Fianna Fáil TDs indicate opposition to suicide provision in abortion Bill

Ó Cuív insists abortion not a recommended treatment for suicidal ideation

A number of Fianna Fáil TDs indicated they opposed the Bill. Eamon Ó Cuív (Galway West) said the suicide provision would allow for the first time in Irish law the intentional killing of the unborn.

“It is generally accepted amongst experts in the field that abortion is not a recommended treatment for suicidal ideation in pregnant women.’’ While he hoped he was wrong, he believed the legislation would open the floodgates to abortion.

Sean Ó Fearghail (Kildare South) said he believed the Supreme Court's decision in the X case was wrong. "At the end of the day no court or legislature can turn something that is fundamentally wrong into something that is right.'' He said former director of public prosecutions Eamon Barnes, in an article in The Irish Times, had offered an opportunity to improve the legislation by proposing that the unborn child be represented in any case pursued under it.

Charlie McConalogue (Donegal North East) said there was no clarity regarding the available protection for professionals who refused to make a decision in the case of a person presenting with suicide ideation.

Brendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan) said an issue for many people was the absence of term limits. "It is clear from all the correspondence we have received, and from the public utterances of people in psychiatry, that abortion is not a treatment for suicidal ideation.''


Robert Troy (Longford-Westmeath) said he remained to be convinced of the need to include the threat of suicide as a real and substantial threat to the life of the mother.

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times