Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton has said she is not alone in receiving what she has called "vile" communications in the course of the ongoing abortion debate.
Ms Creighton said that
being sent such letters and emails was part of “political life at the
moment” and that she did not think she was unique in being targeted.
told RTÉ Morning Ireland the abortion debate was “traditionally very
emotive” in the State and that “in a sense we are all prepared and
bracing ourselves for what is going to be a particularly sensitive
debate” in the first part of this year.
The Government last month
announced that it intended to respond to a judgment of the European
Court of Human Rights on the abortion situation in Ireland in the coming
The Cabinet decided its preferred option was a
combination of legislation and regulation that would give effect to the
1992 X case judgment. That judgment held that abortion was permissible
where there was a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother,
as distinct to her health. Such a risk included the threat of suicide.
for Health Dr James Reilly has said the legislation will have to cover
suicide as the judgment had been very clear on the issue.
up to 20 Fine Gael TDs, including Ms Creighton, have raised doubts in
recent months about the inclusion in any legislation of the threat of
suicide as a ground for abortion.
Ms Creighton said today she and
her colleagues would like to see a rational debate on the subject that
was “respectful of people’s opinions and people you may disagree with at
She added: “That, I think, has been absent in the debate
so far and I hope that will change as the weeks go by and we face into
this very important decision-making process."
Government colleague, Minster of State for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch,
recently said some of the language used in the debate on abortion had
Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly has described
the Government's proposal to legislate as representing “the first step
on the road to a culture of death”. He added that “once you say one
human life can be directly destroyed, no human life is safe”.
response, Ms Lynch said the church had a right and a duty to express its
opinions on the subject but that some of the language that had been
used was “unfortunate”.
Moving to address the 1992 X case judgement was
an “historic leap” for the Government, she added.