Tag Archives: Peter Mathews

File Photo Peter Mathews, former Fine Gael and Independent TD, has died. Former politician diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2016 after routine check-up. End. 25/06/2015. Funeral - Funeral of Lorcan Miller . Pictured 21/01/2011. Fine Gael introduced newest candidtate for Dublin South Peter Matthews. Pictured is new candidate Peter Matthews at Leinster House. Photo Eleanor Keegan/RollingNews.ie

Former Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews

“When I was with the finance and public expenditure committee, meeting other committees in the Bundestag, we put to them information of which they were clearly not aware. These people are on the budgetary committee of the Bundestag, with a €300 billion budget.

I put it to them that the loan losses in our banking system were 60% of our national income or GDP. If the same problem had arisen in Germany, it would be a €300 billion part of its GDP. We were being asked, silently, to bear this load, which was wrong.

The ESRI equivalent in Germany was not aware that the three elements of debt in this economy comprised private household debt and non-financial corporate debt as well as the sovereign debt, which is the focus of the fiscal compact.

Our private household debt and non-financial corporate debt is twice the size of that of Greece, …What is happening today is really a shame. We are boxed into the old traditions.”

Peter Mathews, February 12, 2012

In fairness.

Peter Mathews, former FG and Independent TD, dies aged 65 (Irish Times)

Previously: Peter Mathews Goes Rogue



Independent TD Peter Mathews

TD ejected from the Dail after raising plight of jailed Irish teen Ibrahim Halawa (Independent.ie)

Laura Hutton/Rollingnews.ie

11/09/2013. Launch Review of Tourism Policy . Pict

On Wednesday’s Late Debate on RTE Radio One, Minister Leo Varadkar and Professor John Crown debated the Seanad referendum.

The professor had this to ask the Minister:

Professor John Crown: “Do you think that our country is in a better place because we’ve lost the only banking and finance expert [Peter Mathews] because he had a difference of opinion with your taoiseach on abortion?”

Leo Varadkar: “Yeah well with the greatest respect to Peter Mathews em, I think more and more people are seeing that his banking expertise is not what it might have been…”

Crown: “Ah so that’s why he went it was just a coincidence, that’s why he was booted not over the abortion bill but because he was incompetent? Don’t buy it Leo, not plausible.”

Varadkar: “No. It’s not why but you know you’re jumping around. But the fact he’s not on that committee anymore, I, I, and if you ask around the Dail and Seanad very few people would think and even around the media would think that committee is less for him not being there. It’s probably better for him not being there for a number of reasons particularly for the way he would try to dominate it and so on.”

Later as the debate wrapped up, the host Audrey Carville gave the minister the opportunity to clarify his earlier comments:

Audrey Carville: “Just finally, do you want to withdraw anything you said about Peter Mathews? He’s obviously not here to defend himself. We’ve had some comments in about calling your comments mean and nasty and so on. Do you want to say anything in relation to that?”

Varadkar: “Well, look it, look Peter is an individual in his own right but if I was looking for banking expertise I really wouldn’t be going to him. But you know I’m sure if he wants to join the technical group…”

Carville: “Okay. That’s fine. Well, we will obviously distance ourselves from comments made about Peter Mathews.”

Listen here (around the 25:30 mark)

Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

20/06/2013. Dail debates Protection of Life during

The phone lines in the office of Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews have been disconnected as the party makes efforts to move him to new accommodation. Mr Mathews is not satisfied with the new office space on offer and also doesn’t want to move.

…He said he is still based in the office but his “phone lines have been disconnected”. “I am attempting to resolve the matter,” he said. Mr Mathews said he is dealing with the relevant authorities about his move. “I’ll deal with everybody right to the top,” he said.


Peter Mathews’ phone lines cut off in Dail office move dispute (Fionnan Sheahan, Irish Independent)

Previously: It Wrote Itself

(Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland)


Peter Mathews at the pro-life rally in Merrion Square, Dublin,  on Saturday.

Dublin South TD Peter Mathews told the Irish Independent: “I will do what I have to do and that is vote against the bill.”

…He made his pledge after Taoiseach Enda Kenny rejected a call from Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, for TDs to be given a free vote on the contentious proposals.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has given his TDs a free vote, although this was against his original wishes and was granted largely to avoid a damaging split in his parliamentary party.



