Thursday 19 July 2018

Taoiseach has 'shown leadership' on abortion - Sinn Féin tell Dáil

Ireland abortion laws
Ireland abortion laws
Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly Picture: Collins
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

In an unprecedented move Sinn Féin has congratulated Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for “showing leadership” on the planned abortion referendum.

Sinn Féin TD, Louise O'Reilly, told the Dáil Mr Varadkar had shown leadership in his pronouncements on Monday night as she also welcomed his pledge to campaign for change on abortion.

“Thank you most sincerely for that,” the Dublin Fingal TD said.

The Sinn Féin health spokesperson added that she was prepared to go to Mr Varadkar’s own Dublin West constituency, for a joint canvass with him, along with other politicians like Solidarity TD, Ruth Coppinger.

“Perhaps you might come to Fingal and do the same,” Ms O’Reilly said.

Mr Varadkar thanked the Sinn Féin TD for her contribution as he urged all TDs, irrespective of their views on abortion, to back the holding of a referendum. He said nobody under the age of 52 had a chance to vote on the issue and he also urged a respectful debate during the referendum campaign.

Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly Picture: Collins
Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly Picture: Collins

The Taoiseach again committed to trying to hold the referendum in late May. But he said he did not have an overall Dáil majority, and parliamentary debate could not be guillotined without the approval of the parliamentary business committee.

 Mr Varadkar said a summary of the Attorney General’s advice on the referendum will be published this afternoon.  He said this was a most unusual move as the legal advice to Government is generally deemed to be privileged.

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