IRELAND's constitutional crisis over its abortion laws flared up again this week when a man sought state assistance to prevent his girlfriend travelling to Britain to end her pregnancy.
This latest case comes hard on the heels of a Dublin Supreme Court decision which overturned a lower court ruling preventing a 14-year old rape victim leaving the republic for an abortion.
The fu rore which accompanied the girl's case forced the government of Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds to announce a referendum on whether the country's ban on abortion should remain.
A statement this week from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Earnonn Barnes. denied claims that his office had refused to become involved in the new case which came to light when the man, who is in his 20s, walked into a Dublin police station on Saturday.
The man apparently told police that his ex-girlfriend, who is 10 weeks pregnant, was determined to go to Britain for an abortion. The gardai are now expected to submit a report to the republic's Chief State Prosecutor.