FG TD Mathews breaks ranks on abortion and pledges to vote ‘no’ (Gareth Naughton, Irish Independent)

Pic via Liam Foley



Last night’s Tonight with Vincent Browne featuring pro-life Fine Gael TD, Peter Mathews (left), Sinead Kennedy, a pro-choice campaigner from NUI Maynooth, (centre) and Sara McInerney of The Sunday Times.

The transcript.

Go on.

Get yourself some tay.

(begins at 20:22 ends at 31.35)

Vincent Browne: “The reality is, simply Peter, deal with this simple point.”

Peter Mathews: “I’ll deal with the point. Do you know what the simple point is?”

Browne: “No, no wait a minute. The simple point, this is the law as it now is. So what’s the problem?”

Mathews: “And what’s the Constitution?”

Browne: “This is the law and the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. This is the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court.”

Mathews: “Well let’s go back to the plain English.”

Browne: “No, no, just a minute just a minute now. That is the reality. Now what is the problem with simply codifying this legal reality. Not changing any laws, no difference, nothing else, what is the problem with changing that reality?”

Mathews: “Vincent, legislation nearly always in every area that it’s carried out gets amended. Constitutions only get amended when the people actually vote on the amendment, or change it.”

Sinead Kennedy: “And twice, and twice they have refused to exclude suicide as grounds, as grounds for a termination. I mean you can’t get around that, you can’t get around the fact that the vast majority of people in this country support X case legislation as a bare minimum.”

Sarah McInerney: “It’s interesting actually there are some in Fine Gael who think that you can get round it, again for people that I was speaking to last week, one of the alternatives, sort of, some people have come up with and which they would like to see is for the legislation to say where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother that the medical profession can act or it can intervene and just not include suicide but not preclude suicide.”

Mathews: “Don’t specify it. Yeah.”

McInerney: “And they believe that that would possibly be a workable solution and that if it was challenged in the courts that the government should take up that challenge in the courts and use the new evidence that Peter is talking about to challenge anyone who wanted to challenge that in the courts and that is one of the, one of the schools of thinking as such, absolutely.”

Mathews: “But that’s, that was what I said Vincent.”

Kennedy: “But that’s not good enough, I do not think, but that’s not good enough.”

Mathews: “You were saying leave it there and it won’t be applied anyway, because it’s, you know, the experience is, you know, that it is not going to be a contentious area.”

Browne: “No, I didn’t say that it wouldn’t be. I was saying that if your premise is correct, that if there is no medical basis to terminate a pregnancy because of a threat to suicide, of suicide, if if that is correct then it will never happen under the legislation, therefore there is no issue of principle here.”

Mathews: “Therefore leave out the reference to it, therefore leave out the specific preference to it. And as you’ve said Sarah if there is a substantive risk to the life of the mother, then let the medical profession…”

McInerney: “Well I’m not saying that, I’m saying that is what some people would like to see happen, yeah,”

Mathews: “Well, this is the area of professional judgment, when the professional judgment is carried out on the solemn duty to implement the Constitution which says equal rights of life to everybody who comes into existence, whether it be a baby in the earliest stages after conception, the mother or the father, there’s three people involved in the family.”

Kennedy: “I accept that when those rights come into conflict, when the right to life of the foetus conflicts with the right to life of the mother including the risk of suicide. That is the law and that law, there has been a delay for over 21 years in introducing a legal framework in which to make that a reality and to be quite frank I think the people in this country have had enough and they want at a bare minimum, I don’t think X case legislation, X case legislation, goes far enough.”

Mathews: “Sinead, would you mind, when are the rights of life to those three people in conflict. They’re never in conflict.”

Kennedy: “The two people.”

Mathews: “There’s three. people a father mother and baby.”

Kennedy: “The right to life of the father is not at issue here We’re talking about right to life of pregnant woman and right to life of the foetus. That’s what we’re talking about. In a life-threatening situation.”

Mathews: “Of a baby, don’t say the word foetus.”

Kennedy: “In a life threatening situation.”

Mathews: “Do you believe that life begins at conception?”

Kennedy: “No I don’t.”

Mathews: “There you go, there now, we know where you stand.”

