John Bruton says Ireland should be 'proud' of constitutional protection of unborn

By Conor Kane

Former taoiseach John Bruton has spoken strongly against a repeal of the Eighth Amendment and said that Ireland should be “proud” of having protection of the unborn child enshrined in its constitution.

Mr Bruton said on Sunday that, before birth, babies can “feel” and are already developing their strength.

“To arbitrarily say that, after whatever number of weeks, it’s okay to suppress that life is just not in accordance with the values of charity towards the weak in our communities that have exemplified the Irish over the last many centuries.

“It’s true that we are probably one of the few countries in the world that has, in our constitution, an express recognition of the right to life of the unborn child, but that’s something we should be proud of,” he said.

The former Fine Gael leader was speaking after attending with his wife Finola the episcopal ordination of the new Bishop of Ossory, Dermot Farrell, in Kilkenny city. Bishop Farrell was parish priest of Mr Bruton’s home parish, Dunboyne in Co Meath, until his appointment to Ossory.

He confirmed that he “won’t be voting in favour of repeal” but did not want to make a prediction as to how the referendum will go.

“Clearly there are divided opinions about this. I think if you accept that a child, before birth, is human then you have to ask yourself as a human, does it have human rights? If it is to have human rights, then surely the first right it must have is the right to life.”

Related Articles

#RepealThe8th tops trending topics on Twitter in 2018

Abortion: Wait rather than risk a tragedy

Health committee rejects abortion legislation amendments by pro-life TDs

Health Committee to continue debate on abortion legislation

More in this Section

Gardaí investigating after digger used to steal ATM from Monaghan bank

Gardaí appeal to mother of baby found on Dublin beach

17 properties worth €1m or more sold weekly in Ireland

ESB restore power to most homes after Storm Deirdre


Lindsay Woods: At a time of year when the pace is frenzied and days are full of school plays and deadlines, the chance to break from routine is a welcome one

On the red carpet: Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger and Cheryl

Raise a glass to Christmas festivities

The best festive desserts to try out this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner