Hibernians' anger at Sinn Fein's new abortion policy

Sinn Fein's decision to liberalise the party's official stance on abortion has angered the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) in Co Tyrone.

Monday, 20th November 2017, 5:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 8:28 am
Tyrone AOH president Gerry McGeough
Tyrone AOH president Gerry McGeough

Following the vote at the Sinn Fein ard dheis on Saturday, the AOH in Tyrone – headed by former IRA member Gerry McGeough – called a meeting where delegates representing the various divisions were required to sign a ‘pro-life charter’ against abortion.

It is understood that a number of Sinn Fein members in the county are also members of the AOH.

A message on the Tyrone AOH Facebook page quotes an unnamed member of the Catholic fraternal organisation who spoke at the meeting as saying: “I am confident that in the not-too-distant future people will look back on this period of mass industrialised killing of babies for profit with horror and bewilderment.”

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The member added: “They will regard this time of human slaughter with the same anger and sadness that we experience when contemplating the gas chambers or slavery and they will ask why did people not speak out in defence of the innocent victims and do something to stop abortion”,

Another message, which is signed off with the words “For Faith and Fatherland,” states: “The Tyrone AOH understands the anger and frustration of our people. Just look at the so-called political leadership we have. Instead of delivering us a united Ireland all they can peddle is abortion to kill off our future generations.”

One response posted by a Tyrone AOH member claimed a Sinn Fein councillor had been present at the weekend meeting and signed the pro-life charter.

Precious Life said the move “backs a total undermining of the right to life across Ireland”.

Bernadette Smyth of the anti-abortion lobby group said: “The view that the basic right to life itself should not be repealed is no longer a position welcome or permitted within the ranks of Sinn Féin.”

Ms Smyth added: “It is a stance so incredulously heinous that many supporters of the party and their republican objectives are now deeply disheartened, disgusted and disappointed,”

TUV leader Jim Allister said Sinn Fein’s support for “bringing death to the womb is not a surprise”, given the past bloodshed of the IRA.