Any abor­tion laws will be bal­anced: Coveney

Irish Daily Mail - - One Day To Go ... - By Se­nan Molony and Michelle O’Ke­effe se­nan.molony@dai­ly­

SI­MON Coveney yes­ter­day told un­de­cided vot­ers ahead of next week’s ref­er­en­dum: ‘No­body is pro-abor­tion.’

The Tá­naiste was speak­ing in the Dáil as he tried to re­as­sure ‘don’t knows’ that any leg­is­la­tion on the ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nan­cies would ‘strike the right bal­ance’.

His in­ter­ven­tion came as pro-life cam­paign­ers placed a gi­ant No sign on Sligo’s Ben Bul­ben yes­ter­day.

Yes­ter­day a poll showed the No side on 32% and the Yes side on 44%. Some 17% are un­de­cided.

Mr Coveney told the Dáil he wanted to re­as­sure ‘the many peo­ple who are still un­de­cided’, those who recog­nise change is needed but who are a lit­tle con­cerned that it may go too far.

He said if the re­sult of the May 25 vote was Yes then there were ‘many mem­bers of the Oireach­tas who will en­sure the change we will make in leg­is­la­tion will re­spect and pro­tect women’.

Mr Coveney said: ‘We will also recog­nise the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the State to­wards pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tions for the un­born. What the Gov­ern­ment is propos­ing to do will strike the right bal­ance if we are given the op­por­tu­nity.’

But he fur­ther de­clared: ‘We will not be able to do any­thing if the peo­ple vote No be­cause it will mean a freez­ing of time.

‘We will be stuck with all of the dilem­mas we face to­day and turn a blind eye to many of them if we do not choose to change.’

An Ip­sos/mrbi poll for the Ir­ish Times yes­ter­day showed 44% of adults in­tend to vote Yes in the ref­er­en­dum; 32% No; and 17% are un­de­cided; and 7% will not vote or say how they will cast their bal­lot. When the un­de­cided, not telling and not vot­ing are ex­cluded, there is a 58% Yes score to 42% for No.

Yes­ter­day a gi­ant No sign in­stalled by pro-life cam­paign­ers on Sligo’s iconic Ben Bul­ben mountain sparked con­tro­versy.

A team of 20 started form­ing the two-di­men­sional sign us­ing white plas­tic sheet­ing on the north­side of the mountain at 4am yes­ter­day. One pro-life cam­paigner who helped erect the 100-me­tre let­ter­ing claimed the group did it as ‘a cry from the mountain to save Ire­land’s ba­bies’.

It sparked an an­gry re­ac­tion on so­cial me­dia with many ac­cus­ing the cam­paign­ers of van­dal­ism.

But Tommy Banks of the Sligo for Life No campaign in­sisted he’d ob­tained per­mis­sion from the relevant landown­ers.

He also told Ocean FM: ‘There are sev­eral teenage young men here help­ing out – men of all ages. And there are women here as well down get­ting tea and sand­wiches ready. It is a cry from the mountain to save Ire­land’s ba­bies.’

Users on so­cial me­dia ac­cused cam­paign­ers of ‘de­fac­ing’ the mountain’.

Sligo County Coun­cil said: ‘As the land where the let­ter­ing was placed is com­mon­age, Sligo County Coun­cil has no role in this mat­ter.’

But Fiona Can­don of Sligo Cham­ber of Com­merce said: ‘It is ter­ri­ble that our beau­ti­ful iconic Ben Bul­ben is be­ing shown in such a light to­day.’

‘Pro­tec­tion for the un­born too’

Just say No: The sign on Ben Bul­ben in Sligo yes­ter­day

Tá­naiste: Si­mon Coveney

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