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Repeal the 8th issue hasn’t gone away because politicians are away – O’Reilly

3 August, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the growing tide of support for repealing the 8th amendment has not gone away simply because politicians are on holidays, and that Government need to take immediate action on the citizen’s assembly and its obligations under UN law.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“It is very clear that action on the eighth amendment cannot wait any longer. There is a ground swell of support for its repeal and the actions of the public- from public murals, clothing lines and poll results- indicate that they want a say on this issue.

“It is very clear that the Government’s only intention this term of addressing this issue is the citizen’s assembly. But even that is moving too slowly. The tender for the polling company to recruit members has not yet gone. And there are significant questions to be asked about the membership once it is selected – it is very unlikely to be a random assembly. An Taoiseach was very clear last term about the need for every citizen from around the country, based on geography, gender and age to have their say on this issue, but what he fails to realise is that the best way for citizens to have their say is in a referendum.

“A citizens’ assembly can have value as one part of a national conversation on the eighth amendment, but it of itself as the only Government response is not sufficient. It will not address Ireland’s obligations under UN law. 

“We have no idea who’ll be on this assembly or how it will operate - there is no sense of urgency.  While the Government announced the chair of the assembly last week, there are further unanswered questions- not least around the membership but also about the advisory group.

“This issue will not go away. Politicians and the Dáil may be in recess, but the public will not let this issue lie. The Government must now come forward with details of the polling tender, the assembly itself and how it will function.” 

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