Kennedy: “There is no legal or ethical consensus on where life begins. Now you may believe that life begins at conception but that is not an issue, again it’s not what is at issue here..”

Mathews: “Sinead, our Constitution, before you even start wondering do you understand plain english, takes the precept that every life begins at conception.”

Kennedy: “I have no difficulty understanding plain English. Our Constitution conflates the life of a foetus with that of a pregnant woman and I disagree with this as do I believe the vast majority of people in this country, because when it comes down to it people do not think that its the same thing. They really don’t think it is the same thing. They do not think that woman with all her life in front of her, her hopes and dreams are the exact same thing as a fertilised egg. Nobody really believes that. Maybe a small number of people do but when those issues come into conflict the vast majority of people think what is the, the more valuable life in that context when you have to make a judgment and the vast majority of people will side with the pregnant woman.”

Browne: “A lot of people do believe that its, there is a human life there prior to birth and I don’t think that’s necessarily contentious. Peter can I just ask you one further point.”

Mathews: “Well, Sinead says it is.”

Kennedy: “I said there’s no consensus on the issue and there is no consensus philosophical and ethical.”

Browne: “Peter, suppose your daughter were to get married and she were to become pregnant. I’m sure you’d be delighted at the prospect of a child being born to her and you becoming a grandfather and I am certain you’d be a wonderful grandfather.”

Mathews: “Like you Vincent, as I understand.”

Browne: “I’m not a grandfather.”

Mathews: “But maybe soon.”

Browne: “But if in the course of the pregnancy your daughter became seriously ill and if it became obvious that if the pregnancy were to continue her health would be seriously impaired for the rest of her life, and would you think that anybody other than she should take the decision with regard to what should happen?”

Mathews: “But of course the mother, the expectant mother, will have a responsibility to the unborn child and she will make that decision.”

Browne: “And it should be up to her and her alone. Ultimately. Obviously her husband…”

Mathews: “But that’s a matter of fact Vincent. Yeah, and her husband too yeah…”

Browne: “But wouldn’t it be terrible, wouldn’t it be a terrible intrusion on her autonomy and her integrity to say that somebody else should decide what should happen to her and should…”

Mathews: “But you’re talking about a theoretical situation that probably wouldn’t arise.”

Browne: “But these things do arise Peter, but I’m just putting it to you. Isn’t there something terribly…”

Mathews: “Do they? Do they Vincent Can you name a case?”

Browne: “Okay, isn’t there something terribly arrogant about us men particularly deciding in the case of women that they have to carry to full termination a baby within their womb irrespective of the consequences to them throughout the rest of their lives of doing so. Isn’t there terrible arrogance in that, involved in that?”

Mathews: “Well, you’re suggesting that arrogance arises in the case of all men. It doesn’t in my case. I have huge respect for my mother who looked after me, you know, through, before my birth ,after my birth, I have huge respect for wife who has borne our children, and I have huge respect for my daughter. And also for all my nieces.”

Browne: “You’re not dealing with the point I’m making, Peter.”

Mathews: “I am, Vincent. Not the way you want me to.”

Browne: “Yes of course you’re not the way I want you to because, you’re not answering the question.”

Mathews: “Truthfully, Vincent.”

Browne: “I think that maybe you haven’t listened. If in the case I have postulated to you somebody else was to say that oh no under no circumstances can your daughter take decisions for herself in circumstances such as that, wouldn’t you be appalled.”

Mathews: “I’m saying Vincent, that the reality is that expectant mothers and fathers, their partners or husbands do make those decisions for themselves, the same way for instance, hold on, men, men, well, men….”

Browne: “But they don’t. Sure the law has intervened they make criminals over them.”

Mathews: “Look, Vincent, men went down the mines and ways, men went into the mines and ways to provide for their family and their health was impaired and they died young. Look, for goodness, life is tough…. Vincent you know that, the ‘The Road Less Travelled’. ‘Life is tough’ that’s the first sentence of it And it was written by a psychiatrist in 1957.”

Browne: “Ah well, it must be true then.”

Mathews: “It’s an interesting insight.”

