Tuesday 28 January 2020

SF rebel Nolan is confident of future in party

Stock picture
Stock picture

Shona Murray

Sinn Féin rebel Carol Nolan believes her future with the party is safe despite being heavily at odds with its policy on abortion.

She says the referendum on abortion is likely to fail by a ratio of 70:30.

Ms Nolan has been canvassing "in a number of different counties", including Offaly, Tipperary North and Laois, where the response has been "overwhelmingly No", she said.

"People are shocked that this country has been faced with such a proposal," she added.

Ms Nolan was suspended from her party for three months for voting against the whip on calling for a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment.

However, the deputy says her future in the party is secure in spite of being heavily at odds with policy on abortion. Ms Nolan says she is so confident that the referendum will fail to pass that she won't be forced to vote against any further party policy including future legislation on the matter.

"We'll wait and see what happens. I'm very confident that this will be defeated."

Her party colleague Peadair Toibin - the only other Sinn Féin member against repealing the Eighth - is of a similar view.

"There's a good chance that the referendum is going to fail; and even if it passes the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis will have to decide on policy; and then the fractured nature of the Dáil means there won't be appetite for the legislation", he said.

Mr Toibin was speaking at the launch of the 'Cherish all the Children' campaign, which comprises of left-wing activists and republicans campaiging against repeal.

Meanwhile in the Dáil, Socialist TD Ruth Coppinger unfurled an image of a pro-repeal mural recently ordered to be removed from a Dublin arts centre. She told TDs: "We should not allow political censorship."

Political opponents heckled that the move was a political stunt.

Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher reprimanded Ms Coppinger: "You can't do that and you know it is wrong to do that."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he believed the mural, created by Dublin artist Maser, may have now become more popular as a result of being removed. He also said: "I don't find the mural in any way offensive."

Irish Independent

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