Saturday 17 February 2018

John Downing: Abortion will be the issue to drive wedge between Coalition parties

'ENDA always had a foot firmly in both camps." That's how one veteran Fine Gael politician sums up the Taoiseach's stance on Fine Gael's traditional internal divide between its Christian and social democrat wings.

Each wing has taken diametrically opposed stances on Ireland's 'alternative trinity' issues of abortion, divorce and contraception, which often proved difficult for Mr Kenny's generation of politicians.

The topic of abortion, especially, has long sat right on Fine Gael's internal fault line with the potential to convulse the party. Add to that the Labour Party's strong insistence that there must soon be legislation on abortion, and you have a very tricky situation facing Mr Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.

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