THE management of the Merrion Hotel, Dublin, which is opposite government buildings in the city centre, has withdrawn a booking for a meeting of a new right-wing party that opposes liberalisation of abortion law and would ban divorce.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