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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Assisted Suicide

"I was going to keep quiet... but this is bigger than myself" - Gail O'Rorke

O’Rorke met with TDs at Dáil Eireann today to discuss a “long overdue” bill on assisted suicide.

gail Photocall Photocall

GAIL O’RORKE TODAY had a meeting with TDs and others at Leinster House to discuss what’s next for Ireland’s prospective assisted dying bill.

O’Rorke was last month acquitted of assisting in the death of her friend Bernadette Forde, who took her own life in June 2011. She was described as an “honest, decent woman faced with a huge dilemma” by judge Pat McCartan during the trial.

The bill in question would legislate for the protection of individuals who help the terminally ill end their life.

Speaking to, O’Rorke said that the experience of attending Dáil Eireann was “all new” for her.

“Obviously I’ve come out the far side of this trial, and, well I was going to keep quiet, but then I realised that this issue is bigger than myself,” she said.

It is absolutely time for a change, it was great to be there today with John (Halligan, Independent Waterford TD), I was really happy with how things went.
There needs to be a change to do with this (assisted suicide). Like anything it’s definitely a choice for the individual, no more than for same-sex marriage say, but the option of having a choice needs to be there.

O’Rorke attended Leinster House with her husband Barry, Halligan, and right-to-die campaigner Tom Curran, who’s late partner Marie Fleming lost a landmark assisted suicide case at the Supreme Court in 2013.

Curran has been heavily involved in the drafting of the assisted suicide bill.

TDs receptive to the bill who were present at the meeting included Shane Ross, Mick Wallace, and Eamonn Gilmore.

“Most of the Independents are on board, but then this is long overdue,” said O’Rorke.

When will the bill happen? Sooner rather than later, I really hope, it’s long overdue. There’s no point keeping this under wraps.
I really think we are becoming a more democratic society, a more enlightened people.
In ten years time this bill will be there and we’ll wonder how we ever did without it.

Read: Gail O’Rorke found not guilty of assisting the suicide of her friend

Read: A man with non-terminal cancer has travelled abroad to take his own life after a final meal with family

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