Sunday, 26 August 2012

Pat Rabbitte attempts to force Catholic Church out of public debate

Pat Rabbitte, T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, made an extraordinary intervention in the Irish debate on abortion, by suggesting that the Catholic Church should not engage in lobbying politicians about abortion.  So while organisations like the Irish Family Planning Association, the National Women's Council, Amnesty International, Trades Unions, would be free to lobby their elected representatives, Catholics alone should be silenced.

I emailed the following to Deputy Rabbitte:

Dear Minister Rabbitte,

I was very surprised by the remarks you made in respect of abortion and the suggestion that Catholics should be uniquely prevented from lobbying their elected representatives.

Or perhaps I misunderstood you.  Are you suggesting that in future no one should lobby elected representatives at all?  The Irish Farmers Association, the GAA, IBEC, your friends in the trades union movement, the multitude of state funded bodies representing women, the disabled etc.  Are you suggesting they too should give up lobbying - or is it just Catholics?

I then sent versions of this email to Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, Michael Martin, Gerry Adams, Lucinda Creighton and James Bannon - feel free to use it and pass on to other politicians:

Dear Deputy,

I was very surprised by the recent comments by Deputy Pat Rabbitte that Catholics should, uniquely, be excluded from lobbying their elected public representatives in respect of abortion.

Do you share this view?

Is it Fine Gael policy that Catholics alone should refrain from lobbying their elected representatives - or does it apply to other organisations such as the Irish Farmers Association or the Trades Union movement?

Is it government policy?

We need to follow the old divide and conquer approach by isolating those politicians who are most pro-abortion and anti-Catholic.