.”
Martin: “But it wasn’t you see even the tribunal itself didn’t seem to be going into (pause) I don’t want to be going into this because it’s based on the report (pause) didn’t seem to be too clear about it (pause) never any indication in advance that that was going to be raised (pause) I certainly didn’t…(trails off)”
From the Sunday Times‘ review of ‘Back From The Brink’:
To relive all this is to marvel anew at how many gifted individuals a party could absorb without grasping the single important point — that great swathes of Britain thought the Conservatives were indifferent to their needs and instincts. Politicians can be extremely slow beasts.