Sinn Féin suspends TD who voted against party on abortion

Carol Nolan opposes repeal of Eighth Amendment of the Constitution

Sinn Féin TD Carol Nolan: suspended from the party for three months. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sinn Féin TD Carol Nolan: suspended from the party for three months. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Sinn Féin TD Carol Nolan has been suspended from the party for three months after defying its position on the Eighth Amendment.

Ms Nolan, a TD for Offaly-North Tipperary, voted against second stage of the Thirty Sixth Amendment to the Constitution Bill in the Dáil on Wednesday.

Sinn Féin supports the holding of a referendum, repealing the Eighth Amendment and for terminations in the cases of rape, incest, fatal foetal abnormalities and when a mother’s life, health or mental health is at risk.

However, Ms Nolan does not support that position and is opposed to removing Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution.

Sinn Féin has suspended Ms Nolan with immediate effect.

Sinn Féin TD Meath West Peader Toíbín, who is also opposed to the party position, was not present for the vote but had notified the party in advance.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said Ms Nolan “holds strong, personal convictions on this matter”.

Ms McDonald said: “At all stages, the party has acknowledged and respected her views and her right to articulate those views.

“However, Sinn Féin elected representatives are expected to respect policy decisions taken by the Ard Fheis and to vote in line with party policy.

“All Sinn Féin elected representatives, including members of the Oireachtas, are aware of this.

“Carol is a valued colleague and I very much regret this turn of events.”