Kenny 'branded worse than Herod' over abortion move


Taoiseach Enda Kenny has revealed he has been “branded as being worse than Herod” by people across the country because of the Government’s move to legislate for limited abortion.

Mr Kenny said he had a duty and a responsibility to put clarity around a situation without regulations at present, during a television interview with Sean O’Rourke on the The Week In Politics Programme on RTÉ this afternoon.

“I’m receiving correspondence and messages from all over the country. I’m now being branded as being worse than Herod,” Mr Kenny said.

Herod was a tyrannical king held responsible for slaughtering infants in Matthew’s Gospel.

“I’m in not in the business of liberalising abortion. I am not in the business of providing abortion on demand,” Mr Kenny insisted.

“What I have a duty to do as the head of Government is to see that we provide legal clarity and certainty for medial personnel and that we introduce restrictions and regulations in regard to the question of suicide, which is difficult.” Mr Kenny said Ireland was in breach of the European Court of Human Rights because it had not supplied clarity in respect of the C case.

He said medical personnel had two patients: “the mother and the unborn child”.

The Taoiseach said he found his recent dialogue with senior Catholic Church clergy as “very constructive and very realistic”.

An estimated 25,000 people took part in a 'Unite for Life' vigil organised by the Pro Life Campaign (PLC); Youth Defence; the Life Institute; and Family and Life in Dublin's Merrion Square yesterday.

Organisers say the attendance was over 30,000.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute told the crowd their voice would not be silenced or ignored.

"You have come not in your thousands, but in your tens of thousands, from the rebel homes of Kerry to the hills of Donegal, from every county and every part of Ireland and in the rain and snow and bitter cold - to tell Fine Gael that we are the pro-life majority, and that we will not accept abortion, not now, not ever, not in our country and not in our name."

She said Fine Gael had given a public commitment that they would not legalise abortion and were now denying that promise.

"But now they are reneging on that promise - now they want to legalise the killing of unborn children in this country, and it seems that's mostly at the behest of the Labour Party. Labour are now the cheerleaders for abortion in Ireland. They've described proposals to legalise abortion as a victory. We are here to tell them that there is no victory in the medieval and brutal solution of abortion. There is no victory in the death of a child - for mother or for baby."

The PLC said it was thrilled with the turnout.

"On a bitterly cold January afternoon when it was predicted that the weather would keep people away, Irish people turned out in many thousands to register their opposition to abortion legislation," PLC legal advisor Caroline Simons said.

Gardaí put the numbers attending a pro-choice counter-demonstration at 200.