57 percent of the electorate in Mayo voted Yes on Friday to remove the Eighth Amendment from our constitution.
In the run up to the vote, during the eight week Referendum campaign the Fine Gael deputies in the county were less than forthcoming on whether they were for or against its repeal. Both Minister Michael Ring and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to indicate how they would be voting.
However, the Fianna Fail deputies in Mayo were clear on where they stood on the issue, Lisa Chambers was saying Yes and deputy Dara Calleary was saying No on Friday last.
Today Deputy Calleary told Midwest News that he remains opposed to abortion but says as a democrat he will vote for the legislation to allow it.
Throughout the referendum campaign Midwest News sought the views of the Fine Gael deputies on the repeal issue, but we only succeeded in getting any response on Tuesday last.
A spokesperson for the former Taoiseach Enda Kenny said on Tuesday that Deputy Kenny had not taken part in any interviews on the abortion debate, and was unlikely to do so before Friday. The spokesperson did not indicate Mr Kenny’s position on the referendum.
On the same day in response to Midwest News, Minister Michael Ring said he was a member of the Dail which had facilitated putting the referendum on the Eighth Amendment before the people of Ireland. He pointed out that the Government has published draft legislation in relation to abortion, but insisted it is the people of Ireland that will make the decision in Friday’s referendum.
Minister Ring said that, if the No vote won, then nothing would change. If people decide to vote Yes to repeal the Eighth amendment, it will then be up to the Government and the Oireachtas to introduce legislation, and stated that he would make his views known then.
Midwest News asked Minister Ring this morning how he will be voting on the legislation. He said he will be attending the Cabinet meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) - where the matter will be discussed and he will speak on the matter after that.
The Fianna deputies in Mayo were very clear on how they would vote on Friday last. Lisa Chambers was a definite Yes, and her colleague Dara Calleary was saying No.
Lisa Chambers told Midwest News on Saturday that she hoped the legislation on abortion will be introduced as soon as possible in the wake of the clear mandate from the electorate.