Bannon to seek assurances over abortion bill

Fine Gael TD James Bannon will seek assurances from the party’s top brass before making clear his feelings over the Government’s abortion legislation.

Fine Gael TD James Bannon will seek assurances from the party’s top brass before making clear his feelings over the Government’s abortion legislation.

He, along with a number of other backbenchers, are expected to voice their concerns over the publication of Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill, which was formally released last Thursday.

Deputy Bannon is believed to harbour reservations over the section in the Bill dealing with suicidal ideation.

But it would seem, even with those doubts factored in, the Legan TD remains intent on maintaining the Fine Gael party whip.

“I never said I would go against the Bill,” he said when contacted by the Leader over the weekend. “I haven’t studied it fully yet, but there are questions I will be looking to get clarity on.”

Deputy Bannon did however express his own disappointment at the reluctance to allow TDs a free vote on the issue.

“I would like to see free votes on conscience issues that come before the Dail,” he added. “That would be the feeling generally (among backbenchers) about issues that aren’t financial or to do with the economy.

“But it’s the Taoiseach’s call at the end of the day.”