Kenny risks Independent support with abortion plan
Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny is risking support from some of the 15 Independent TDs whose backing he is trying to gain, by moving to address the abortion issue.
Mr Kenny included proposals for a citizens' assembly on the Eighth Amendment in a document supplied to the Independents - most of whom were unaware that the idea was even on the table during their 50 hours of talks.
Seven of the group engaged in coalition talks are opposed outright to any constitutional change regarding abortion, while a number of others have serious reservations.
Mattie McGrath has already told the Fine Gael negotiating team that he will immediately walk away if they insist on the assembly. Seán Canney, Michael Fitzmaurice, Noel Grealish, Michael Collins and the Healy-Rae brothers are also opposed to any changes to the law.
However, Katherine Zappone told the Irish Independent last night: "I will not sign up to any Programme for Government that does not address a referendum on the Eighth Amendment."
In a 122-page document supplied to Independents, Fine Gael said it wanted to establish a citizens' assembly that would make recommendations to the Dáil on potential changes to the Eighth Amendment.