Wednesday 7 December 2016

Creighton and O'Connell agree on conscience

Published 07/07/2013 | 05:00

Lucinda Creighton and myself do not agree about abortion. But I support her belief in the primacy of conscience. Daniel O'Connell, the greatest of all Irishmen, would have done so too.

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Here I am trailing my coat on two contentious matters. First, on whether it is right to rebel against a government which wants to give relief to women in need of abortion. Second, whether Daniel O'Connell deserves to be described as our greatest leader. Let me take them in turn.

Regarding the right to rebel in conscience, I have one important reservation. Such a rebellion should not bring political or other material benefits. As the Fianna Fail rebels have everything to gain by rebelling, I reserve the right to regard them with scepticism, just as I regard the Fine Gael rebels with respect.

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