Northern Ireland news

Westlife star joins calls for surrogacy legislation to be introduced in Ireland

Westlife star Mark Feehily pictured with his daughter, Layla, who was born by surrogacy in the US two years ago. Mr Feehily has joined a campaign which is calling on the Irish Government to introduce legislation to regulate surrogacy

Westlife star Mark Feehily has joined calls for surrogacy legislation to be introduced in the Republic.

The Sligo performer, who welcomed his daughter Layla by surrogacy in the US two years ago, called on the Irish Government to introduce legislation to regulate surrogacy.

His support for the campaign comes as the bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR), which includes surrogacy, is currently being drafted by Department of Health officials, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General.

The department has reiterated that the legislation "is a priority".

The 41-year-old Westlife singer said: "The biggest part for me is that I'm a dad and this directly affects my child and my family and so of course that's the main reason, but also it's an opportunity that I can't let pass, to contribute in some small way to help in something very important.

"Change is a really important thing in every country and as a country we're so proud of our culture and our history, but we always have to create a new history, these sort of changes are vital and crucial in the storyline of any nation and you have to grow and move with the times".

Mr Feehily said he believes the Irish Government will "do the right thing".

"It's all about parents taking care of and minding their children and in order to do that 100%, we have to all be legally covered, you know, and that's what this is all about. It's quite a simple thing really," he said.

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