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Dermont Ahern now needs to act to protect the vulnerable against Nitsche's suicide workshop

The Life Institute has called on the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern to enforce the law and intervene to stop a dangerous and illegal workshop which counsels suicide to the elderly, the sick and the vulnerable. Following a public outcry, which saw the cancellation of the event in four other venues, Dr Phillip Nitschke's 'suicide workshop' will now go ahead in a Dublin venue, the Seomra Spraoi.

Speaking on RTÉ news, Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern was now obliged to act, and to instruct the Gardai to stop the suicide ‘workshop’. She also said that the owners of the Seomra Spraoi should hold themselves accountable for the subsequent harm or death brought about by or to elderly or mentally ill persons because of the platform granted to Nitschke.

“All week the people of Ireland have made their voices heard in opposition to this gruesome and disturbing event,” she said. “This workshop which counsels and assists in the procurement of suicide is illegal under the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act 1993 and the Minister now needs to instruct the Gardai to get involved.”

The Act states that ‘A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, or an attempt by another to commit suicide, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years’.

“Clearly what Nitschke proposes is against the law - and with good reason,” said Ms Uí Bhriain. “This law was written to protect vulnerable people from fanatics who believe that suicide should be a widely-considered and offered option. Nitschke’s workshop is not just morally wrong, it’s illegal.”

The Life Institute spokeswoman said that if Dermot Ahern refused to act on this workshop now it was very likely that a death would occur at some stage in the future as a direct consequence.

Philip Nitschke told the Irish Times that he “had never encountered such resistance to his meetings” and accused pro-life people of running a “well-orchestrated campaign” against him. The Life Institute said it was in discussion with the Department of Justice and the Gardai on the matter and would continue to fight to have the meeting cancelled.

Thanks to everyone who made so many calls on this during the week. A full report on this next week.

Listen to Niamh Uí Bhriain from the Life Institute on LMFM today
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