Updated: 26/01/18 : 06:57:05
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Cowen and O'Cuiv differ on Eight Amendment

Fianna Fáil TD, Barry Cowen, told the Dáil last night that he could not stand by while the state repeats the mistakes of the past on abortion.

Deputy Cowen supported repealing the Eight Amendment while a number of his party colleagues called for its retention.

He said that studying the detail of the committee report on abortion helped him to make up his mind.

He went on: “I have been present as the State offered apologies to the women of the Magdalen laundries and more recently to Joanne Hayes, the woman at the centre of the Kerry babies case. I’ve only been a TD for seven years and I’ve come to realise the horrors inflicted on women, particularly and crucially, pregnant women.

"I cannot stand by and allow similar mistakes be made as was made in the past."

Human right

Repealing the Eight Amendment would be the first time Irish people actively voted to get rid of a human right, according to Fianna Fáil TD Eamon O'Cuiv.

Deputy O'Cuiv spoke strongly against liberalising Ireland's abortion laws in the Dáil.

"This referendum will be the first time ever that a referendum will be brought in that will take a fundamental human right to life away from so many".

The Oireachtas debate on the 8th amendment has been adjourned, and may resume next week.