Debate on abortion Bill

The overnight Dáil debate and votes on the abortion Bill - as it happened

Kilian Doyle Wed, Jul 10
 
LIVE: Debate on abortion Bill

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  • 16:59
    It's Mary Minihan here. I'll be live blogging this evening's debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013. Minister of State for primary care Alex White has just said he will reject amendments 7, 72 and 97 which have been put down by TDs Joan Collins, Clare Daly, Joe Higgins and Richard Boyd-Barrett.
  • 17:16
    Fianna Fail's Eamon O Cuiv says the legislation is "totally flawed". He tells the Dail that it is "open to us to pass this legislation without Head 9" - that's the clause relating to suicide. Says he is reliably informed that babies delivered between 23 and 24 weeks have 50 per cent chance of cerebral palsy. Suggests a future Dail will be confronted by seriously disabled men and women.
  • 17:17
    Minister of State for European Affairs (for now at least) Lucinda Creighton is on her feet in the Dail. "For me it's the distortion of facts and in some cases revisionism which disturbs me most...I cannot support a clause which is essentially built on sand."
  • 17:19
    Lucinda Creighton suggests some people are "cowering behind the Supreme Court".
  • 17:22
    Lucinda Creighton says the X case decision was based on certain facts which ultimately didn't transpire as Ms X tragically had a miscarriage before an abortion could be carried out. "It has been bizarrely overlooked in recent days" that Judge O'Flaherty suggested the ruling was moot and not binding.
  • 17:26
    Section 9 (the suicide clause) is a flawed section in the legislation which is not evidence based, according to Ms Creighton. A huge number of amendments have been bundled together. Ms Creighton says the January hearings provided a huge volume of testimony that the Supreme Court did not have that showed the X case judgement was not correct.
  • 17:28
    She says the executive has chosen to ignore this and is forcing the Oireachtas to compound the error made by the Supreme Court. "That I consider to be deeply worrying and certainly something that I cannot be part of."

    Clear that she will be voting against the proposed legislation later.
  • 17:33
    Lucinda Creighton concludes her first contribution to this evening's debate by appealing to Dr Reilly to "please listen to the evidence which has been put forward by medical experts...please let's not enshrine flawed legislation on our statute books"
    The legislation may be reversible but the consequences are not, she argues. "Can you not please accept the proposal that we put in place a clinical care pathway for vulnerable women" who are expressing suicide ideation. She says it happens in the UK. "Why do we have to be the poor relation?"

  • 17:38
    One of the Fine Gael TDs who has already voted against the legislation and lost the party whip Terence Flanagan is on his seat, speaking to his proposed amendment 56. Also signed by Mattie McGrath, Billy Timmins, Éamon Ó Cuív, Peadar Tóibín, the amendment proposes the deletion of lines 6 to 39 on page 10 of the Bill. Basically that means they want the entire suicide clause deleted.
    "Psychiatrists are not judges," Mr Flanagan says.
  • 17:40
    Terence Flanagan is standing in front of Billy Timmins, his fellow Fine Gael rebel, and John Paul Phelan. Peter Mathews, also now without the party whip, is in front of Mr Flanagan. Mr Phelan's intentions are unknown. The word around Leinster House was that he would back the Bill but his physical position in the chamber this evening may alarm the party leadership.
  • 17:42
    "As a matter of conscience I will not be in a position now to support Section 9 of the Bill," Terence Flanagan tells the Dail. Now Mattie McGrath is on his feet - one of the Independents who has already voted against second stage of the Bill a week ago.
  • 17:43
    Mr McGrath says the title of the Bill is "misleading, erroneous and false". (Earlier he said it should in fact be called the "Termination of Pregnancy Bill" because it involves the "deliberate killing of unborn children".) You don't need me to guide you on how Mr McGrath will be voting later tonight...
  • 17:45
    Mr McGrath claims Fine Gael has "kow-towed" to the Labour Party on the issue of abortion.
  • 17:45
    Now Seamus Kirk of Fianna Fail is on his feet. He is one of the Fianna Fail TDs who has already voted against the Bill. He is calling for the removal of section 9 (the suicide clause).
  • 17:51
    Fianna Fail's Seamus Kirk says if David Steel (sometimes called the "architect" of Britain's abortion laws) was brought in as an advisor to the Government (!) he is certain Lord Steel would advise the Cabinet not to proceed with this legislation.

