The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has said he agrees with the Taosieach that the debate on abortion cannot be rushed.

Dr Martin said he agreed with Enda Kenny and Minister for Health James Reilly that a knee-jerk decision on new abortion legislation following the death of Savita Halappanavar would be wrong.

Speaking in Limerick, Dr Martin said the country's Catholic bishops will discuss the report of the expert group on abortion next week.

Dr Martin said that current guidance given to the medical profession should be reviewed if it is insufficient.

"If there are problems of a medical nature, then the appropriate bodies, including the Medical Council, have given guidance. And if that guidance is insufficient, they should look at it."

Speaking following a meeting to discuss the future of Catholic Higher Education in Ireland, Dr Martin said he felt the country had been wrongly portrayed internationally over the abortion issue.

He said he felt Ireland had been somewhat wrongly portrayed as a dangerous country to be pregnant.

Dr Martin said there is nothing in Catholic teaching that gives a priority to either the mother or the unborn child.

Both have the same dignity, he said, because Irish doctors had been able to work to save mother and baby in difficult situations.

He added he would hate to see any weakening of that tradition.