Wilson claims Minister used cover of budget to close 100 Garda stations
SEANAD: The Minister for Justice was continuing to treat the Garda Síochána and the people of this country with contempt, Diarmuid Wilson (FF) said.
Mr Shatter had used the cover of the budget to announce the closure of 100 Garda stations, said Mr Wilson. This was a hugely cynical exercise by a Minister who continued to close stations and take Garda cars off the gardaí and lock them up in the Phoenix Park.
Guards were supposed to police by using CCTV in Garda stations in the main towns. The Minister should be asked to attend the House so members could question him on his policing, he added.
Legislation on abortion would remain extremely limited as long as the eighth amendment to the Constitution remained in place, Minister of State Kathleen Lynch told the House. The difficulty was that if legislation was restricted to the eighth amendment, other issues relating to post-birth impact on mothers could not be addressed.
Threat to mother’s life
Very few who had spoken in the Seanad debate on abortion had spoken of the threat to the life of the mother, Ms Lynch added.
“Health Minister James Reilly said he wanted to restate the Government’s firm commitment to implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on the ABC case and to bring in the required legal clarity to the issue of lawful abortion in Ireland,” she said.
Deputy Seanad leader Ivana Bacik (Lab) said whatever law was being considered should encompass the need to address fatal foetal abnormalities.
Rónán Mullen (Ind) asked why seven governments had not legislated for the X case despite a resolutely pro-abortion media. “The answer is simple: the X case was a flawed judgment based on non-existent medical evidence, which did not foresee how open to manipulation its test would be.”
Fiach Mac Conghail (Ind) said by failing to legislate for abortion in the face of a substantial threat to the health of a woman in cases of pregnancies resulting from rape and incest, women in Ireland remained second class citizens.