Wednesday 21 March 2018

Taoiseach: We have been clear that abortion is an issue for the next government

Enda Kenny (Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins)
Enda Kenny (Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins)

Group Political Correspondent

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny says he does not want the country "convulsed" as it was in the 1980s over the abortion issue.

Speaking at an event in Dublin this morning, Mr Kenny said any further developments in terms of changing the laws governing abortion will be a matter for the next Government.

"These are all very sensitive issues, tragic cases. The bill presented to the Dail was unconstitutional," he said.

He said that the Government can only deal with matters that are constitutional.

Read more: Fine Gael rebuked pleas by Labour for a free vote

"There are a number of very sensitive issues that cannot be treated glibly. Issues relating to fatal foetal abnormality are very controversial which will have to be dealt with in the future," he added.

"We have already made it clear that this is a matter for the next Government," the Taoiseach said.

Mr Kenny also denied the Government has made its mind up on Aer Lingus, saying the cabinet have not yet considered the matter yet.

Speaking at an Jobs growth event in Croke Park, Mr Kenny and Tanaiste

Joan Burton said the Oireachtas IAG boss Willie Walsh is before the committee tomorrow and Mr Kenny said members of the committee will ask all the relevant questions as to the nature of the offer for the former national airline.

Asked about mixed messages from Government over refusing a debt deal for Greece in recent days, Mr Kenny said finance minister Michael Noonan has set out clearly the Irish Government's position.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney in the United States made comments which were more in favour of a deal being extended.

Yesterday, Mr Noonan strongly ruled out any Irish support for a debt forgiveness deal for the new Athens Government.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton this morning have launched a €250m plan to grow jobs in small towns and villages across the country.

With Croke Park chosen at the venue, there was a strong air of electioneering at the event which was to announce how the Government plans to grow jobs in regions outside Dublin where the economic recovery has been weaker.

As part of the Action Plan for Jobs, the first tranche of €50m of Enterprise Funding will be made available this year.

At the event, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said funding under these programmes will be allocated on a competitive basis, with most funds awarded to regional projects in towns.

The plan has divided the country up into 8 regions. ;; They are: South East (Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Wexford, Waterford); South West (Kerry and Cork); Mid West (Clare, North Tipperary, Limerick); West (Mayo, Roscommon, Galway); Midlands (Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath); Border (Cavan,  Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo); Mid East (KIldare, Meath, Wicklow) and Dublin.

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