Senator Rónán Mullen

Statement of Senator Rónán Mullen on abortions being carried out in Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe

I am saddened to see the announcement by the Government today that abortions will take place in Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, from 4th December.

I was born in Portiuncula, as were my brother and sister. My mother nursed there. Beloved family members have received excellent healthcare there as recently as this summer.

We have deep affection for Portiuncula, the ‘little portion’, named after the first church built by St Francis in Assisi in the early 1200s.

We have high regard for all that the Franciscan Missionaries of Divine Mercy (FMDM) Sisters did in establishing and running Portiuncula over so many years.

We know that this development will grieve these nuns, who did so much to serve others, including the poorest and weakest, for so long, for who is poorer and weaker than an unborn child?

Save in a few situations where it occurs as a result of a genuine life-saving medical treatment, abortion is never healthcare or any kind of care. It is a controversial, and deeply unjust, procedure which intends and brings about the death of an innocent human being.

I call on all those proposing to be involved in this practice to reconsider their decisions and to turn away from this injustice.

I encourage people in Ballinasloe and the surrounding area to take every opportunity to engage with the medical and other staff of the hospital, courteously and constructively, to discourage the practice of abortion and to never let up until human life is fully respected again in Portiuncula and in all other healthcare facilities in Ireland.

Finally, I encourage all women and couples who are experiencing stress in connection with pregnancy, and who are considering abortion, to reach out for compassion and support. Organisations such as Community Connect, which offers practical help, and Gianna Care which provides caring, non-judgemental information and advice are there to assist. In the light of Ireland’s spiralling abortion rates, the Government should be funding such organisations in an effort to help and protect people.

Friday, 1st December, 2023