Friday 22 September 2017

FG will pay high price for Kenny's stand on abortion

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton

NOW is the summer of Fine Gael's discontent. It would be wrong to describe Lucinda Creighton's speech on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill yesterday as a bolt from the blue. But there's no underplaying the significance of her intervention.

The junior minister had never made any secret of her concerns about the bill. However, the belief – the hope – among Enda Kenny's inner cabal was that ultimately she would back the legislation.

This was always going to be a tricky one for Fine Gael. Some political fallout was inevitable. But the best guess of those around Kenny was any rebellion would be restricted to a small number of backbenchers. Not ideal, but given how emotive an issue abortion is, and the huge government majority, manageable.

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