Creed un­de­cided on re­peal stance

Irish Examiner - - News - Juno McEn­roe

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Michael Creed has said he sup­ports the plan for a ref­er­en­dum on abor­tion but has yet to make up his mind on rec­om­men­da­tions to lib­er­alise the law on ter­mi­na­tions.

The Fine Gael min­is­ter said he would con­sider his stance af­ter next week’s Dáil de­bate and party meet­ing, be­fore re­veal­ing whether he sup­ports or op­poses change.

“I sup­port the Gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion that a ref­er­en­dum on the Eighth Amend­ment will be held in 2018, which will al­low the Ir­ish peo­ple to make the ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion on the fu­ture of Ar­ti­cle 40.3.3 of the Con­sti­tu­tion,” he told the Ir­ish Ex­am­iner.

“At this point, the fi­nal re­port of the Oireach­tas Com­mit­tee on the Eighth Amend­ment, aris­ing from the re­port and rec­om­men­da­tions of the Cit­i­zens’ Assem­bly on the mat­ter, has been pub­lished. Next week the Oireach­tas will de­bate the con­tent of the re­port.

“Like­wise, the Fine Gael par­lia­men­tary party will meet to dis­cuss the is­sue. Given the se­ri­ous­ness and sen­si­tiv­ity of this im­por­tant mat­ter, it is my in­ten­tion to con­sider in de­tail the con­tent of what arises from the Oireach­tas de­bate, my par­lia­men­tary party col­leagues’ dis­cus­sions on the is­sue, as well as fur­ther Cabi­net de­lib­er­a­tions, be­fore com­ment­ing fur­ther on the mat­ter.”

An Oireach­tas com­mit­tee re­port has rec­om­mended re­peal of the Eighth and al­low­ing un­re­stricted abor­tions up to 12 weeks. Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar this week said the rec­om­men­da­tions had gone fur­ther than peo­ple an­tic­i­pated.

A spe­cial Fine Gael par­lia­men­tary party meet­ing next Mon­day will con­sider the re­port, while time has been set aside for de­bate in the Dáil over three days. All con­trib­u­tors will get to speak for a max­i­mum 10 min­utes or a por­tion of that time. But pro-life Tip­per­ary TD Mat­tie McGrath, who sat on the spe­cial Oireach­tas Com­mit­tee, has for­mally com­plained to the of­fice of the Ceann Comhairle.

“There are 20 min­utes for each TD for road safety leg­is­la­tion, for cli­mate change, or even Dublin Bay, so why not this se­ri­ous is­sue? I don’t care what side peo­ple are on, it de­serves more time. It gives more cre­dence to the whole thing be­ing a setup. But the Gov­ern­ment are run­ning the show and have chore­ographed this.”

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