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LISTEN: “Getting our foot in the door” – campaigner on “restrictive” assisted suicide

Not just any assisted suicide campaigner – this is Gail O’Rorke, who, you might remember, was acquitted in 2015 of helping her friend, Bernadette Forde, take her own life.

She was on the hard shoulder on Newstalk yesterday, and was very clear about what she thought of the assisted suicide bill. Too restrictive, she says, but it needs to be restrictive so that people will support it. Once it’s passed, they’ll have their “foot in the door”, and can expand it as necessary. Take a listen:


In fairness, we’ve only included the relevant part there. For the sake of fairness: Go and listen to the whole thing on Newstalk. Kuddihy did challenge her on it later in the interview, saying that she was advocating a slippery slope. She didn’t deny it.

The bill is being kicked over to an oireachtas committee now, for the express purpose of telling you for the next year how restrictive it is, and how it’s only for, to coin a phrase, the hardest of hard cases. The model for convincing the public on these matters is well worn: It’s only for those in desperate need, it won’t be more generally available, nothing to worry about.

It’s perfectly fair then, to note that some of the most prominent assisted suicide campaigners in the country are openly saying the opposite. Gail O’Rorke isn’t a random member of the public blabbering on Joe Duffy: This interview will have been set up by those campaigning on this issue because they perceive her to be a sympathetic figure. And she certainly wasn’t supposed to go on the air and give the game away like this.

Oh well. Won’t make any difference to the outcome here, which is all pre-decided, but it’s worth noting anyway.

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