Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Embryo Research Advocate Leads FF Race

 Micheál Martin, the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, is believed to be the front-runner in the race to succeed Taoiseach Brian Cowen as leader of the Fianna Fáil Party. As Minister for Health in 2000 it was Martin who set up the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction. This body was stacked with representatives of the IVF industry and produced a hugely unbalanced report which ignored most of the submissions made to the Commission. In 2006, when he was Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin spoke out in favour of permitting research in Ireland involving the destruction of human embryos. He voted in favour of EU funding for embryonic stem cell research and said that he would support such research in Ireland once the constitutional status of unimplanted human embryos was clarified. The new leader of Fianna Fáil will be elected tomorrow afternoon. While the party is widely expected to fare badly in the upcoming general election, the prospect of a leader with Micheál Martin’s record on life issues will likely raise additional concerns for many supporters which they may wish to raise urgently with their local Fianna Fáil TDs.

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