Committee in Geneva tells Government delegation a referendum is essential.
The committee has been examining Ireland on its compliance with the International Covenant on ESCR, which covers such issues as access to health, housing and education and guarantees citizens will not be discriminated against, in accessing these rights on any ground, including sex, race, religion, socio-economic status or colour.
Committee chairman Walid Sa’di from Jordan, in remarks to Mr Sherlock yesterday, said the division between Church and State in Ireland appeared “to be a little fuzzy”.
“In a developing country this would not be unusual but by European standards it is almost sacrosanct, this division between Church and state. Your country, Ireland, poses a unique situation. Is it a uni-cultural or multi-cultural society? It seems to me to be more a uni-cultural society. If so what happens to minorities in your country?”
The special rapporteur for Ireland, Justice Ariranga Pillay, from Mauritius, reiterated a question put by several members on Monday to the Irish delegation.
“According to your answers about why the abortion law cannot comply with the International Covenant standards, you said this is because of the Constitutional protection for the unborn foetus. If this is the case why have you not had a referendum? Why have you not answered this?”