TDs are braced for hard lobbying by extreme groups
Published 27/11/2015 | 02:30
Government politicians are bracing themselves to be inundated with explict anti-abortion material similar to the period around the Dáil's passing of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Several TDs and senators received a flurry of correspondence and items, including pictures of dead babies and letters penned in blood, in the lead-up to the enactment of the legislation in 2013.
Other deputies had their constituency offices petitioned.
The decision by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to effectively pave the way for a referendum is expected to be followed by a wave of lobbying of TDs by pro-life groups.
Meath East TD Regina Doherty said it is essential that any future referendum campaign is not dominated solely by extreme views.
"During every other election and campaign where abortion has been an issue, it has been polarised and the people on the margins - the far right and far left - are the ones that scream the loudest," she said.
"We all have to remember that the constitution belongs to all the people - not just a small cohort of people," she added.
Ms Doherty's remarks were echoed by her party colleague and Cork TD Jerry Buttimer.
"This will give us a chance to listen to Middle Ireland and those whose voices often aren't heard," he said.
Dublin Fingal TD Alan Farrell, who is constituency colleague of the party's deputy leader James Reilly, said he would not make up his mind on how to vote on any legislation until it was published.
"I am pro-life and I have always been pro-life and I would never make a decision on an issue so serious and sensitive until I study the legislation," Mr Farrell added.