Latest: Abortion Referendum Bill passes all stages in the Dáil

Update 9.21pm: The abortion referendum bill has passed all stages in the Dáil this evening.

Pro-life TDs Mattie McGrath and Danny Healy Rae called a number of votes in an effort to stall the legislation.

In the end it passed all stages by a comfortable majority.

The bill goes to the Seanad for debate next week.

It means the government is on course with its plan to hold a vote on repealing the 8th amendment in early May.

Update 7.40pm: Referendum Bill begins committee stage debate in the Dáil

The Referendum Bill has begun its committee stage debate in the Dáil this evening.

You can watch it live below.

Earlier, the Minister for Health welcomed the passing of the Referendum Bill through the second stage in the Dáil.

It was passed by a large majority - 110 deputies voted in favour and 32 against.

Simon Harris thanked deputies who have contributed to the debate so far, saying they have done so in a respectful manner.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin says he is appealing for reasoned argument around the country.

"Very shortly now it will be handed over to the people for their decision," said Mr Howlin.

"It will be taken out of the hands of the 158 TDs and 60 Senators and it will be a matter for every citizen of Ireland to interpret what their view of the law should be and to make their decision accordingly.

"I hope the discussions will be as good-tempered across the country as they have been in the Oireachtas, by and large."

Update 2.58pm: More than half of FF TDs vote against holding 8th amendment referendum

More than half of Fianna Fáil TDs have voted against holding a referendum on the eighth amendment, calling into question Micheál Martin's control of the party and any hope of the Government's 12 weeks post-referendum plans passing, writes Fiachra O'Cionnaith.

The startling situation emerged in a Dáil vote on the referendum bill this afternoon, which saw 110 TDs vote in favour of the referendum taking place and 32 saying they are opposed.

After two days of intense debate and months of public discussion, it had been anticipated that only 15 of the Dáil's 158 TDs would vote against the referendum bill.

However, the number was more than doubled in the vote this afternoon, mainly due to Fianna Fáil's sudden veering away from holding a referendum - with 21 of the party's TDs voting against, 20 in favour and three not attending.

The Fianna Fáil push-back has raised serious questions over whether Micheál Martin has control of his party as he made it clear in recent weeks he is fully supportive of holding a referendum, a yes vote and proposed 12 weeks legislation.

In addition, it will call into question whether the 12 weeks bill will be passed in the future, should the referendum result in a yes vote.

However, in a further cause of concern, the Fianna Fáil push-back is also likely to be heavily criticised by members of the public, who will be effectively gagged from having their voice heard if the referendum does not take place.

The result of the Dáil vote on the referendum bill - which will now go to the Seanad for a similar vote - is detailed in full below:

    Fine Gael

    VOTED YES (41)

    Bailey, Maria.

    Breen, Pat.

    Brophy, Colm.

    Bruton, Richard.

    Burke, Peter.

    Byrne, Catherine.

    Carey, Joe.

    Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.

    Creed, Michael.

    Daly, Jim.

    D'Arcy, Michael.

    Deasy, John.

    Deering, Pat.

    Donohoe, Paschal.

    Doyle, Andrew.

    Durkan, Bernard J.

    English, Damien.

    Farrell, Alan.

    Fitzgerald, Frances.

    Flanagan, Charles.

    Harris, Simon.

    Heydon, Martin.

    Humphreys, Heather.

    Kehoe, Paul.

    Kyne, Seán.

    Madigan, Josepha.

    McEntee, Helen.

    McHugh, Joe.

    McLoughlin, Tony.

    Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.

    Murphy, Eoghan.

    Naughton, Hildegarde.

    Neville, Tom.

    Noonan, Michael.

    O'Connell, Kate.

    O'Dowd, Fergus.

    Phelan, John Paul.

    Ring, Michael.

    Rock, Noel.

    Stanton, David.

    Varadkar, Leo.

    VOTED NO (2)

    Barrett, Seán.

    Fitzpatrick, Peter.

    NOT RECORDED (7)

    Cannon, Ciarán.

    Coveney, Simon.

    Doherty, Regina.

    Griffin, Brendan.

    Kenny, Enda.

    Murphy, Dara.

    O'Donovan, Patrick.

    Fianna Fáil

    VOTED YES (20)

    Brassil, John.

    Browne, James.

    Byrne, Thomas.

    Calleary, Dara.

    Chambers, Lisa.

    Collins, Niall.

    Cowen, Barry.

    Donnelly, Stephen S.

    Dooley, Timmy.

    Lahart, John.

    Lawless, James.

    Martin, Micheál.

    McGrath, Michael.

    Moynihan, Michael.

    O'Brien, Darragh.

    O'Callaghan, Jim.

    O'Dea, Willie.

    O'Loughlin, Fiona.

    Rabbitte, Anne.

    Troy, Robert.

    VOTED NO (21)

    Aylward, Bobby.

