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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 16 November, 2018

At least eight Fianna Fáil reps hold a meeting about Micheal Martin's pro-repeal speech

Martin made his position known last week.

Bobby Aylward and Micheal Martin.
Bobby Aylward and Micheal Martin.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/

A GROUP OF Fianna Fáil TDs has met to discuss their opposition to repealing the Eighth Amendment.

The group of seven TDs and one senator met in response to the party leader Micheal Martin’s support of repeal.

Martin made his position known last week, but despite being praised by many outside the party, there is a growing swell of opposition within party ranks. The Fianna Fáil leader told the Dáil on Thursday that he has come to the view that the Eighth Amendment has caused “real damage to Irish women“ and should be repealed.

TDs were invited to the meeting, held in a Leinster House committee room by TD Bobby Aylward, who told reporters afterwards that the “like-minded individuals” felt that due to the pro-choice stance of front-bench members like Lisa Chambers, Billy Kelleher and Martin, their stance wasn’t being heard.

However, Aylward said that the group was not formal and, most importantly, was not challenging Martin’s leadership.

This is not about the leadership. This about the Eighth Amendment and our position on it.

He said that the majority of the party is pro-life, but does not believe the issue has split the party. That is despite Aylward claiming that a frontbench member of the party asked him to cancel the meeting.

“This is not splitting the party – Micheal Martin’s leadership never came into it. He as a man is entitled to his view, as am I and everyone. I just thought that it was time for the ordinary members of Fianna Fáil to let him know that there is another side to this.”

He added that he had been “inundated” since making it known on Friday that he does not back his leader.

Aylward added that he will speak at tomorrow’s Fianna Fáil parliamentary party to put his points across.

He said he would ask the party’s press office to ensure Fianna Fáil members on both sides of the issue were picked to debate the issue.

Read: ‘Households will be split’ – Leading Fianna Fáil TD doesn’t back his leader on abortion

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