27.09.2019: Political reaction to Garda Commissioner’s letter is alarming

27.09.2019: Political reaction to Garda Commissioner’s letter is alarming

Sinn Féin TD, Louise O’Reilly


Fianna Fáil need to state its position on proposed legislation in light of Commissioner’s advice

The reaction of prominent abortion-supporting TDs to the Garda Commissioner’s letter describing the pursuit of so-called ‘Safe Access Zone’ legislation as ‘redundant’ has been described as alarming and irresponsible by the Pro Life Campaign.

Sinn Féin TD, Louise O’Reilly described the Commissioner’s letter as a ‘distraction’ while Bríd Smith TD described the latest developments as ‘shameful’. Meanwhile Health Minister Simon Harris says he intends pressing ahead with his legislation despite the concerns raised by the Commissioner.

Commenting on these latest developments, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson Eilís Mulroy said:

“What these reactions clearly establish is that the proposed introduction of ‘Safe Access Zone’ legislation was less about protecting women and more about strong arming the law into silencing pro-life voices.

“Now that this tactic has encountered a sudden and dramatic challenge, efforts are being made to effectively diminish the authority of the Garda Commissioner’s office and to rubbish his objective expert assessment by characterising it as a mere ‘distraction.’

“The fact that this view is being supported and indeed encouraged by the Minister for Health, is a stark indication the we have now entered a space where the advice of the State’s most senior policing official on matters of ‘public safety’ is not worth the paper it is written on for some politicians.

“We are now calling on all political parties, including Fianna Fáil, to make clear whether or not they will support legislation that is in direct contradiction to the Garda Commissioner’s advice. People need to know if the law on this issue is going be evidence based or ideologically based.”