Fine Gael is out of step with the Christian Democrat parties with which it shares a platform in the European Parliament, according to a former senator who lost the party whip in 2013 when she voted against the legalisation of abortion.
“I just think that they’ve lost all sight of principle. That doesn’t seem to matter to them anymore,” Fidelma Healy Eames, who is running as an independent in the upcoming European elections for the Midlands-North-West constituency, told The Irish Catholic.
Fine Gael is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), which in its 2019 manifesto declares that Christian values must be protected.
“While Europe is diverse and nuanced, we have one thing in common: in every town and city there is a Christian church,” it states. “Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are holidays we all share. We have to protect our European way of life by preserving our Christian values and fundamental principles.”
Adding that it would be up to the EPP to rule on whether Fine Gael should still be considered a Christian Democrat party, Dr Healy Eames said Fine Gael “has it handy”.
“They can be whatever they want to be at home, but still be members of the EPP. It’s the EPP that should be looking at its policy framework and seeing do people comply,” she said.
Meanwhile, in a pastoral message to the Diocese of Elphin, Bishop Kevin Doran has urged Catholics to vote in an informed way, remembering that votes for candidates are usually votes for their parties’ policies.
“It is not enough to read the slogans,” he said. “Neither does it makes sense simply to vote for the same party that your parents and grandparents voted for.”
Fine Gael did not respond to a request for comment.