At the Fianna Fáil ard fhéis last October, the party’s membership voted overwhelmingly to oppose the repeal of the 8th Amendment. Recently, in the Dáil, the party’s leader, Micheál Martin, not only said he supported the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, but also the radical proposals for abortion on demand that have been proposed by an Oireachtas committee.
Mr Martin is not just a backbencher. What he says is seen as the position of his party. He is the public face of the party and aspires to be Taoiseach.
The people who voted for Fianna Fáil in the last election did not do so to bring about a radically liberal abortion regime in Ireland. Other parties assertively pushed that agenda.
Those who voted so decisively on this issue at the October ard fheis are the very people whom Mr Martin would be expecting to be his foot-soldiers in the next election.
Having abused his position by calling for abortion-on-demand in Ireland, contrary to the democratically expressed position of his party, it is difficult to see how Mr Martin can lead it into the next election. Maybe Mr Martin should join Fine Gael.