Sunday 4 December 2016

A fourth abortion referendum looms - but is unlikely before a general election

Published 19/08/2014 | 02:30

Bertie Ahern introduced a referendum as Taoiseach in 2002
Bertie Ahern introduced a referendum as Taoiseach in 2002

IRELAND has been grappling with that unholy and alternative trinity of contraception, divorce and abortion for a very long time now.

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Of the three, abortion has proved the most intractable and yet again anything resembling a solution appears as elusive as ever. Over the last 30 years there have been three referendums, one of which asked three separate questions, and there have been numerous hearings in the Irish and international courts.

On several occasions the issue has convulsed the nation. Lamentably, at times what passed for debate was little more than vulgar and particularly hurtful abuse.

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