A motion to create exclusion zones outside clinics and hospitals facilitating abortions in Cork has been rejected.
Social Democrats Councillor June Murphy proposed bye-laws that would have banned, among other things, the distribution of materials such as leaflets from “unregulated” organisations. Cllr. Murphy argued that the Council needed to take action in the absence of national legislation on exclusion zones. However, Chief Executive Tim Lucey Lucey said that such a decision was beyond the scope of a local council and should be left to the Oireachtas to make, dismissing any further discussion on the matter.
A similar motion was ruled out of order in Dublin two weeks ago as, according to a Council spokesperson, it was found to be ‘not an operational matter for Dublin City Council.’ This meant it was not the kind of work the Council engages in – such as housing, planning, litter, or rubbish collections.
Another such motion was passed by Louth County Council in February but was quickly put on the back burner by the Chief Executive Joan Martin. She said she would seek a legal opinion on the motion before proceeding any further with it, saying, ‘I don’t want to have useless by-laws that we can’t enforce.’