Thursday 23 November 2017

Abortion referendum should take place next year, says Tánaiste

Gda Niamh Barber with (L-R): Cliodhna McNamara, mother Susan Barber, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Cmmr Nóirín O’Sullivan, father Det Gda Tom Barber and Eoin Barber
Gda Niamh Barber with (L-R): Cliodhna McNamara, mother Susan Barber, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Cmmr Nóirín O’Sullivan, father Det Gda Tom Barber and Eoin Barber

Conor Kane

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has said there should be a referendum on abortion next year after the Government has time to study the Oireachtas committee's forthcoming work on the Eighth Amendment.

Ms Fitzgerald described as "very interesting" the outcome of the Citizens' Assembly's deliberations when members voted on Sunday by a large majority in favour of allowing abortion in all circumstances.

"I think it deserves very serious consideration," she said of the vote. "My own view has always been that the Constitution is not the place to deal with this very complex issue, the best place is between a woman and her doctors but of course you also have to have an appropriate legislative basis."

The Justice Minister was speaking at the latest passing-out ceremony of probationer gardaí at the Garda College in Templemore yesterday afternoon.

The Tánaiste was asked about the Policing Authority's independent audit on recorded breath tests that didn't take place and said she is looking forward to getting "comprehensive answers" on what happened.

A total of 143 trainee gardaí passed out of Templemore yesterday, of whom 45 were female and 98 male.

Hats off to new gardaí Aedin Esslemont from Connemara (to be stationed in Navan), Shauna Byrne from Co Wicklow (Dundrum station), Alma McGovern from Co Monaghan (Mountjoy station) and Erica Delaney from Roscommon (Clondalkin station). Picture: Brian Arthur
Hats off to new gardaí Aedin Esslemont from Connemara (to be stationed in Navan), Shauna Byrne from Co Wicklow (Dundrum station), Alma McGovern from Co Monaghan (Mountjoy station) and Erica Delaney from Roscommon (Clondalkin station). Picture: Brian Arthur

The percentage of females (31pc) is higher than in previous groups, when it has been roughly 20pc.

They are the ninth group to have been taken into the Garda College since training resumed following the public service recruitment embargo.

They include 12 non-Irish nationals who are from England, Poland, The Netherlands and Scotland.

Irish Independent

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