TDs are prepared to sit in the Dáil until midnight tonight to debate the bill on the abortion referendum.

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

The bill includes the wording of the question to be put to the electorate.

Voters will be asked whether to retain or repeal the amendment, which gives equal rights to life to the  mother and the unborn .

In an effort to meet the target of holding the referendum at the end of May, the Dáil may sit until midnight tonight if necessary, to allow the bill to pass second stage.

Time has also been allocated for the bill tomorrow and on Thursday, and the Government hopes it will pass all stages in the Dáil this week and in the Seanad next week.

However the minority Government cannot guarantee that timeline.

The public is expected to be given a  vote on the 8th Amendment at the end of May.



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