Wednesday 21 February 2018

Colum Kenny: Savita tragedy has Coalition in a panic

Government's reaction highlights the gap between power and public accountability

It wouldn't happen to a Mayoman. What Irish Taoiseach would publicly address a recently bereaved constituent or put the kind of pressure on "a decent man" that Enda Kenny directed at Praveen Halappanavar last week?

Kenny's Dail appeal hit the wrong note. It reflected panic in Government at what the death of Savita Halappanavar has revealed, and at what the coverage of her death internationally is doing to Ireland's battered image in the world.

For a while last week, Mr Halappanavar might have been forgiven for thinking that he had done something wrong. Wherever he got the idea that the Irish State is capable of conducting a short, sharp, public investigation into a woman's death, he was soon disabused of his fantasy.

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