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Creighton: I believe I made the correct decision

The Government Chief Whip has confirmed that the vote on amendment 56 will lose Creighton her junior ministry.

Updated 21:46

LUCINDA CREIGHTON HAS voted against the government on an amendment to remove the suicide clause – section 9 – from the abortion bill this evening.

The red dot on the front left row of the chamber in this voting chart shows Creighton’s vote:

This vote, even though on an amendment rather than the overall bill, has lost Creighton the party whip – and ultimately her post as Minister of State for European Affairs.

In a statement this evening, Creighton said that she was “deeply disappointed” to have to vote against the government but that she felt “deeply and strongly” that aspects of the bill were based on flawed logic and “zero medical evidence”.

I could not vote for it, particularly in light of Fine Gael’s clear commitment not to introduce abortion prior to the last election.    Promises matter in politics, but particularly in relation to matters of life and death.  This is a promise I could not renege on in any circumstances.

The TD said that she believes she has made the right decision and that she will continue to work hard as a member of the Dáil.

Government Chief Whip, Paul Kehoe, told this evening that the protocol would be as follows:

Once a member of the Fine Gael parliamentary party votes against the Government, they are no longer a member of the parliamentary party, and any position they hold as a Fine Gael parliamentary party member is automatically lost.

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Creighton may still be nominally a Minister of State, however, until a new deputy is appointed to her particular portfolio.

Meanwhile, Róisín Shortall and Tommy Broughan – both former Labour, now independent, TDs who previously lost the party whip – were also noticeable in this particular Dáil vote. Both of them abstained from voting on this amendment.

- additional reporting by Hugh O’Connell, Christine Bohan, Michelle Hennessy

LIVE: Dáil debates abortion bill before final vote>

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