Tuesday 20 March 2018

'Deep concern' within Labour over plan to oppose Daly abortion Bill

Independent TD Clare Daly
Independent TD Clare Daly
Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

Tanaiste Joan Burton is facing calls to allow members of her party a free vote to support a new abortion Bill being proposed by Independent TD Clare Daly.

Labour TDs and Senators have expressed concern that the party may be damaged by opposing the new pro-abortion Bill in the Dáil today.

Many within the party "strongly support the spirit" of Ms Daly's bill, which is aimed at addressing the issue of fatal foetal abnormalities.

However, the party is set to oppose the Bill after the Attorney General deemed it to be unconstitutional in parts.

Discussions within the party took place throughout yesterday over what members should do. Waterford TD Ciara Conway requested at a behind-close doors meeting of the party that members be granted a free vote.

"There was a concern voiced by a number of TDs that we risk being damaged if we don't properly explain our opposition to the Bill," said another.

Ms Burton is said to have told members that whatever of the spirit of the Bill, it cannot be supported due to its constitutional flaws.

However, she said on a wider level, a commitment to repeal the controversial 1983 Eighth amendment, which guarantees the equal right to the life of the unborn, will form part of the party's manifesto for the General Election.

Meanwhile, Ms Daly has made allegations in the Dáil of gardaí failing to investigate alleged crimes involving members of the force.

The allegations were made in the chamber yesterday, under privilege, by Ms Daly.

She alleged that two gardaí were involved in the embezzlement of funds over a property deal in Romania. "They had information to show that garda station fax machines were used in parts of these transactions," Ms Daly told the Dáil.

Irish Independent

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