Taoiseach Enda Kenny has moved to defuse public controversy and tensions between the Coalition parties over abortion by promising swift action and calling for a “calm, rational and sensitive discussion”.
However, there was adverse reaction within his own party, with a number of Fine Gael backbenchers complaining that they were being “press-ganged” into moving too rapidly to deal with the matter.
The report of the expert group set up after the 2010 European Court of Human Rights judgment against Ireland on abortion was discussed at Cabinet yesterday morning and subsequently published online.
The report contained four options for the Government, but leaned heavily in favour of a flexible combination of legislation and regulations.
A Dáil debate on the report starts on Tuesday, and Mr Kenny said he would “provide as much time as people desire”.
The Taoiseach said that prior to the Dáil going into recess for Christmas “the Government will make its view known, arising from those discussions and our own views, regarding which option it decides to pursue”.
From January 8th-10th and before the Dáil resumes the Joint Committee on Health and Children will hold public hearings on whatever option is chosen.
Full article by Deaglán de Bréadún and Mary Minihan here
From the Irish Times - 'Taoiseach calls for 'calm' discussion as he pledges swift action on abortion'