It is time opponents of abortion realise that the debate surrounding the legalisation of abortion is not simply a question about the biological health of the mother, or the imagined potential of the foetus. It is about the complexities of a human life, and respecting a woman's intelligence, autonomy and desire for fulfilment as having equal status and complexity as any man's.
This week, the Irish parliament is debating new abortion legislation, to be enacted before the parliamentary summer break. For anybody familiar with the now infamous Savita Halappanavar case, this should instinctively come as welcome news. Yet, almost eight months later, the Irish government is proposing a law that does nothing to prevent another scenario like the fateful one endured by Ms. Halappanavar.
Politics in Northern Ireland needs to address the real issues. We've practiced and mastered whataboutery for too long. The result is a flailing economy, unaided by friendly fire from within and a divided political shambles, completely devoid of consensus.
Last week, Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow Health Secretary, threw his weight behind the campaign for the Labour Party to fight elections in Northern Ireland for the first time. For the long-suffering Labour Party members in Northern Ireland - allowed to join the party but not fight elections - this is the latest welcome development on a long, long road.
It's intimidating stepping behind the scenes to shadow Ireland's president. It's quite obvious to everyone that I'm a bit nervous taking the task on. Have you ever read George Orwell's essay on how to make the perfect cup of tea? I blurt these words out at the beginning as an ice-breaker. He smiles. Little did he know...I have my own Michael D Higgins story yet to tell.