Wednesday 23 October 2019

Barrister whose abortion was at centre of D case will stand for Fianna Fáil

Deirdre Conroy. Photo: Tony Gavin
Deirdre Conroy. Photo: Tony Gavin

The woman at the centre of the landmark D case in the European Court of Human Rights is hoping to stand for Fianna Fáil at next year's local elections.

Barrister Deirdre Conroy, who took a case against the State after she was denied an abortion, wants to run in the Kimmage-Rathmines area.

Ms Conroy told the Irish Independent yesterday that people may be "shocked" to learn she has joined the party.

This year's abortion referendum saw Fianna Fáil more divided than other parties, with anti-abortion TDs and many members struggling with the party's official position of supporting the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

But Ms Conroy, who sought her abortion in 2002 on grounds of foetal abnormality, said that it was party leader Micheál Martin's "brave" explanation of his own U-turn on the issue in the Dáil that had made a lasting impression on her.

It is time to look to the future and not the past, she insisted.

The barrister rose to prominence after revealing in 2012 that she was the woman who had anonymously taken a case to the European Court of Human Rights in relation to Ireland's abortion restrictions in 2005.

While pregnant with twins in 2002, she learned that one of the babies had died in the womb and the other was diagnosed with a fatal abnormality.

She opted to terminate her pregnancy and was shocked to learn she could not do so here.

The court ruled for the State, saying if she had gone to court at the time, she would have been granted an abortion.

Irish Independent

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