‘Marie is the person who is let down’

Marie Fleming went to court to ask for help to die and yesterday she was turned down by the Supreme Court.

Not well enough to be present as Chief Justice Susan Denham handed down the unanimous decision of the seven judges, Ms Fleming, who is at the end stages of multiple sclerosis, was represented by her life partner Tom Curran.

Mr Curran kept a brave face. As the seven judges left the bench after dismissing her plea, a sad resignation crept over his face.

Outside the Four Courts, Mr Curran stayed brave.

“Marie is the person who is let down. This is not about me. This is about Marie. We expected the State to look after her.”

On what is next, he had this to say: “On a more immediate basis, I suppose the court has ruled on Marie’s future, as far as they are concerned, and we will now go back to Wicklow and live our lives until such time as Marie makes up her mind that she has had enough, and in that case, the court will have an opportunity to decide on my future.

“That will only come up if Marie makes the decision herself,” he added.

They will now have to examine the judgment, he said, to see if the road to Europe is open to them.

“If it is, there is always the situation that we don’t necessarily have the resources, the stamina and maybe the interest in taking it.”

Mr Curran sounded strong as he pointed out that even though the court did not see fit to instruct the Oireachtas to change the law, the Oireachtas has the ability to change the law itself at any time.

“Maybe there are other people out there who want to see that law changed, and will help us going forward in doing that.”

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