• Today, the Catholic bishops are to give evidence in Leinster House before the Oireachtas committee on abortion. At least this represents some kind of democratic progress since the days, some 60 years ago, when government ministers were imperiously summoned to the Irish Canossa, the archbishop's 'palace' in Drumcondra.
Bunreacht na hEireann (Art.40.3.3) already guarantees Irishwomen's right to abortion, albeit outsourced to the neighbouring jurisdiction. This means that, from the bishops' perspective, the Constitution underwrites 'the culture of death' they so much dread. Will the committee have the gumption to ask the bishops to defend their nimby hypocrisy?
John A Murphy
Douglas Road, Co Cork