Wexford man and Fianna Fáil Senator Jim Walsh was for elected to the Seanad in 1997 and has been reelected at each subsequent Seanad election. The New Ross native has never contested a single Dáil election. Senator Walsh is also a former president of the Irish Road Hauliers’ Association and a farmer.
His speech in the Seanad yesterday during the abortion debate has rightly drawn the much ire, disgust and revulsion. Imagine the most insensitive, tactless person you know and allow them a public to platform to air their religious views, and you have Senator Walsh.
Walsh has form when it comes to social issues, he said yesterday, “I oppose this legislation because it is anti-women, it dis-empowers women.”
Walsh would know a thing or two about dis-empowering women, Walsh claimed in 2009, that women working outside the home is a major cause of depression in young people. One wonders would listening to Walsh for any length of time also cause depression.
Walsh also has issues with the Gays, yes, equal rights that great scourge of society. Between the banks, equal rights and the catholic church sure the country is ruined. Walsh is clearly not a member of the “love thy neighbour” branch of christianity, especially if you are a gay.
During an interview in 2009 he said “If I were to call people fairies. I would be called a bigot and all sorts of things, but David Norris says it all the time and nothing is said.”
He also claimed that people may be gay due to environmental factors, Does he mean rising sea waters and global warming are the reasons for being gay ? Walsh vehemently opposed the civil partnership bill introduced by the last Fianna Fáil led Government on the grounds it would dilute the importance of the family unit in society. Senator Walsh was proven wrong on the civil partnership issue by virtue of the fact the world didn’t end and all of a sudden people didn’t start becoming bad parents because Paddy and Joe up the road were making happy.
Those of us who are concerned for the triumph of civil rights, gender equality and greater understanding and compassion in mental health, realise Senator Walsh’s conscience stands for none of those issues.
With all this talk of politicians voting against because of their much maligned conscience, it should be remembered that many Senators and TD’s will be voting for this bill in good conscience also.