Pat Rabbitte on the politics of Repeal the Eighth

Pat Rabbitte on the politics of Repeal the Eighth
After a mural in support of abortion rights at Dublins Project Arts Centre was painted over, the Irish Council of Civil Liberties unveiled a replica in the window of its offices Picture: Collins

Many young people who marched yesterday will not be aware of how the issue was dealt with in the 1970s and 1980s

The author and former Labour TD John Horgan records in his book, The Price of Power, some of the exchanges within the parliamentary Labour Party in the 1970s on what had become known as “issues of conscience”. The chairman, Tom Kyne TD, was laying down the law on the need for discipline and maintenance of the whip. He digressed, however, to say that “on the other hand, if the government were, for instance, to bring in a bill legalising abortion, I might have to consider my position on that”.

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