Tag Archives: abortion


President Michael D Higgins has now signed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act. It is now law. So here’s some history. In 1977, a Fianna Fáil landslide saw a remarkable influx of new TDs into the Dáil. Three elections in eighteen months in the early 1980s saw further changes, and the first major issue for many of those TDs was the eighth amendment, the abortion referendum. That experience scarred… Read Article →

Tell me a story

Here’s what I learned about Declan Ganley’s meeting on twitter last night: The crowd was older, over half of them pensioners. More women than men among the retirees. At 7pm there were about 100 people in the room. The numbers swelled to over 400 by the end of the evening. At one point, a speaker from the floor asked Ganley to talk about the economy, that he hadn’t come to… Read Article →

Let’s pretend

Let’s pretend our constitution doesn’t guarantee a woman’s right to find out about abortion services in Great Britain. Let’s pretend our constitution doesn’t explicitly promise that woman that she won’t be arrested as she boards the jet to fly to Britain for that abortion. Let’s pretend instead that Ireland is a sacred place where no women ever needs an abortion. Let’s pretend our abortion laws do anything other than discriminate… Read Article →

“A teacher and columnist…”

“Breda O’Brien is a teacher and a columnist with the Irish Times”, according to the clip below. But unlike Joan Collins and Ciara Conway, her political affiliation is not mentioned during this introduction, on a Late Debate programme to discuss the death of Savita Halappanavar, and the abortion debate it sparked. Breda is a patron of the ring-wing Catholic think-tank, the Iona institute. I mention this because Breda has written… Read Article →

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That Lisbon Non-Event

I arrived at Heathrow last night to find someone reading an Irish Independent front page announcing that a ‘Cowen-Brown rift deals blow to key Lisbon talks’. Happily, the impasse (which didn’t even make the inside pages in any British paper I read) was resolved, and the EU agreed a statement that says, in effect, that Libertas lied. In short, the agreed guarantee (or should that be pending protocol) states what… Read Article →

Pork Barrel Politics

The EU member States agreed in principle when negotiating in 2000 ‘to reduce the size of the Commission once the Union reached 27 countries. This was in recognition of the reality that there would be insufficient portfolios to go around.’ But now, Commission president Manuel Barroso now says that he would personally support holding on to one commissioner per country, if that’s what it takes to get the treaty working…. Read Article →

Identity Politics

One in eight who voted No to the Lisbon treaty say they did so to protect Irish identity. What does that mean? Is it simply a polite way of saying no to immigration, the reason given by one percent of those asked? Perhaps. But I think there’s another meaning. After asking voters why they voted, Eurobarometer then asked what they thought the consequences would be. The answers are illuminating. Five… Read Article →