The symbolic detail from Ruadhán Mac Cormaic's excellent analysis in the Irish Times of a grotesque case in which Ireland's legal framework for the right to life of the unborn has resulted in a clinically dead woman been kept alive while the survival prospects of her 18 week old foetus are being debated --
Her father looks out into the court and inclines his head towards the microphone. “My daughter’s dead,” he says softly. “I just want her to have dignity, to be put to rest.” To his right, three judges, headed by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, their expressions serious and solemn. To his left, 17 lawyers, squeezed into three rows of seats, and a public gallery filled with more barristers, some doctors and a smattering of onlookers.
It's a bonanza for the legal class. For everyone else involved, it's a miserable Christmas.