Tóibín censured on abortion vote


Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has been removed from the chairmanship of an Oireachtas committee for failing to vote with his party on proposed abortion legislation.

Mr Tóibín failed to turn up to the Dáil for a vote last month in which his party voted in favour of proposed X case legislation put forward by United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly.

The Government defeated the Bill by 101 votes to 27 with the support of Fianna Fáil.

Mr Tóibín has expressed fears that legislating for the X case could be a “stepping stone” to the broadening of cases.

Mr Tóibín “stated that he did not wish to vote against his own party and so, took the decision to absent himself from the vote and has stated publicly that he understood that this was in breach of the party whip,” Sinn Fein TD and party whip Aengus Ó’Snodaigh said in a statement last night.

Resulting from the “serious breach” of party rules Mr Toibin has been removed as chairman of the Committee on Investigations, Oversight and Petitions, Mr Ó Snodaigh said. He will continue as party spokesman on enterprise.

In a statement last night, the Meath West TD said he has “strong personal opinions” on abortion legislation. He said he had anticipated disciplinary action for his breach of the whip.

“I remain a Sinn Féin TD and am fully committed to the party,” he added.

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