Ask your TDs to support the Foetal Pain Relief Bill

Next Wednesday (15th of December), the Foetal Pain Relief Bill 2021 moves to Second Stage in the Dáil, where it will be debated and voted on during Private Members time. 

The Bill which was introduced in the Dáil last May by Carol Nolan TD and co-sponsored by ten other deputies is a humane and important legislative proposal that if passed will ensure that no baby is forced to endure unnecessary pain during late-term abortions, that are now legal in Ireland in certain circumstances.

The active encouragement and support for this Bill from pro-life people around the country was instrumental in securing its progress to date.

We are calling on EVERYONE to contact their TDs in the coming days to ask them to vote in favour of the Bill next Wednesday to ensure it moves closer to a final stage vote in the Dáil.

Key Lobbying Points

The following are the key points to be made when contacting your TD:

  • The Bill is a measured and humane proposal that simply seeks to ensure that no baby is forced to endure unnecessary pain during late-term abortions that are now legal in Ireland in certain circumstances.
  • Scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows that unborn babies experience pain, with the likelihood that this occurs much earlier than 20 weeks gestation.*[Derbyshire SWG and Bockmann JC, Reconsidering fetal pain, J Med Ethics 46, 3-6, 2020].
  • Ireland’s Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 compels vets to give pain relief to an animal during any procedure that may cause it suffering or distress. It is an affront to human dignity that unborn babies at present are treated less humanely than animals.
  • By providing compassionate pain relief before late-term abortions, the Bill is not interfering with the operation of the abortion legislation generally. It simply seeks to relieve pain and distress to the baby, backed by scientific research.
  • We are asking you to please vote in favour of the Bill yourself, please speak in favour of it in the Dáil, and ask your parliamentary colleagues to join you in voting for the Bill.

Contacting your Local TDs

Please take some time TODAY to e-mail, write, phone or visit some of your politicians on this list and ask them to vote Tá, in favour of progressing the Bill to committee stage. Please find below contact information for the relevant politicians to contact.

John McGuinness FF TD

  • (056) 777 0672, (087) 285 5834, (01) 618 3137
  • John McGuinness TD Constituency Office, O’loughlin Road, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny.


Jennifer Murnane O’Connor FF TD


John Paul Phelan FG TD

Brendan Smith FF TD


Niamh Smyth FF TD

  • (01) 618 3492, (042) 966 66 66, (042) 975 18 02, (049) 854 57 88
  • Adelaide Row, Bailieborough, Co. Cavan.


Matt Carthy SF TD


Pauline Tully SF TD

Cathal Crowe FF TD


Joe Carey FG TD Clare


Michael McNamara Independent TD

James O’Connor FF TD


David Stanton FG TD

Pádraig O’Sullivan FF TD


Colm Burke FG TD

Michael Creed FG TD


Aindrias Moynihan FF TD


Michael Moynihan FF TD

Michael McGrath FF TD


Simon Coveney FG TD

Christopher O’Sullivan FF TD


Michael Collins Independent TD

Charle McConalogue FF TD


Pearse Doherty SF TD

Seán Haughey FF TD

Jim O’Callaghan FF TD

Darragh O’Brien FF TD

Jack Chambers FF TD

  • (01) 618 3754, (01) 6933393
  • Jack Chambers Constituency Office, Laurel Lodge Shopping Centre, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

