Monday 19 March 2018

Lucinderella unlikely to get fairytale ending from this saga

Lise Hand

Lise Hand

It was all supposed to be wrapped up with a neat bow by 10pm. Then mid-morning, the Taoiseach announced that the House would sit until midnight. By lunchtime the debate was extended till 2am.

Surely that would be an end to it? But no. Just after 10pm chief whip Paul Kehoe rose and informed everyone that the Dail would remain in session up to 5am.

But this wasn't some piece of emergency legislation being hustled through the Oireachtas to prop up a toppling bank. This was the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. This was the culmination of a parliamentary knife-fight that began – not several months ago when the death of Savita Halappanavar dragged abortion onto the political agenda – in 1982.

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