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Three quarters of Fine Gael MEPs vote against important thalidomide amendment - Boylan

16 December, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Speaking after the European Parliament’s voting session this week, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan reacted to the news that three quarters of Fine Gael MEPs decided to vote against a crucial amendment regarding thalidomide victims.

‘This week the European Parliament votes on an important resolution on the situation of thalidomide victims. This drug, developed by German chemicals company, Grunenthal, was taken by mothers with morning sickness during the 1950s and early 1960s.

‘Worldwide this lead to 20,000 babies being born with severe deformities whilst a staggering 80,000 were miscarried, stillborn or died in infancy.

‘The amendment three Fine Gael MEPs chose to vote against called on Grunenthal to provide compensation and care to those victims who have yet to be recognised and initiate a dialogue with the victims in order to repair the damage. In the 1970's the company avoided any criminal culpability, the very least that elected representatives should do is insist that Grunenthal provide adequate compensation for their victims. 

‘I find it hard to see why most of the Fine Gael MEPs would object to such wording given the clear and indisputable devastation thalidomide has had on victims across the world. Thankfully, the amendment passed even without their support but it must be asked why they took the position they did.

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