Only six of Sligo’s eighteen Councillors backed motion calling for repeal of Eighth Amendment

Public support for removal of Amendment has plunged.

Northwest TDs against repeal.

Sligo News File

It must have been disappointing for Gino O’Boyle to see a sizeable body of councillors leaving the September meeting of Sligo County Council just before his motion calling for the Repeal the Eighth Amendment came up for discussion.

Cllr. Gino O’Boyle

O’Boyle’s motion asked that “Sligo County Council write to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and ask him when will a referendum on Repeal the 8th take place and also Sligo County
Council support having a referendum.” 

The motion was carried but before the vote was taken a large body of councillors had apparently left the chamber.

Of those who remained, two voted against the motion, one abstained, leaving only six, including the proposer in favour.

Marked as absent were: Casserly, Independent, Clarke, Independent, Healy, Sinn Fein, Maguire, Fianna Fail, MacSharry, Fianna Fail, Mulvey, Fine Gael, O’Grady, Fianna Fail, Queenan, Independent, and Taylor, Fianna Fail. However, Casserly and Maguire are not listed among the attendees at the meeting.

The six supporters of O’Boyle’s motion were Bree, Independent, Henry, Fianna Fail, Keaney, Fine Gael, Kilgannon, Fianna Fail, MacManus, Sinn Fein and O’Boyle.

Lundy and Baker, both Fianna Fail, opposed the motion.

Gormley, an Independent, abstained.

Seemingly there is no great appetite among most Councillors for the removal of the Amendment from the Constitution.

At least three Northwest TDs, Fianna Fail deputies Marc McSharry, Eamon Scanlon and Pat the Cope Gallagher are all against repealing the Eighth amendment.

Councillor O’Boyle is a member of the People Before Profit Alliance which early last year moved a Bill in the Dail proposing that the penalty for procuring or assisting an abortion in Ireland be reduced to a €1 fine.

There was also controversy when the Independent reported last September that Trinity People Before Profit defended their members who were allegedly pictured cutting down posters advertising a pro-life event in Dublin.

It was claimed that a Facebook post on their page “showed two members of their group cutting down a poster along with the message: “2 comrades, 1 pair of scissors, 32 vile anti-choice posters surrounding the campus. A successful evening indeed”.

The posters were advertising an event by The Life Institute and Unbroken Ireland that had been scheduled for a Dublin hotel.

Polls show that public support for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment and abortion up to 12 weeks has plunged from 65% in 2018 to 56% in January 2018.