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Clare Daly: Fine Gael and Labour will vote down abortion bill like 'nodding donkeys'

The independent TD called the Taoiseach “a hypocrite” during a heated exchange.

Image: Photocall Ireland

CLARE DALY HAS said that Government backbenchers will vote against her Bill allowing for terminations in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities like “nodding donkeys”.

The independent TD said the Taoiseach will “frogmarch” in Fine Gael and Labour deputies to shoot down the Bill, which is being voted on after 5pm today.

Daly called on Enda Kenny to publish the advice given to him by the Attorney General Máire Whelan, in which she describes the Bill as unconstitutional.

Kenny said the AG’s advice is never published, and he would not be making an exception in this case.

During Leaders’ Questions this afternoon, the Taoiseach said he was aware there are many “tragic” cases, but he doesn’t own the Constitution.

He told Daly:

You don’t own the Constitution, Deputy Daly, nor do I. You can’t change the Constitution, nor can I.

The Technical Group member took exception to this, stating: “How dare you have the arrogance to interpret the Constitution?,” adding that only the courts can do this.

Daly said she has received advice from 43 legal experts about the Bill, noting that Whelan could be incorrect.

She said that current legislation condemns women carrying babies with fatal foetal abnormalities to “the lonely journey, most likely to Liverpool, surrounded by tourists and businessmen while the bottom falls out of their world”.

Daly added that these women and their partners receive the remains of their children “in a jiffy bag and a DHL van”.

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Daly said opinion polls show most Irish people want this type of legislation enacted, adding that Kenny is a hypocrite if he doesn’t arrange a referendum on the issue.

Her choice of words was described as “most unparliamentary” by a heckler.

The Labour parliamentary party is meeting this afternoon to discuss the Bill, with some members expected to miss the vote. At least one TD, Anne Ferris, has said she will break the party whip and vote in favour of the Bill.

Fianna Fáil is allowing a free vote on the issue.

Some Labour TDs could miss today’s abortion vote, no whip on Fianna Fáil deputies

Will anyone else in Labour be as bold or brave as Anne Ferris?

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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