- September 2012 : Religious lobbying in relation to abortion laws
In September 2012, the Catholic primate, Cardinal Seán Brady, made an intervention in public debate in relation to government plans to legislate or not in relation to abortion in light of the 2010 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights which found that the state violated the rights of a woman whose life was at risk and who travelled abroad for an abortion. Cardinal Brady stated that the church would campaign against any proposal to introduce abortion and that this campaigning would take the form of media communication, the publication of a pastoral letter, the use of the pulpit to inform devotees, and the lobbying of elected representatives. One government minister, Pat Rabbitte, criticized the Cardinal’s intervention, claiming that the Catholic bishops could no longer “dictate” to politicians. The Catholic think-tank, the Iona Institute, in turn, criticized the Minister for conflating lobbying with dictating and pointed to the well-established practice of religious lobbying in other national contexts.