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New right-wing Irish political party aims for "Catholic Republic"

25 November 2016


Closed door: the Merrion Hotel, Dublin

Closed door: the Merrion Hotel, Dublin

THE management of the Merrion Hotel, Dublin, which is opposite government buildings in the city centre, has withdrawn a book­ing for a meeting of a new right-wing party that opposes liberalisation of abor­tion law and would ban divorce.

The “information meeting” sched­­uled by the new National Party for Thursday of last week was also due to call on the government to restrict what it termed the un­­restricted policy of immigration, which its leader, Justin Barrett, said had led to “population displace­ment”. The meeting was also to address “the blood lust of extremist groups to remove the equal right to life of the unborn child”.

Mr Barrett is a prominent op­­ponent of the growing movement in the country which is calling for the repeal of the 8th Amendment in the Constitution. This affords equal pro­­tection for the life of the mother and unborn child in the abortion debate, which is again coming to the fore as a political issue.

Protest groups that seek repeal of the amendment say that the effect on medical professionals faced with demands for the abortion of un­­viable foetuses, or where the life of the expectant mother is threat­ened, is that they have been afraid to act in emergency cases owing to legal uncertainty, and that this has resulted in the deaths of at least two women in recent years.

Mr Barrett states as his objective the creation of a “Catholic Repub­lic” that would ban divorce, end current immigration policies, and close down the debate on more liberal abortion laws. He has de­­scribed parliament­arianism as “a dead idea walking”, and favours the placing of power in the hands of one elected presidential individual.

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