Friday 20 January 2017

Who said that being First Lady would be easy, Sabina?

The President's wife can choose to be a tigress or a pussy cat - but she can't be both at the same time, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 15/05/2016 | 02:30

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina — ‘This tendency to go off on solo runs is increasingly the mark of the Higginses as a political couple. They both did it during the Rising centenary too’. Photo: Damien Eagers
PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina — ‘This tendency to go off on solo runs is increasingly the mark of the Higginses as a political couple. They both did it during the Rising centenary too’. Photo: Damien Eagers

If there's one thing that has scarred the debate on abortion in Ireland, it's the tendency of both sides to use their moral certainties as weapons.

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Pro-lifers glibly accuse those who back abortion of killing babies. Pro-choicers just as casually assert that those who object to it are endangering women's lives.

Both positions are internally consistent when viewed in isolation from one another, but there's no doubt that this retreat into absolutism on both sides has poisoned the national conversation on abortion to the point where rapprochement or compromise has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible.

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