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Four Fine Gael rebels will lose committee memberships... and their offices

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin has said that Peadar Tóibín’s decision to vote against the party on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill is a “serious breach of party rules”.

Rebel TDs Peter Mathews (centre), Billy Timmins and Terence Flanagan (right) pictured with Senator Rónán Mullen (2nd left) at Leinster House this evening
Rebel TDs Peter Mathews (centre), Billy Timmins and Terence Flanagan (right) pictured with Senator Rónán Mullen (2nd left) at Leinster House this evening
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE FOUR FINE Gael TDs who voted against the party whip on the abortion bill earlier this evening will lose their membership of Oireachtas Committees and their current offices in Leinster House.

The Government chief whip Paul Kehoe has confirmed that Brian Walsh, Peter Mathews, Billy Timmins and Terence Flanagan will lose their membership of Oireachtas committees and will be relocated within the Leinster House complex.

Having voted against the government position on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill during second stage in the Dáil tonight, the four TDs are automatically expelled from the Parliamentary Party.

“In fact, they are deemed more to have resigned from the Parliamentary Party,” a Fine Gael spokesperson said.

The four will now be based in alternative offices – away from the Fine Gael wing and likely where Dáil Technical Group TDs are based – as has happened in the case of a number of Labour TDs who have left the parliamentary party in the last two years.

Timmins and Mathews are also now expelled from the Oireachtas Finance Committee with Mathews also struck off the Public Service Oversight and Petitions Committee.

Flanagan and Walsh are expelled from the Transport and Communications committee which just today published a high-profile report on the alcohol industry’s sponsorship of Irish sport.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín’s decision to vote against his party’s position on the legislation means that he will also face disciplinary proceedings.

A spokesperson said tonight: “Peadar Toibín’s decision to vote against the Sinn Féin position is a serious breach of party rules and Deputy Toibin will be subject to disciplinary action, to be decided by the party in due course.”

Tóibín current sits on the Oireachtas Jobs Committee.

Read: TDs vote against extending abortion bill to include fatal foetal abnormalities

More: These are the 24 TDs who voted against the abortion bill

Read: Abortion bill passes first Dáil vote, moves to committee stage

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Hugh O'Connell

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