Veil’s inspiring life

IF it was possible to encapsulate the recent history of Europe and humanity’s determination to survive and do nobel, uplifting things in one life then that person might well be Simone Veil, who died yesterday.

Born Simone Jacob in Nice, Veil was deported to Auschwitz at 17 with her entire family. Her father and brother were last seen on a train sent to Lithuania. Her mother, Yvonne, died in Belsen in 1945. Veil and her two sisters were among only 11 survivors of 400 Jewish children deported from her region. This ordeal — far too feeble a word — made her a life-long champion of European unity and secular principles.

In 1973, she pushed through laws to liberalise contraception and a year later she led the campaign in France’s national assembly for the legalisation of abortion. She was elected to the European parliament in 1979, becoming the first president of the assembly.

At a moment when Europe’s unity is under threat, there can hardly be a stronger argument for a return to the core principles of the EU than the inspiring life of Simone Veil.


Leopard print midi dresses and sequins swirled beneath glossy goddess hair and golden headbands as the great and the good of Cork gathered for ieStyle Live.Leopard print and sequins to the fore at inaugural #IEStyleLive event

You have a long half-term break ahead of you all, and there’s only so much screen time anyone in the family can handle. Everyone is going to need a book-break at some point or another.We reviewed some of the best new books to keep kids entertained over half-term

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

More From The Irish Examiner