Wednesday, September 21, 2022

the last book I ever read (We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland, excerpt fifteen)

from We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland by Fintan O'Toole:

That same weekend, the word was that the attorney general, Patrick Connolly, was struggling to come up with a wording for the proposed constitutional amendment banning abortion. He was a nice man who had built up a very lucrative practice at the Bar, representing insurance companies in personal injury cases. He liked opera and reading James Joyce. He was not seen as particularly political, but he knew Charles Haughey because he had been one of his junior counsel at the arms trial in 1970. It was nonetheless a bit of a surprise when he was appointed as attorney general by Haughey on his return to power in March 1982. One of the trials of the job was that he was now responsible for wording a brief amendment that would define the beginnings of life and confer full citizenship on a foetus. Even for a man whose colleagues would give him a first edition of Finnegans Wake to mark his fifty years at the Bar, this was a conundrum.

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