Rights and recriminations in Eighth debate


Sir, – In her article (Opinion, March 9th), former UCD Students’ Union president Katie Ascough asks that university students “be presented with two sides of the debate” on the Eighth Amendment.

For the past three years, the UCD Law Society has run a debate on the Eighth Amendment with equal time and representation given to either side, with Ms Ascough among those who have spoken.

Each has been the largest-attended student debate in Ireland for that year with attendance exceeding 500 students. – Yours, etc,


Vice Auditor,

UCD Law Society,

Belfield, Dublin 4.

A chara, – The Supreme Court has ruled that the unborn enjoys only one constitutional right – the right to life, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother (Home News, March 7th). The Government now proposes to hold a referendum to remove that one remaining protection for the unborn from our Constitution. With friends like that, who needs enemies? – Is mise,


Drogheda, Co Louth.

Sir, – The Government plans to hold the referendum on May 25th. How ironic that this is also International Missing Children’s Day. If the Eighth is repealed there will be thousands more. Who will be responsible or accountable for these missing children? – Yours, etc


Arklow, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – I was struck by Kim Guerin’s statement (March 9th), “Irish women become second class citizens when they become pregnant”. I am not sure in what circles she moves, but in mine women become first-class citizens and celebrated when they become pregnant. – Yours, etc,


Shankill, Dublin 18.

Sir, – Observing the repeal the Eighth proposals is akin to watching a slow motion train crash. To hand the Oireachtas power to decide abortion legislation limits is to remove that current right from Irish citizens. This will not go down well even with humanists like myself who support some liberalisation of abortion. In pointlessly handing opponents of reform such a democratic argument I sadly fear the seeds of defeat are being planted. Is it too late to ask for a change of track before we hit the buffers? – Yours, etc,


Bray, Co Wicklow.