Establishment of Citizens' Assembly on abortion will be done 'with urgency' - Richard Bruton

Minister Bruton believes the UN will be satisfied with the progress the Government is making in the area

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The Education Minister believes that the UN Human Rights Committee will be satisfied with the progress the Government is making on abortion.

Last week the committee told the Government that laws regarding abortion need to change.

After reviewing the case of a woman who had to travel to the UK for a termination, independent experts attached to the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that she had been treated inhumanely by Ireland's current laws.

The judgment found that Amanda Mellet suffered "severe emotional and mental pain" after being denied an abortion here.

Independent experts attached to the UN Human Rights Committee said it was a direct result of Ireland's legal prohibition on abortion and called for changes to prevent this happening again.

The decision has led to campaigners calling for urgent reform to Ireland's abortion laws.

In a statement, Mrs Mellet said: "Subjecting women to so much additional pain and trauma simply must not continue."

The State has 180 days to reply to the ruling.

The Government has previously pledged to hold a Citizens' Assembly on the 8th Amendment, which gives equal rights to life of the unborn and the mother.

Speaking on Newstalk this weekend, Minister Leo Varadkar said: “I don’t think you can ask the people to just vote to repeal the eighth without being able to tell them what might happen next".

Minister Richard Bruton believes the UN committee will be satisfied that their commitment to a citizens' convention is progress, saying "citizens decide our Constitution [...] So we must as elected deputies respect the role of citizens in this area".

He added that the assembly will be established within six months, "and we will be able to look at these really difficult issues".