Time for talking is over – FG wants issue settled, one way or another
AFTER months of talking, there are now signs that a large body of Fine Gael TDs and senators just want the abortion issue settled.
Yet another party meeting was dominated by the issue this week, as Dublin South TD Peter Mathews attempted to put down a motion calling for a free vote on abortion in the Dail and Seanad.
If the fact that Mr Mathews could not even get a seconder for his motion was not evidence enough that the majority of TDs and senators want this issue to go away, then the reaction after the meeting was even more telling.
Cavan Monaghan TD Heather Humphreys had a heated exchange with Mr Mathews at the meeting and told him bluntly that TDs and senators wanted the issue settled. She was cheered into the members' bar afterwards by her party colleagues.
But there are a number of TDs and senators who will be weighing up how they are going to vote and some were angered by what they saw as the leadership trying to shut Mr Mathews down.
As the first abortion vote approaches, the focus will fall on TDs like Terence Flanagan, John O'Mahony, John Paul Phelan, Peter Fitzpatrick, Billy Timmins and Michael Creed as well as Senator Paul Bradford.
However, the real speculation surrounds European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton, who has expressed unease with the legislation but has yet to say which way she will vote.