    Billy Timmins, one of the Fine Gael rebels, calls the legislation "barbaric" and "unconstitutional". Claims the X case judgement was wrong.
  • 17:54
    "It wasn't in the Programme for Government to legislate for the X case," Billy Timmins says. Here's what the Programme actually said under a heading "Bioethics":
    "We acknowledge the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights subsequent to the established ruling of the Irish Supreme Court on the X-case. We will establish an expert group to address this issue, drawing on appropriate medical and legal expertise with a view to making recommendations to Government on how this matter should be properly addressed."
  • 18:01

    Billy Timmins refers to the fact that six girls under the age of 18 in State care were assisted in travelling abroad for abortions on suicide grounds in the past 20 years, as Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald confirmed recently. I wrote about that here:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/six-under-18s-in-state-care-travelled-abroad-for-abortions-1.1445682

  • 18:02
    Billy Timmins predicts: "People will say: how did they pass the suicide clause?"
  • 18:04
    United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly describes the Bill as "very, very narrow". She will back the Bill but would like it to go much further. Minister for Health James Reilly and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald whispering to each other as she speaks.
  • 18:07
    Clare Daly says suicide in pregnant women is a reality. Irish maternity services are "not bad, but they're not the best". She says women who are not in the care of the State, and women who have the means, or whose partners or parents have the means, will continue to travel abroad for abortions. Says she takes

    Clare Daly bluntly tells colleagues it is "disgusting" to suggest women will "scheme, lie and hoodwink doctors" in order to obtain an abortion in Ireland. "Lads, they won't. They'll go to England and do what they do already."
  • 18:10
    Clare Daly says under British 1967 legislation law 90 per cent of abortions are provided under what is known as "ground C" - injury to phsyical or mental health of women. "It's not that people go in and pretend to be suicidal".

    She rejects the idea that there would be a time limit. "If it's necessary to save a woman's life then that's the only show in town, as it were."
  • 18:15
    Lucinda Creighton rolls her eyes as Independent Mick Wallace asks "Are we supposed to say: Listen, woman, an abortion won't deal with your problems?"
    He says he doesn't think anyone is suggesting abortion is a treatment for suicide.

    Says the Bill tells women the State does not trust them. "They must be interrogated and prove themselves not to be liars."

    He has become emotional in the Dáil chamber before - I thought it might happen again there but no, not this time.
  • 18:17
  • 18:18
    Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin on her feet now. Her voting intentions are not known. Says she has been disappointed with Government amendments.

    But she will back the Bill because she will not allow herself to be "booted out" of Fine Gael. So now we know.

    She confirmed that she met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Health James Reilly yesterday.
  • 18:22
    Denis Naughten throws his mobile phone onto the blue-carpeted stairs in the Dail chamber because it seemed to be interfering with his microphone as he speaks on the Bill. He voted against second stage of the proposed legislation.
  • 18:25
    Premature babies with significant disabilities will go into the care of the State as a result of what is proposed in the Bill, Denis Naughten says. Just a reminder that he lost the Fine Gael whip in the row about the status of Roscommon hospital.
  • 18:31
  • 18:33
    Patrick Nulty, who resigned from the Labour Party last month in protest over cuts, describes the Bill as "minimalist". Says there should be a referendum to repeal the so-called "right to life" amendment to the Constitution.

    Terence Flanagan and Billy Timmins smile as they chat together.
  • 18:36

    Fianna Fail health spokesman says a young girl alone and vulnerable who looks at a pregnancy test and sees a positive result could "in extreme suicide" decide suicide was her only option.

    Calls on colleagues to remember their discussions about cyber bullying and its possible and tragic consequences.

  • 18:41
    Suicide in pregnancy is "rare but real", according to Fianna Fail TD Billy Kelleher.
  • 18:43
    You can see who voted for and who voted against the Bill at second stage here:

    http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/takes/dail2013070200033?opendocument
  • 18:46
  • 18:48
    Fianna Fail TD Billy Kelleher strongly backs the Government-sponsored legislation, calling it "restrictive"  - which he approves of. Says he does not believe for a moment that there will be a "avalanche of girls" who will present themselves as suicidal. However: "The evidence is there that girls who are vulnerable and in crisis have killed themselves". Others have procurred pills over the internet.  
  • 18:49
  • 18:54
    All who present as suicidal - male or female; pregnant or not pregnant - must be believed, says Labour TD Ciara Conway. "We must reflect very carefully on the kind of language that is being used in relation to mental health." Deputies who have spoken "so spuriously" about mental health have in the past lauded "stigma reduction".
  • 18:54
  • 18:55
    Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae says he's disappointed he won't be able to refer to Lucinda Creighton as "Minister" tomorrow. Says people will be remembered for voting with their consciences. "A politician that won't stand for something will fall for everything," he adds.  
  • 18:58
    Is Alan Shatter tweeting or texting in the chamber as Michael Healy-Rae rails against proposed legislation?
  • 18:59
  • 19:01
    Debate adjourned until 7.30pm - join us again then
  • 19:03
  • 19:17
  • 19:19
  • 19:21
  • 19:22
    Actually we'll be back ay approx 9pm! Fianna Fail private members' business taking place first (that sounds more fun than it actually is!)
  • 21:24
  • 21:24
  • 21:25
    Back again as debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill resumes after an hour-and-a-half break. In the interim, six pro-choice TDs have formally declared they will vote against the Bill. Clare Daly, Joe Higgins, Richard Boyd-Barrett, Luke "Ming" Flanagan, Mick Wallace and Joan Collins believe that the Bill should have gone much further. But history will record that they voted against the proposed legislation, leaving many of their supporters very disappointed.

