The following press release by Dana Rosemary Scallon challenges Hammarberg's demands
Council of Europe Commissioners should keep out of Irish Constitutional affairs and mind their own business.
Commissioner Hammarberg, while visiting here last week, demanded that the Labour / Fine Gael government legislate for abortion. His meeting was hosted, according to reports, by Labour leader and Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore; Fine Gael’s Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and was also attended by members of some chosen groups.
It is not the job of Council of Europe Commissioners to act as tourists going around Europe promoting abortion. An unelected Commissioner has no right to bully and intimidate the Irish people or seek out politicians who would provide an “open door” for their agenda.
Both Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore must know full well that last year’s ECHR opinion is not binding on Ireland. The question is why did they not tell him so? Also why did they miss the opportunity to tell him that the Irish people, as Ireland’s Attorney General has previously stated, have spoken in 3 referenda rejecting abortion?”
Regardless of their own personal opinions it is a duty of Ministers to represent the democratic views of the Irish people. We are a Sovereign Nation and the people, under Ireland’s Constitution, make all decisions relating to this matter.
We are dealing with nothing more than an opinion of the European Court which has no legal authority and whose decision is not binding on Ireland. An Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny must tell the Council of Europe Commissioner that this matter can only be decided on by the Irish people and that he will also uphold his election promise not to legislate for abortion.