Sunday 22 April 2018

FG senator refuses to say if he will support bill

Fiach Kelly

A FINE GAEL senator could become the latest of Taoiseach Enda Kenny's ranks to lose the party whip over the abortion legislation.

Kerry senator Tom Sheahan is refusing to say if he will support the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, after he was initially quoted as saying that he would quit Fine Gael "before voting against the party because I have serious issues with the bill".

Local reports also said Mr Sheahan had given Mr Kenny an ultimatum that unless he received guarantees on abortion, he would quit the party.

But Mr Sheahan refused to give his position yesterday, only saying not to believe everything that is in the papers.

Fine Gael Galway West TD Brian Walsh has already said he would vote against the bill, as has Dublin South TD Peter Mathews and Galway senator Fidelma Healy Eames.

Mr Mathews had pushed for a free vote in Fine Gael but withdrew a motion at a parliamentary party meeting, calling for the whip to be dropped, because he could not get a seconder to support him.

Irish Independent

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