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Mary Hanafin
Mary Hanafin
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Mary Hanafin won't say if she supports or opposes same-sex marriage

The Fianna Fáil councillor is staying out of the debate ahead of May’s referendum.
Jan 20th 2015, 8:25 PM 19,115 147

FIANNA FÁIL COUNCILLOR Mary Hanafin will not be getting involved in the debate on same-sex marriage, declining to say whether she supports or opposes the passage of the referendum in May.

The former cabinet minister voted against a motion before Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council calling for a positive outcome to the referendum on same-sex marriage.

Hanafin was the only councillor to vote against the motion with her party colleague and rival Kate Feeney abstaining on the vote. Hanafin insisted that her vote was not related to the merits of the issue.

Speaking to today, she explained that her view was that the council should “not be taking a stance” on the issue and argued that such a vote was not appropriate given the wording of the referendum is not yet known.

“I made that clear at the meeting, I voted against all the motions on referenda,” she said today, adding that votes were also held on the fluoridisation of water and the privatisation of Irish Water.

Asked repeatedly whether she was in favour of same-sex marriage, Hanafin said that she would not be getting involved in the debate or the referendum campaign ahead of May’s  vote.

“I’m not getting involved in that realm at all. I have nothing to offer it, I have no insight into it, so I’m not getting involved,” she said.

When it was put to her that this could be interpreted in some quarters as her opposing the passage of the referendum she said that “people can interpret all they like”.

“I’m not participating in it. I didn’t participate in the last one on children’s rights. I won’t be getting involved in it at all,” she added.

Fianna Fáil’s official position is to support the passage of the same-sex marriage referendum having debated and passed a motion at its Ard Fheis in 2012.

Originally published: 11.32

Read: New poll shows 76% support for same-sex marriage

Read: ‘I think it is time to do this’: Enda Kenny is happy to campaign for same-sex marriage

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Hugh O'Connell


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