RTÉ journalist David Davin Power on tonight’s Six One
Of the 52 who voted for this access, 25 stated abortion should be available up to 12 weeks’ gestation, 23 voted for a 22-week limit, while four said there should be no restriction on gestational age.
Further to this.
Tonight, on RTÉ’s Six One news.
RTÉ journalist David Davin Power spoke to Sharon Ní Bheoláin about the results of yesterday’s Citizens’ Assembly.
Sharon Ní Bheoláin: “We’ve been kicking this can, this most difficult and contentious of issues down the road for decades, David. Has the time come where we’re finally going to deal with it?”
David Davin Power: “Sharon, we might be approaching the end game but, as always, the timing is critical. The first thing to say is that the very liberal package of recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly took people very much by surprise here. There was astonishment across all parties that they had recommended something that, it has to be said, is politically unsaleable.
“Only around 24% of the electorate, in the last comparable opinion poll, backed a regime that is that liberal. So, the task of this committee that will be meeting from June onwards is essentially to water down these proposals to the point that they’re not politically toxic. Because if these, if this package was put to the people, the view in Leinster House, certainly is, that it would surely fail.
“But, of course, the timing and the timescale is a problem because, with the best will in the world, this committee, if it sits in June and reports in September, if it works through the summer, there’ll be very limited legislative time. And the Dáil returns in October, we have the budget, we have the social welfare bill, so, effectively, the first time we could contemplate having any referendum on this is next year, maybe around April next year.”
“And, of course, that’s the time when you could be facing a general election, if the package between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil unravels. but one thing I have detected around Leinster House today is that there does seem to be, there does seem to be a will to crack on with this now. If only to make sure that the issue is disposed of before that general election but ultimately this will be a problem for a new Taoiseach and, potentially, a new Government.”
Watch back here