Thursday 18 January 2018

Labour have enough to do without this abortion row

Joan Burton
Joan Burton
John Downing

John Downing

Here's one from the little-known Irish political facts department. The last time the Irish nation was asked to vote in a referendum on the vexed issue of abortion was in March 2002. And in fact, only four out of 10 of the voters bothered to show at the polls. Maybe that is why so few people remember it.

Yet on the day the result was intriguing, with a pretty even 50:50 split - 49.6pc said 'Yes' and 50.4pc said 'No'. Just 10,500 voters decided it.

It all comes to mind this week as some Labour TDs and senators make noises about breaking ranks tomorrow and voting in favour of a bill being put forward by Independent TD Clare Daly. It is clear that many people believe the issues surrounding abortion remain very much unfinished business.

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