Saturday 19 January 2019

Gilmore target of anti-abortion 'dirty tricks campaign'

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore today revealed his family's torment at the hands of right-wing anti-abortion groups.

The Dun Laoghaire TD told how gangs of protesters arrived at his family home in Shankill in minibuses earlier this month.

The protest, which saw the group chant personal slogans and wav pickets, took place in full view of other residents.

The chants and protesters' pickets deeply upset the deputy and his wife Carol, who have a five-year-old son.

'We are all human, we do feel things. I have a family who are entitled to privacy,' Gilmore told the Herald.

The Deputy's remarks came in a series of exclusive final day interviews by this reporter with the three main party leaders.

The contentious abortion issue has arisen again following a recent judgment in the European Court of Human Rights.

It ruled that the Irish State, in refusing to allow an abortion in the case of 'Woman C', had breached its citizens' human rights.

Deputy Gilmore points out that whoever is in power will be faced with this legislation as the courts rulings are binding.

Given that scenario, Eamon Gilmore now wants to know why, of the main parties, only Labour was targeted. He suspects his party is a victim of a dirty tricks campaign.

"Labour was targeted in this campaign by some anti-abortion campaigners and very unfairly. Funnily, they did not target other parties. It was very unfair."

Meanwhile, pro-life groups have called on all parties to state their position. Labour's constitutional affairs spokesman Brendan Howlin said Labour's stance "has not altered since the X case judgment. The decision of the Irish Supreme Court, defining the Constitution, is the constitutional position in Ireland".

One pro-life group, Precious Life, organised a bus from Belfast on February 5 last to protest outside Gilmore's Constituency Office. They have since posted pictures of their activities on their Facebook page.

To hear Eamon Keane's full interview with Eamon Gilmore and the other leaders check the podcast on www.citizen keane.ie.

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