Cormac Devlin FF TD


Jennifer Carroll MacNeill FG TD

Anne Rabbitte FF TD


Ciarán Cannon FG TD


Seán Canney Independent TD

Éamon Ó Cuív FF TD


Noel Grealish Independent TD

Norma Foley FF TD


Pa Daly SF TD


Danny Healy Rae Independent TD


Michael Healy Rae Independent TD

Seán Fleming FF TD


Carol Nolan Independent TD

Willie O’Dea FF TD


Kieran O’Donnell FG TD

Patrick O’Donovan FG TD


Richard O’Donoghue Independent TD 

Joe Flaherty FF TD


Robert Troy FF TD


Peter Burke FG TD

Peter Fitzpatrick Independent TD 

Dara Calleary FF TD


Alan Dillon FG TD

Thomas Byrne FF TD 

Damien English FG TD


Peadar Tóibín Aontú TD

Michael Fitzmaurice Independent TD

Marc MacSharry Independent TD 


Frankie Feighan FG TD 


Marian Harkin Independent TD 

Jackie Cahill FF TD


Martin Browne SF TD 


Michael Lowry Independent TD 


Mattie McGrath Independent TD

Mary Butler FF TD

  • (01) 618 3599, (058) 43 499, (087) 742 5020, (058) 841 437
  • Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 XR20.


Matt Shanahan Independent TD 

James Browne FF TD


Paul Kehoe FG TD 


Verona Murphy Independent TD

Guidelines to Effective Lobbying

What is Lobbying

What exactly is lobbying? Simply put it is an attempt to influence someone else’s opinion or activities. Lobbying in the governmental process is making information available to elected representatives and public officials who cannot be expected to know how every law or regulation will impact on a given issue.

Good lobbying? This is your ability to make your point of view both interesting and relevant, to focus on your topic, argument, and strategy in such a way as to make the person you are trying to influence stop and listen!

There are several ways to reach an elected representative, phone, letter, personal visits and e-mail. But the key to all approaches is “Common Sense.”

  • Be fair and reasonable.
  • Be realistic.
  • Have a plan.
  • Never leave in anger.
  • Contact with regularity, not just near election time.
  • Be factual, never guess an answer to something you are unsure about. Say “I don’t know, but I will get back to you”, and make sure you do!
  • Give credit where credit is due.
  • Don’t get overly emotional in making your point.
  • Ask your TD or Senator where he/she stands and how they plan on voting. 

Lobbying by phone

  • Identify yourself by name, address, town and phone number.
  • Briefly state your position and how you would like your politician to act.
  • Ask for their position or view of the Bill or proposal. 
  • Volunteer to forward further information.
  • Be prepared to speak to their secretary or PA to have your position relayed 
  • Cultivate ongoing relationships with these staff people.

Lobbying by visit

  • Drop them a note or call before your visit. If you are a constituent, say so. Indicate your primary interest in meeting with them. Try for a personal appointment, offering two or three alternative times you are available.
  • Address legislators as “Deputy” or “Senator”.
  • Arrive on time and be prepared when you arrive. Know what you are going to say. Have a statement or fact sheet to leave behind.
  • Offer a solution to the problem or concern you raise.
  • Don’t overstay your welcome. The meeting should last no more than 15-20 minutes unless the politician indicates clearly that he/she wishes it to last longer.

Lobbying by letter

Politicians are most sensitive to grassroots opinion from the voters in their own areas. Write short, thoughtful, sincere letters on issues that directly affect or concern you. These letters will get the most attention.

  • Be specific. One issue per letter.
  • Address legislators properly, write legibly or preferably, one typewritten page. Include your address.
  • Clearly state your view for or against a proposal and present your reasons.
  • Base your position on your personal experiences/observations.
  • Timing is critical. If a letter arrives too early, it is forgotten. Letters should generally arrive a few days before the vote or decision. However, don’t let waiting for the right time to come along keep you from writing. The Oireachtas schedule is very unpredictable. It is better to reach someone early in the debate then after they have made up their mind or not at all.

Lobbying by e-mail

Because of the ease in which e-mail may be sent by anyone from anywhere in the world, it is difficult to gauge its effectiveness. Additionally, different people use e-mail differently. If you know a politician who uses it extensively, it may be a sufficient way to communicate. Keep in mind, however, the less personal a lobbying effort is the less effective it will be, and e-mail is the least personal way to contact a politician.

  • Follow the rules for writing a letter.
  • Make sure you clearly identify yourself with a real world address.
  • Try to include the issue and your position in the subject line. Even if they don’t read the message, they will see this information.
  • If possible send your message with a reply receipt. This will let you know if they have opened it and if you need to make contact in another way.
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