Monday 19 February 2018

John Downing: Why divisive X-case legacy could blow up in Taoiseach's face

ENDA Kenny has taken the first steps in a very tricky process which will define his term as Taoiseach. The issue of abortion sits right on the Fine Gael-Labour Coalition fault-line. It also sits on the old dividing line in his own party between traditionalists and advocates of change. If he can successfully put through a compromise which deals with the sensitive issues involved, he will have resolved a 30-year-old intractable issue and be entitled to considerable political kudos.

But failure to deal with this matter could be calamitous for Mr Kenny and his government.

The one thing the Taoiseach has consistently said on the abortion issue is that he will not for one second countenance a free vote of TDs and senators. Mr Kenny is insistent that a workable compromise must be framed after a full debate.

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