Following the recent by-election in Ireland, in the constituency of Donegal South-West, the Sinn Féin candidate, Pearse Doherty, won the vacant seat. His victory in doing so was (and is) a huge boost for Sinn Féin, and a great disappointment to Fianna Fáil – the leading Government party – whose percentage vote dropped to about 20, from a previous 51 percent. The figure of 20 percent, however, was in excess of that garnered by either of the Opposition parties, although following the fourth count and distribution of first preference votes the Fine Gael candidate overtook the Fianna Fáil candidate.
The reason why I am commenting on this by-election is that each of the candidates was questioned on his or her stance in relation to pro-life/protection of unborn life. The interesting information that emerged from that query is that the Fianna Fáil candidate gave a written personal commitment, if elected, to ‘oppose any legislation that would make abortion available in Ireland and supports a law to protect the human embryo from deliberate destruction.’ This candidate is a Senator – so, from now on, we will be looking forward to hearing his public defence of unborn life from the moment of conception.
The Sinn Féin party policy is pro-abortion, and it is therefore extremely interesting to hear that the newly elected deputy Pearse Doherty has given ‘a written personal commitment to oppose any legislation that would make abortion available in Ireland and supports a law to protect the human embryo from deliberate destruction.’ Is he indeed at odds with the policy of his party? Will we hear Pearse Doherty standing up in the Dáil (lower house) to defend and demand protection for the unborn, from the moment of conception? It is sad to report that it is unusual to have such a defence of human life declared in the Dáil.