The world’s media has descended on Co. Roscommon in the run-up to the Abortion Referendum on Friday, May 25th due to the county’s rejection of the Marriage Equality Referendum three years ago and its subsequent status as Ireland’s most conservative county.
The Roscommon People this week asked the county’s three elected TDs how they would be voting on Friday, May 25th.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Denis Naughten once again refused to be drawn on how he would vote in the upcoming election but did say that the upcoming vote should not be influenced by politicians.
“I agree with facilitating the Referendum as the people of Ireland are absolutely entitled to have their say on this issue. That was my view in 2013, regarding the suicide provision in the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill, and it remains my view today.
“I have concerns regarding unrestricted access to terminations within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. I will be engaging with the Minister for Health on these issues in advance of any legislation being enacted, should the Irish people vote to repeal the 8th Amendment.
“With regard to the Referendum, I believe people should be free to make up their own mind by listening to all aspects of the issues.
“I am firmly of the view that any decision on this topic is a deeply personal one and people should not be influenced one way or the other by politicians”.
Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice says he will be voting No due to what he described as the “flawed” wording in proposed legislation. He added that he believe a Yes vote would be a step towards a “totally different Ireland” and questioned whether trusting politicians with legislation was wise in the wake of recent controversies in Dáil Éireann.
“I am voting no and that’s been my position since I first ran for office. I believe the wording that has been put in front of the people is basically flawed and it means abortion on demand up to 12 weeks. I get that there are a few difficult cases but we have to look at what we are being asked.
“It is taking protection for the unborn and for babies out of the constitution and giving trust to politicians.
“I’m a politician myself but I know that a lot of politicians would do anything for power and this is just the beginning (of politicians introducing changes in legislation).
“In my view, (this is) a move towards a more liberal Government. It’s the first step to a totally different Ireland”.
Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has once again reiterated that he will be voting No on May 25th. Deputy Murphy said that his resolve has grown even stronger in recent weeks.
“I am voting No and I would’ve been one of the first out of the blocks in indicating which way I was voting. If anything I am even stronger in my view after speaking to numerous experts and doctors.
“I respect everyone’s point of view and I have received a phenomenal amount of emails and phone calls. The majority of these have been from the ‘No’ side but there have been a few from the ‘Yes’ side too.
“I believe that there is a big body of politicians across the political divide who will vote no. It looks very tight. The majority of Fianna Fáil TDs want to retain the 8th amendment”.