Limerick council quashes motion for abortion exclusion zones

A motion urging the Health Minister to introduce exclusion zones to prevent people from holding pro-life vigils outside maternity hospitals was taken off the agenda by Limerick City and County Council on Monday and no debate or vote was had on the topic.

Labour councillor Conor Sheehan said: “I was disappointed that the motion wasn’t put on the agenda. I felt like I was censored.”

He believes it was not put on the agenda because Council officials thought the issue “is a bit of a hot potato” and did not want to deal with it. “We can’t shy away from these issues,” he said.

Limerick City and County Council said Sheehan’s motion required “further clarification” before it could be placed on the agenda, but that due to “miscommunication” this was not brought to the councillor’s attention.

The councillor says “We have had an ongoing issue in Limerick for the last couple of months with people congregating outside the maternity hospital in Limerick in groups holding vigils,” he said.

“They are walking around the perimeter of the hospital, holding rosary beads and praying.”

The Limerick city councillor added: “They have changed their approach since the referendum. They no longer go for the graphic imagery that they used before. It’s more subtle but it is still there.”