McInerney: “I’d be interested to hear your explanation on that point, if you say the couple involved will take the decision for themselves, everything we know about the case now of Savita and her husband they wanted to take the decision for themselves and weren’t given that opportunity. So, what do you think could or should have happened in that case, where they wanted to take the decision for themselves and were told they weren’t allowed?”

Mathews: “Yeah. There was, the question of judgment about when the risk to life of the mother arose seemed to have got mistimed.”

Browne: “No It wasn’t.”

Mathews: “It was.”

Browne: “No it wasn’t. No it wasn’t.”

Mathews: “Oh I know, your interview with Peter Boylan.”

Kennedy: “Who was very explicit, about this.”

Browne: “Now, wasn’t it terrible, wasn’t there something wrong that this woman knew that the, her baby was going to die, she was, a baby she desperately wanted and was not going to survive without the womb, and she intuitively wanted to end the pregnancy there and then and had it happened her life would have been saved, isn’t there something terribly wrong, that our law wouldn’t…”

Mathews: “It was a extraordinarily sad occasion. Extraordinarily sad.”

Browne: “And isn’t it terrible, awful that our law doesn’t permit that to happen.”

Mathews: “I don’t believe it was our law, no, Vincent. I think it was a misjudgment, a medical misjudgment.”

Browne: “You’re wrong Peter, you’re just wrong, you’re actually wrong.”

Mathews: “All right I’m wrong.”

McInerney: “Just on that point, you think that the couple involved are allowed take the decision for themselves They weren’t allowed and if you think it was okay for the couple not to to be allowed the decision for themselves, that’s obviously a valid point of view. But I don’t think you can say that the couple is allowed to take a decision for themselves when we know…”

Mathews: “Vincent was talking about health.”

McInerney: “When they asked for an intervention they were talking about health.

Mathews: “When you’ve a man and a woman and you provide for the family, your health for different people at different times, is going to take a toll. That’s human life.”

Kennedy: “So you think it’s an acceptable risk for woman to be allowed to continue with a pregnancy even if that pregnancy would damage her health. You think that’s acceptable?”

Browne: “For the rest of her life. Seriously imperil her health for the rest of her life.”

Mathews: “But sure we’re all going to end up dead anyway.”

Kennedy: “Do you think that’s an acceptable risk? And do you think you get to make that decision for a woman? It’s not your decision to make. It’s the decision of the individual woman.”

Mathews: “Sinead, I have a responsibility to uphold the Constitution which is in plain English, elucidated by the Supreme Court in 1992, with a reference to include suicide for that specific case which is now not relevant given the evidence.”




Less than 24 hours after his controversial remarks on ‘Late Debate’, Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews spoke to RTE’s Fergal Keane on Friday’s ‘Drivetime’.

Here’s what he had to say on the Fine Gael party meeting during the week:

Listen here (scroll to 45:00)

Peter Mathews: “I wouldn’t call it a stormy affair, Fergal. It was a concentrated affair where people were anxious that the full expression of the individual members of the party would be available for all to hear at some stage. So it was concentrated.”

Fergal Keane: “You’re reported as having words with the Taoiseach on the issue.”

Mathews: “No. I asked the Taoiseach a question at the invitation of the chairman. I just wanted to know if there would be a party whip, if there was legislation brought forward because I don’t believe that legislation is actually necessary. Em..and the answer to that is and I’m just short circuiting it a little bit was that there would be a party whip. That he didn’t want the division that occurred in the past. Now I wasn’t a member of the party until a month before the elections. But seemingly in the distant past there were times when ah party when when em party whip wasn’t imposed and sort of divisions occurred within the party in terms of ah lobbyists and others targeted members of the party to try and exert pressure or whatever on them. But you know after I heard there was going to be a party whip that unity of expression by the party will be required. I just said “Well it’s clear to me that you know your mind and I know my mind.”

Keane: “And you’re against legislating for suicidal intent as being a reason for abortion?”

Mathews: “Fergal, it’s very simple. As John Bruton said in a letter actually, the constitution is very clear and it’s in plain English. The Supreme Court were shoehorned into dealing with a specific case which by the way and in the strictest terms of logic will never occur again. So when I hear the phrase ‘legislating for the X case’, actually it’s irrelevant, it’s illogical and doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. You can’t legislate for something that was a once-off event and is never going to happen again. As regards suicide, we now know from modern em professional expression that it is,does not, that that suicide intent is not addressed properly by allowing an abortion. We know that.”

