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Keaveney's abortion stance riles own party

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Colm Keaveney could be joining Fianna Fail

Colm Keaveney could be joining Fianna Fail

Tom Burke

Colm Keaveney could be joining Fianna Fail

LABOUR rebel chairman Colm Keaveney has been criticised by his own party for declaring his intention to vote against the Government's abortion legislation.

The Galway East TD, who lost the party whip for opposing the social-welfare cuts in the last Budget, is the only Labour member so far to oppose it.

A Labour source said that people in the party were "seething over it".

They are complaining that he ran for election under the Labour manifesto, which committed to legislate for abortion where women were suicidal.

Labour Waterford TD Ciara Conway said: "I think people are very annoyed with him. He talks about representing the views of grassroots Labour members – he absolutely does not represent the views of members."

But Mr Keaveney said he had publicly aired his concerns about the lack of time limits in the draft abortion legislation.

The finalisation of abortion laws will move a step closer today when an Oireachtas committee publishes its report on hearings on the issue.

But the committee won't be making any formal recommendations to the Coalition following its three days of hearings on abortion a fortnight ago.

The committee held hearings into the Draft Heads of the Bill of the Protection of Life in Maternity Bill, 2013, hearing views from a series of medical and legal experts.

Health Minister Dr James Reilly will proceed to finalise the legislation, which is expected to be published in the next fortnight.

The Joint Committee on Health and Children will publish a 50-page report today summarising the various submissions.

Irish Independent