Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Health (Family Planning) Act Prosecutions.


asked the Minister for Justice the number of prosecutions that have so far been taken in relation to the Health (Family Planning) Act, 1979.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that no prosecutions have so far been brouht by the Garda under the Health (Family Planning) Act, 1979.

Is the Minister aware that a public letter has been signed by more than 220 doctors to the effect that they are breaking the law?

I am aware of publicity that was given to such a letter some time ago in newspapers but other than that I do not see how it comes within the ambit of the Deputy's question.

Has any action been taken by the Garda in relation to this statement by 220 doctors that they are breaking the law?

The Deputy will appreciate that I have no function whatsoever in regard to the institution of criminal proceedings.

I have asked the Minister not whether he has done anything but whether the Garda have done anything in relation to this matter.

I understand from the Garda authorities that they have sought legal advice in regard to the institution of prosecutions and that the advice will be available very shortly.

Would the Minister not agree that it is an Alice in Wonderland situation that 220 respected citizens have publicly indicated that they are breaking the law while nothing is being done about it? In relation to the Government's own attitude, this indicates that they have a distinctly two-faced approach to law and order.

The question of the enforcement of the law in this area is a matter for the Garda authorities. They have sought legal advice and opinion on the matter and they are waiting for such advice before deciding what they can or cannot do.

Question No. 11.

Can the Minister give an assurance that if the legal advice is that prosecution should take place such prosecutions will take place?

The Minister for Justice has no input whatsoever into decisions regarding criminal proceedings by the Garda.

If a Deputy asks a question without being called that Deputy is being disorderly; if the Minister replies to that question the Minister is being disorderly.

I apologise.

It is a Gerry in Blunderland situation.

The acceptable face of Fianna Fáil.