Abortion issue means nobody in NI should expect their assembly back in action for years

A pro-choice rally in Belfast.

Northern Ireland’s devolved assembly is unlikely to be revived for years, after Theresa May said only it could change abortion rights in that part of the UK.

Why do I suggest that? Simple – Mrs May is reliant on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party for her majority in the House of Commons, and the DUP opposes abortion.

So, even though the DUP is the largest party in the NI assembly, it would not be in the Conservative government’s best interests to resolve the problems that led to the suspension of the assembly, more than a year ago.

Whether DUP leader Arlene Foster can live with that is an interesting question.

It will be interesting to find out.

Theresa May has no plans to help liberalise abortion rights in Northern Ireland following the Irish referendum result, Downing Street has said, insisting any change can only be made by the region’s devolved assembly, which collapsed 16 months ago.

The prime minister has faced intense political pressure over the law in Northern Ireland, where abortion remains illegal except in exceptional circumstances, after voters in the Republic of Ireland strongly backed liberalisation.

But while May indicated her support for the Irish referendum decision in a tweet over the weekend, she would risk alienating the Democratic Unionist party MPs who support her government and who back the existing law if she sought to move on the matter from Westminster.

Source: No plans to intervene on Northern Ireland abortion law, says No 10 | UK news | The Guardian

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10 thoughts on “Abortion issue means nobody in NI should expect their assembly back in action for years

  1. pippakin

    The abortion issue is the one thing many in northern Ireland agree about. The current main problem between Sinn Fein and the DUP is the Irish language Sinn Fein want it given the same treatment as English I’m sure a socialist like yourself has given thought to the amount of redundancies this would create since almost no one in the north including Gerry Adams is good enough at the Irish language to write laws, public statements, school rules, NHS diagnoses and so on.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      So this would create huge job opportunities for language teachers and advisors.

      1. pippakin

        No, the need would be immediate but not for teachers. Irish language ‘experts’ would be needed in govt, local auth, the judiciary, the police and possibly in the NHS and since there is no possible justification for having two people to do one job and the Irish language ‘expert’ already speaks English job losses would be among non Irish language speakers…

        Education is much easier

        The point is what Sinn Fein are proposing would very quickly turn into mass unemployment in many major govt departments

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        As far as I can see, there would be no mass unemployment at all, as the jobs would be filled by people who were bilingual, rather than monolingual.
        And, by the way, it isn’t that hard to learn a language. People working in all the capacities you name, here in Wales, are fluent in both Welsh and English.
        There would be no mass unemployment. If anything, there would be extra work, at least until all those who needed it were taught the language skills required.

      3. pippakin

        No mass unemployment at all. The north is full of people who are bilingual in Irish and English is it. I don’t think so And I think the few who maybe sufficiently expert in the Irish language to translate govt, local auth, judiciary & police documents from English to Irish are very few, and how many of those experts are Protestant.

        This post is supposed to be about abortion in the north.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        You’re talking yourself in circles. Nobody said the North was full of people who are bilingual – it doesn’t have to be. There only needs to be enough. Your opinion isn’t fact.
        And YOU changed the subject.

    2. pippakin

      You haven’t thought your post thru have you. Abortion is not a contentious issue between Catholic and Protestant although Sinn Fein are trying their damnedest to make it seem like one. Abortion is no more contentious in the north than it is anywhere else Its not political.

      The Irish language problem is. In order to introduce the Irish language into every aspect of the north’s public services every document would have to be written in both English and Irish and it would have to happen almost overnight and since most protestant schools don’t teach the Irish language and most/all Catholic schools do there will be a massive discrepancy until Protestant schools catch up, and no, learning the Irish language well enough to be able to translate English into Irish legalize is not a quick study, The language problem is a real justifiable danger to peace in the north.

  2. Dez

    Could be the DUP may also lose a lot of support by not recognising their voters feelings if like the South voters want some modernisation and change from the old ultra conservatism.

Comments are closed.