Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney, who is also the chair of the Justice Committee, has stated the comments made by the Attorney General, John Larkin, cast doubt over the ability to ensure his personal opinions do not interfere or cloud any assertion he makes in regards to legal issues arising from the ongoing debate on abortion.
Speaking today Mr McCartney said:
“The Attorney Generals comments were in my view totally wrong and wholly inappropriate.
“While I understand these comments were made before he took up his current position, they will inevitably cast doubt over whether or not he has the ability, on this particular issue, to ensure his personal opinions do not interfere or cloud any assertion he makes with in regard to legal issues arising from the ongoing debate on abortion.
“Prior to the media reporting of these earlier public comments by Mr Larkin, the Justice Committee were considering whether or not it would be appropriate to take up his offer to act as counsel to the Committee when they meet with the representatives of the Marie Stopes Clinic. This intervention would not be appropriate.
“The opening of the Marie Stopes clinic has generated controversy. It has also generated a wide debate about many important issues. Comments such as those attributed to Mr Larkin do not help the debate. What we need is to continue to debate these important issues in a calm and reasoned manner and ensure that the rights of everyone involved are protected in the best possible way.”