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Do Irish politicians think we need a Get Ireland Fertile campaign here?

LABOUR TD Joanna Tuffy: "I had my daughter when I was 39. What I would like to see is more balance around the discussion about the issue.

 There can be negative commentary about women having babies later in life, although it is a growing feature of life. There are a lot of positives of having children when you are older, as well as being a younger parent.

"Having children later is not new. Years ago, women might have started having families earlier and it was quite common for them to have children in their 40s or mid-40s. People have smaller families now. I think it's fine to provide people with information, but I don't like the idea that one is better than the other.

"The reality is that women are having children later. People are living longer and are healthier, and, obviously, technology is better and they can be assisted in different ways. In addition, many settle down later."

Fine Gael TD Dr Liam Twomey:

"I think rather than focusing on fertility, we need to focus on what women can give to the workforce to make the best use of their education and experience, and build policies that are family-friendly. I think society will develop and change to make it easier for women to work.

"At the moment, many going into the workforce have a career and have a family later in life. But I have noticed that in general practice, work practices have changed to facilitate having both. The basis of general practice has changed to facilitate the doctor, and I would say the same change will happen in society."

Labour TD Deputy John Lyons:

"People have their children at the age they want to have them. It is their choice. They are all legitimate choices and they have to be respected. As far as I am aware, Ireland has the largest fertility rate within the EU. It's nobody's place to tell a woman when they should have a child. That is between themselves and their partner."

>FIONA DILLON


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