Tánaiste says government won’t split over abortion

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said that the “sensitive issue” of abortion will not destabilise the Government.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said that the “sensitive issue” of abortion will not destabilise the Government.

Speaking to media in Glenties before the opening of the MacGill Summer School yesterday, he was responding to remarks made earlier in the day by Minister Kathleen Lynch, who is also a member of the Labour party.

The Minister of State for Health told RTÉ’s This Week she believed a forthcoming report from the expert advisory group on abortion would force the Government to introduce legislation allowing for abortion in certain circumstances.

The group was set up in January to make recommendations following a European Court judgement in 2010 that Ireland had failed to uphold the right to lawful abortion when a mother’s life is at risk. The group’s report is due in September.

A number of Fine Gael TDS and Senators have already said they will oppose any attempt to introduce legislation that would allow abortion in Ireland.

Speaking in Glenties, the tánaiste said he did “not want to speculate” about what the advisory group’s recommendations might be.

“The way in which we have chosen to deal with that is by putting in place an expert group, which will inform the Government as to what is the best way of dealing with it,” he commented.

He also said that the Government is able to deal with contentious issues.

“I think that we have shown over the life of this Government our ability to deal with issues as they arise, and to reach agreement on them.”