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'There are two views in the party': Fianna Fáil split after Micheál Martin says he supports repeal

The Carlow–Kilkenny TD said there is a large contingency within the party that did not agree with its leader.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁÍL TD Bobby Aylward said he wants like-minded pro-life members of Fianna Fáil to come together and discuss how they will campaign during the abortion referendum this summer.

The Carlow–Kilkenny TD said there is a large contingent within the party that did not agree with Martin.

In the Dáil yesterday, Martin said that he had changed his mind on the issue and now believes the Eighth Amendment has caused “real damage to Irish women” and that it should be repealed.

His party’s Ard Fheis last year voted in favour of retaining the Eighth Amendment and a majority of the party’s TDs are also believed to be of that view.

Martin stressed that his was a personal choice and not a political one and that members of Fianna Fáil had every right to disagree with him.

Speaking on the News at One on RTÉ Radio One this afternoon, Aylward said that he wants to let the public know that “there are two views in the party”.

Asked if he was to make a stand against the leader over the issue, Aylward said: ”My stand is that whatever group of TDs and senators who are pro life – that we come together and let the media and everyone else know that there is a strong section in Fianna Fáil that have different views to our leader and I think that’s our mandate and what we should do.

We should let people know that there are two views in the party.

The party’s enterprise spokesman Niall Collins has also come out in support of repealing the Eighth Amendment.

However, party colleagues Éamon Ó Cuív, Jack Chambers and Dara Calleary have all indicated that they are not in favour of repeal.

Read: ‘We should remove the Eighth Amendment’ – Micheál Martin has changed his mind >

Poll: Will politicians affect how you vote on a repeal referendum? >

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