The Eighth Amendment


Sir, – Recent media reports and polls indicate that the vote on the repeal of the Eighth Amendment will be a lot closer than previously anticipated. This is a surprise, for with all the pro-choice coverage and the overwhelming support for change in the Dáil, one would be forgiven for thinking that it was a done deal.

But if the polls are to be believed, then there is a huge disconnect between the Citizens’ Assembly and Dáil on one hand and the population on the other.

The selection of the citizens in the assembly is now in significant question, with this only emerging after its report was published. We should also ask why our Dáil isn’t representing the people proportionately, and why, if opinion is split so evenly, are there so few pro-life TDs? – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – In the run-up to the St Patrick’s Day Festival, when people all across the globe celebrate Ireland and what it means to be Irish, it beggars belief that a country so famous for its warmth and welcoming of all peoples can so cruelly turn its back on its natives.

The mere mention of abortion brings a sudden stop to the flow of conversation – in a country where the gift of the gab is lauded – and the stigma of shame and fear is an undercurrent that is always present.

I cannot help but wonder would those who flock to this country of ours to celebrate their Irish heritage be so quick to visit if they knew that women become second-class citizens the moment they become pregnant? – Yours, etc,



Co Galway.

Sir, – The Taoiseach and Minister for Health deserve credit for explaining once again why change is needed. The easier option would have been to kick the can down the road yet again. Now it is time for the people to have their say. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.

Sir, – The Supreme Court’s ruling that the unborn child has no constitutional rights but the right to life makes the upcoming referendum more urgent than ever. If anything, this ruling highlights the necessity of the Eighth Amendment and how important it is that we vote to protect life. The Eighth Amendment is now the only protection that unborn children have in this country because, if passed, this referendum would strip the only and most fundamental right from the unborn child – the right to life. – Yours, etc,


Balla, Co Mayo.

Sir, – I note the discussion on repeal of the Eighth Amendment is already being focused on that very subjective issue of “morality”. What is needed, however, is a clear assessment of what is required for the orderly running of the State and respect for the individual conscience of our fellow citizens.

As someone who campaigned for the insertion of the Eighth Amendment in the first place, I now accept I was wrong.

I cannot recommend strongly enough that people inform themselves properly on the actual issues by reading either the report of the Citizens’ Assembly or the slightly less weighty report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee. There will be a lot of red herrings floating about. – Yours, etc,


Tralee, Co Kerry.