Tuesday, 24th April 2018
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Under Starter’s Orders

With canvassing already taking place on the doorsteps in Waterford it would appear that campaigning for the referendum in relation to the 8th Amendment is already occurring in earnest. While the debate surrounding the referendum is ongoing in the Dáil it would seem that the Government's resolution to hold the referendum in late May will take place.

There have been quite a number of TDs who have voted against the holding of a referendum with up to half of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party voting against holding a vote. Only in Sinn Féin has there been some sort of controversy with one of it's members going against the party and voting against the holding of a referendum. That person has been suspended from the parliamentary party for three months.

It would also seem that unlike the other parties which are holding free votes, other members of Sinn Féin around the country are deliberately taking a contrary view against the repeal of the 8th Amendment in direct contradiction to the party's mandated line on the matter. How they will be dealt with remains to be seen.

Although the referendum to either repeal or keep the 8th Amendment won't be held until the end of May it would seem that there are already a lot of groups that have come out and made their opinions known both pro and anti. The one thing that is certain is that campaigning will become more intense as the weeks go on and the debate will be set to take over the country as more and more people become involved.

This will be the first time since the early 1980's that there will have been a referendum vote as to whether abortion will be allowed here in Ireland. Some, although very, very few, abortions are allowed in Ireland at the moment but if the repeal of the 8th Amendment is passed then that will mean that this will change dramatically. The ‘keep the 8th Amendment’ lobby believes that the introduction of abortion to Ireland will be a retrograde step and one that people will quickly come to realise is both wrong and harmful. However, for the moment, campaigning around the referendum hasn't fully taken off as yet but that will probably all change once the Dáil goes through the motions of setting up it's view on the matter and formally announces the wording of the referendum vote. The one thing that remains to be really said about this matter is that everyone who can vote should ensure that they know as much about the issue as possible and that everyone who is entitled to vote comes out and do so on the day in question.

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