    Breathnach, Declan.

    Butler, Mary.

    Cahill, Jackie.

    Casey, Pat.

    Cassells, Shane.

    Chambers, Jack.

    Curran, John.

    Gallagher, Pat The Cope.

    Haughey, Seán.

    MacSharry, Marc.

    McGuinness, John.

    Moynihan, Aindrias.

    Murphy, Eugene.

    Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.

    Ó Cuív, Éamon.

    O'Keeffe, Kevin.

    O'Rourke, Frank.

    Scanlon, Eamon.

    Smith, Brendan.

    Smyth, Niamh.

    NOT RECORDED (3)

    Fleming, Sean.

    Kelleher, Billy.

    McConalogue, Charlie.

    Sinn Féin

    VOTED YES (19)

    Brady, John.

    Buckley, Pat.

    Crowe, Seán.

    Cullinane, David.

    Doherty, Pearse.

    Ferris, Martin.

    Kenny, Martin.

    McDonald, Mary Lou.

    Mitchell, Denise.

    Munster, Imelda.

    Ó Broin, Eoin.

    Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.

    Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.

    Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.

    O'Brien, Jonathan.

    O'Reilly, Louise.

    Quinlivan, Maurice.

    Stanley, Brian.

    Tóibín, Peadar.

    VOTED NO (1)

    Nolan, Carol.

    NOT RECORDED (3)

    Adams, Gerry.

    Ellis, Dessie.

    Funchion, Kathleen.

    Note: Deputy Gerry Adams inadvertently voted in Deputy Peadar Tóibín's seat.

    Labour Party

    VOTED YES (7)

    Burton, Joan.

    Howlin, Brendan.

    Kelly, Alan.

    O'Sullivan, Jan.

    Penrose, Willie.

    Ryan, Brendan.

    Sherlock, Sean.

    Solidarity-People Before Profit

    VOTED YES (6)

    Barry, Mick.

    Boyd Barrett, Richard.

    Coppinger, Ruth.

    Kenny, Gino.

    Murphy, Paul.

    Smith, Bríd.

    Independents 4 Change

    VOTED YES (7)

    Broughan, Thomas P.

    Collins, Joan.

    Connolly, Catherine.

    Daly, Clare.

    O'Sullivan, Maureen.

    Pringle, Thomas.

    Wallace, Mick.

    Rural Independent Group

    VOTED YES (1)

    Harty, Michael.

    VOTED NO (6)

    Collins, Michael.

    Grealish, Noel.

    Healy-Rae, Danny.

    Healy-Rae, Michael.

    Lowry, Michael.

    McGrath, Mattie.

    Social Democrats-Green Party Group

    VOTED YES (5)

    Healy, Seamus.

    Martin, Catherine.

    Murphy, Catherine.

    Ryan, Eamon.

    Shortall, Róisín.

    Others

    VOTED YES (4)

    McGrath, Finian.

    Naughten, Denis.

    Ross, Shane.

    Zappone, Katherine.

    VOTED NO (2)

    Canney, Seán.

    Fitzmaurice, Michael.

    NOT RECORDED (2)

    Halligan, John.

    Moran, Kevin Boxer.

Update 2.25pm: Second stage of abortion referendum bill passes

The second stage of the bill to allow the staging of an abortion referendum has passed by a large majority today in the Dail - by 110 votes to 32.

Over 100 TDs voted in favour of moving the Thirty-Sixth Amendment of the Constitutional Bill 2018 to Committee stage.

The committee stage will commence after 7pm and is expected to continue until 11pm.

The Labour Party Leader has welcomed the outcome of the second stage vote.

"This is undoubtedly a historic day but while a significant milestone it doesn't mark the end of the journey. We will have a referendum now that we need to win and I look forward to the bill swiftly moving through the Oireachtas," said Deputy Howlin.

"Labour will campaign on this referendum as a party. We will put compassion for families that find themselves in difficult positions at the heart of the campaign.

"We will reiterate the right of Irish women to have modern healthcare available at home.

"We will do so with determination and dignity but we will respect those who hold different views that will be held as firmly as we hold ours.

"Ultimately, the Irish people deserve a debate that will inform not repulse them."

Earlier: Dáil concludes second stage debate on Abortion Referendum Bill

The Dáil sat until close to midnight last night to conclude the second stage debate of the Abortion Referendum Bill.

The late night discussion was to facilitate the speedy passage of the legislation. The bill will outline the exact wording of the question that is to be put to the electorate.

They returned from their St Patrick's Day break a day early for the discussions.

The government needs to have the bill signed into law by Easter to allow for a May referendum.

Concluding the session, Health Minister Simon Harris praised TDs for the tone of the debate: "I think that's important, I think it's important that we set the tone in the House and that we hope that when the debate leaves this House it is the tone that can be continued.

"There will be plenty of time to tease out the issues, to discuss the issues."

Digital Desk


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