Updated: 23/01/18 : 06:05:55
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Two Sligo TDs oppose repealing the Eight Amendment

Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators opposed to repealing the Eighth Amendment have been invited to a “coming together of like-minded people” later today, Tuesday.

Carlow-Kilkenny TD Bobby Aylward emailed each individual party member, seeking their attendance at a meeting in Leinster House at 6pm. Mr Aylward said he had been approached by a number of TDs and Senators “who are anxious to come together and discuss the matter further”.

Two Sligo - Leitrim TDs are likely to attend the meeting this evening.

Fianna Fáil's Marc Mac Sharry and Eamon Scanlon have declared their intention to vote against repealing the Eight Amendment.

Speaking in the Dáil last week, party leader Micheál Martin confirmed he would support removing Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution and allowing for terminations up to 12 weeks.

His comments caused anger within the party, with some TDs insisting he should have informed them ahead of his speech in the House.

Deputy Mac Sharry has always been against abortion in Ireland and stated his stance during the 2016 general election campaign. He recently said that his position has not changed.

Deputy Scanlon, in a speech following Micheál Martin's declaration, said "as a father I feel the best way I could support my daughter or another relation or friend in a pregnancy crisis is if I also supported the little child that she was carrying."

Both TDs said that their party leader's views was a personal opinion, to which he is entitled to.

Fine Gael's local TD Tony McLoughlin said last week that he has yet to make up his mind on the matter while Sinn Féin's TD Martin Kenny is expected to support the removal of the Eight Amendment.

Speaking on Monday on Cork’s RedFm, Micheál Martin said he accepted there were many differing views to his but called for respect in the debate. He is expected to address the matter at a parliamentary party meeting, tomorrow, Wednesday.

The Dáil will continue to debate the recommendations of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment this week.