Minister is entitled to a free vote - but really should pick his battles
Published 23/11/2016 | 02:30
Shane Ross and Finian McGrath went into yesterday's Cabinet meeting with a legitimate expectation to a free vote on a Sinn Féin motion seeking a referendum on Ireland's neutrality.
In fact they were probably surprised by the dogmatic response from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who was having none of it.
Less than a month ago as the Government attempted to kill off the feud over their differing views on how to approach the abortion issue, a statement was issued in which Fine Gael "acknowledged" that their Independent colleagues could exercise a free vote "on matters which are not addressed in the Programme for Partnership Government".