    Among their objections to the Bill: the 14 year prison sentence for those who transgress the Bill (which I understand is pegged to existing unlawful killing legislation). They would also like to see the legislation extended to take in cases of rape and fatal foetal abnormalities.

    Mr Boyd-Barrett has said the pro-choice TDs were "forced to vote No". The reaction on twitter perhaps best summarised with the well-worn political cliche: "If you're explaining, you're losing".
  • 21:29

    A very large number of amendments have been bundled together for discussion. Numbers 8, 20, 23, 24, 55-58, 62, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74-80, 86-89. 93, 98, 99, 100, 102, 114, 115, 120, 133, 140, 142-144, 148, 149 and 156.

  • 21:30
  • 21:33
  • 21:37
    noel Thanks for the update. Away at the moment so great to read as it happens
  • 21:37
    Bill Get it straight! It's murder!
  • 21:40

    Here's Colm Keaveney, who voted against the Bill last week. He resigned from the Labour Party at the end of last month.

  • 21:43

    If you would like to refresh your memory on the Bill (!) you can read the version as amended by the select sub-committee on health here:

    http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2013/6613/b66a13d.pdf

  • 21:45
    Colm Keaveney is discussing opinion poll findings on abortion. He disputes the objectivity of the questions asked. Says he has "grave concerns" about the lack of gestational time limits in the Bill.
  • 21:47

    Colm Keaveney asks for this amendment he has proposed to be considered:

    57.

     

     

    In page 10, to delete lines 6 to 39 and substitute the following:

    “9.

     

     

    It shall not be lawful to carry out a medical procedure in respect of a pregnant woman in the course of which, or as a result of which, an unborn life is ended on the grounds of averting a real and substantial risk of loss of the woman’s life where the real and substantial risk of loss of the woman’s life in question relates to a risk of suicide or any cause other than a physical illness and the provisions of this Bill shall be construed accordingly."

  • 21:49
    Independent TD Catherine Murphy confirms she will be supporting the Bill. Says politicians have failed over a period of decades to put the will of the people into law. Says referendum results were not opinion polls, but rather "the people of Ireland giving us a set of instructions".
  • 21:51

    I think Catherine Murphy is getting a bit emotional - there's a quaver in her voice I haven't heard before...

  • 21:54

    Catherine Murphy says she went to a hospital in Liverpool as part of a visit organised by Doctors for Choice focused on their view that the legislation should be extended to include cases of fatal foetal abnormality. She said staff told her: "Irish women expected the staff to judge them, to be judgemental".

    She adds that the staff were compassionate, and: "I felt ashamed that our country could not offer that kind of compassion".

  • 21:54
    tc So back to the Spanish Inquisition ?
  • 21:55
    David Welsh As a Brit of Irish ancestry the constant ignorant references to David Steel's Act are offensive. Have you read it? It's about female emancipation. Odd a Republic cares less for women than the monarchy it rebelled against.
  • 21:56
    Catherine Murphy says many men say they don't feel comfortable dealing with this issue, while women just "ask to be trusted".
  • 21:57
  • 21:59
  • 22:06
  • 22:13
  • 22:19
    Another of the Fine Gael rebels Brian Walsh is on his feet. Calls for a fresh referendum "in light of new evidence and research that's available". Says State should not be bound by a decision "manufactured by the courts" back in 1992.
  • 22:22
    Brian Walsh says the Bill threatens to normalise suicide as a legitimate response to anxiety and distress. Is now outlining his opposition to lack of gestational time limits.
  • 22:24
  • 22:26
    "Savita's death has been wrongfully used to further one side of the argument," according to Brian Walsh. Claims he is likely to "pay a heavy price" for his stance on the planned leglislation, but says he will be glad to do so.

