Thursday 22 February 2018

Cabinet expected to hold Eighth Amendment discussion days after critical UN report

Katherine Zappone Photo: Tom Burke
Katherine Zappone Photo: Tom Burke

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

The Cabinet is today expected to hold a discussion on the contentious issue of the Eighth Amendment - just days after a highly critical UN report on Ireland's restrictive abortion laws.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone is likely to raise the issue.

Last week,  the UN found the treatment  of a woman carrying a foetus with a fatal abnormality as “cruel, inhuman and degrading”.

But Ms Zappone is seeking that Mr Kenny correct the Dáil record after he claimed incorrectly  that Irish voters voted to keep the Eighth Amendment part of the Constitution on three occasions.

“There were three referenda after that, and in each case, in each of those referenda, by the people, not just by any parties, the people decided to keep that reference in the constitution," Mr Kenny said on June 1 - a statement that Ms Zappone wants corrected.

Read more: Ireland's abortion ban 'cruel, inhuman and degrading', says UN

Separately, Finance Minister Michael Noonan is due to bring a memo to Cabinet on the issue of the upcoming Summer Statement.

The statement will outline the parameters for the upcoming Budget, which is due to be split 2:1 spending and tax cuts.

As part of the agenda for the Cabinet meeting, ministers are also due to discuss housing.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney and Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe will bring details of a €200m infrastructure fund, sources have confirmed.

Health minister Simon Harris will table proposals aimed at clamping down on the misuse of drugs that are not prescribed. 

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