Keane: “If this legislation includes suicide as grounds for abortion, will you in conscience vote against it?”

Mathews: “The likelihood is yes. I’m not going to say definitely because if, if ah legislation comes forward and I don’t think it’s necessary. I think that the expression by the Supreme Court judges which by the way was a majority decision. Each of those judges answers their conscience in respect of the constitution and the case at hand that they have to give ah ah judgement on.”

Keane: “You can see yourself as voting against this in a question of conscience, if it comes to that?”

Mathews: “I have to answer my conscience. I have to do what’s right. And by the way, in the United States, in France. People haven’t even mentioned France. In 1975 ah, you know very strict legislation was introduced for the first time on the grounds for lawful abortions. Today in France, a ch..a girl who isn’t even at the age of consent without the knowledge of her parents can go to a GP and have an abortion. That’s how legislation gets amended. Unfortunately, every sort of legislation, history shows, legislation gets amended.”

Fergal Keane to Marie Wilson: “And Peter Mathews when he was speaking to me did make the point, people who are suicidal intent need treatment for the suicidal intent rather than an abortion.”

Pics: (TV3)

Previously: “If She Can’t Do It Maybe She Should Decide To Retire.”


Soft-spoken Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews (above) was on last night’s ‘Late Debate’ on RTE Radio One, presented by Audrey Carville, ostensibly to discuss pensions with others including journalist and author Sinead Ryan.

This being Ireland they were soon on to abortion.

And the career prospects of the Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony (top) …

Audrey Carville: “Do you..do you not think suicide should be included in the legislation? The risk of suicide…”

Peter Mathews: “The evidence, the up to date evidence from the practitioners and there were eight of them this morning ah giving their views from experience and from their reading and knowledge. And no..none of them said in their opinion was the threat or the risk of suicide for any person to be treated with as ah final an act as an abortion. It was not a treatment. The main thing for somebody threatening suicide is to keep them safe and well, to mind them because did you ever hear of somebody committing suicide in the company of another unless it was another person in a joint suicide? No. If you keep somebody minded and well, you actually diminish if not eliminate the risk of suicide.”

Carville: “Sinead Ryan, what’s what’s your view on this?”

Sinead Ryan: “My goodness. Well that was the longest maybe I’ve ever heard in history.”

Mathews: “Well, it’s not a maybe.”

Ryan: “But you didn’t say yes or no. She asked you a direct question.”

Mathews: “Because the situation hasn’t arisen, Sinead. Be logical.”

Ryan: “But we know what the legislation is going to be.”

Mathews: “We don’t. Do you? Share it with us.”

Ryan: “Of course we do.”

Mathews: “We don’t know it.”

Ryan: “There is going to be legislation for the X case…”

Mathews: “If people…”

Ryan: “…..including a clause for suicide. That that’s been a given for..since you went into government.”

Mathews: “Some things have been introduced or some things have been ah on on the list of things to do and they don’t necessarily happen.”

Ryan: “You’ll be hoping this will be kicked to touch again?”

Mathews: “Have you ever heard of people doing down to the altar to get married and deciding at the church door, no?”

Ryan: “So so would your preferred solution be is that this gets kicked to touch out of this government?”

Mathews: “It doesn’t. You weren’t listening to what I said. I’m saying that the in so far as the X case was articulated in the judgement of the Supreme Court. It was actually…”

Ryan: “You don’t need legislation? Now I did hear what you said.”

Mathews: “It was redundant. They strayed into an area that they weren’t competent to do.”

Ryan: “But there are medics, there are doctors who’ve called for the…people actually dealing on the coal face. I spent last night with Rhona Mahony because she was talking at at a seminar I was at and she, she has said she cannot effectively do her job without this legislation. She cannot. She is afraid.”

Mathews: “Well if she can’t do it maybe she should decide to ah to retire? Because others can.”

Ryan: “What?”

Mathews: “Others can. Others can do it. As I said, as I said….”

Ryan: “That is…I can’t believe you said that.”

Mathews: “Others are able to deliver babies and look after pregnant women and so on after twenty years without any major…any major difficulties.”

Listen here.

Previously: What Rhona Said