Roscommon Councillors Defer Abortion Decision

Members of Roscommon County Council will wait until the government’s legislation on abortion is published before they will consider asking for a referendum. Fianna Fail’s Cllr. Paddy Kilduff had brought up a motion calling for a referendum, during the January meeting, and it was seconded by his party colleague, Cllr. John Keogh.
However despite the general agreement throughout the council on an abortion referendum, there was also a view from some members on allowing abortion legislation to go through.
Independent Cllr. John Murphy, (who replaced Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, when he left the council for the Dail) said that the question has been given to the people several times.
“We shouldn’t be looking for a referendum,” said Cllr. Murphy.
“I’m not in favour of abortion, and you might get a referendum, but you mightn’t get the result you are looking for,” said Independent Cllr. Laurence Fallon speaking directly to Cllr. Kilduff. “The opinion polls are saying that 60% are in favour of abortion legislation.”
Cllr. Fallon was a Fine Gael member who left the party in 2011, after the closing of Roscommon’s accident and emergency unit.
Hospital Action Group councillor, Valerie Byrne said there is plenty of talk about the people for abortion, and for those against, but there is little talk about the “people in the middle,”
“It should go to the people,” said Cllr. Byrne.
Her colleague, and sister, Cllr. Paula McNamara said that she was “against abortion,” and supported the motion.
Fine Gael’s Cllr. Sean Beirne said he was told the legislation will be about the most limited form of abortion, and just “strictly cover the x case,”
The Sinn Fein member, Cllr. Michael Mulligan said he was anti abortion, and that he would support the motion, but would like to see the wording first.
Cllr. Kilduff was convinced by many of the members including Mayor Tom Crosby to wait and see what the legislation wording was. The Mayor said that it would then be put back on the agenda for consideration by the council.
“I would then like it to go back to the people,” said Cllr. Kilduff.

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