    Notes Taoiseach has been magnanimous in the past to those who have been disloyal to him. Says he gave a commitment based on his understanding of Fine Gael's position.
  • 22:26
    Rory I don't understand support for this bill: pro-life are against suicide clause, and pro-choice are against 14 year sentences for illegal abortions - who wins?
  • 22:28
    Labour TD Michael McNamara says he salutes everyone who votes with their conscience - but complains that "there's something hanging in the air" suggesting that only those who vote against are voting with their conscience.
  • 22:31

    Michael McNamara has his law books out in the chamber to translate a latin term! "Obiter dictum" - which was used by (soon to be former Minister of State) Lucinda Creighton earlier.

  • 22:33
    A passionate contribution from Labour's Michael McNamara continuing. "I commend this Bill and indeed Section 9 to this House".
  • 22:37

    Peter Mathews, who lost the Fine Gael whip last week, says TDs would be "absolute fools" to create "some sort of legal labyrinth". Says "Islam doesn't like abortion or anything to do with this Bill".

  • 22:38
    Peter Mathews talking about Michelle Mulherin's announcement earlier that she would back the legislation so she would not be thrown out of Fine Gael. "If any of my children did that I'd say please, please look into what you do and how you do it."
  • 22:40
    "This is future children. This is little babies," says Peter Mathews. The women who go to England for abortions "don't have to go to England", he says. "Gather them up" and give them support, encouragement and money, he suggests.
  • 22:44
    Peter Mathews: "Today girls in France can go to their GP and have a lawful abortion without their parents knowledge." Claims 25 per cent of pregnancies in France end up in abortion - while he has a figure of 30 per cent for the US and England. "A 9/11 every day but we don't hear them because they're little".
  • 22:45
    Peter Mathews says Minister Creighton was absolutely "spot on". Says he met Judge Hugh O'Flaherty recently socially in a tennis club of which he is a member.
  • 22:48
  • 23:06

    Sinn Féin health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin says he and Health Minister James Reilly are not in regular agreement but he believes the Bill is fit for purpose. Calls on all legislators to "step up to the plate".

  • 23:07
  • 23:09
    Fine Gael complains of under-current of suspicion of women in debate tonight...says "we have a duty to the women of this country"
  • 23:09
    Gerry What time does the Dáil bar close again?
  • 23:10
    John daly I see Barrett Higgins and Ming are up to there usual nonsense . Against everything . Glad to see Enda Kenny has the courage of his convictions .
  • 23:10
    PeterDoyle It's time to stop all this pusseyfooting around Ireland needs to move into the modern world. I'm ashamed of being Irish.
  • 23:10
    Peter Watching Ministers make hay out of this situation is sickening. The grandstanding and empty rhetoric represents all that is bad about Irish life. This difficult topic required compassion, clarity of thought and logic from our politicians and us.
  • 23:18
    "I have to be somewhere else in a couple of moments, Ceann Comhairle" - Bernard Durkan says. (Don't we all Bernard, don't we all.)
  • 23:27
    Roisin Shortall, who resigned the Labour whip last year, says cases of rape and fatal foetal abnormalities should be included in the legislation. But says there are "serious flaws" in relation to the suicide clause. I'll be handing over shortly to my colleague @ciaraky who will be succeeded by @kiliandoyle. Thank you for your company.
  • 23:38
    Thanks Mary - Ciara Kenny here, I'll be pushing the buttons for the next hour or so until Kilian Doyle takes the blog into the wee hours.
  • 23:46
    Roisin Shortall has just concluded speaking in the Dáil, saying she will be voting against the legislation. The principal flaw in her view is the lack of gestational limits, but she also expressed difficulty with suicide clause, especially that there is no clinical way to prove suicidality.

  • 23:47
    Ms Shortall also said the reporting arrangements for the Minister for Health under which information on terminations will be provided are inadequate.

    "Overall I would say we should have a review of this legislation," she concludes. "Lets have the full reports every year, and have a full review... say after three years... and discuss openly what the impact has been."
  • 23:47
    Next up... Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.
  • 23:55
    Shatter says he is surprised that so many TDs have gone out on the plinth to oppose the legislation today. He says based on the precedent set by the Supreme Court in the X Case would have made many of the proposed amendments unconstitutional.
  • 23:58
    If a woman's life is at risk in an advanced pregnancy and her life is at risk, intervention would be an early delivery, not murder of the unborn, Shatter says in response to criticism by some TDs, Roisin Shortall included, over lack of gestational limits in the legislation.
  • 00:05
  • 00:06
  • 00:12
    Shatter says that to suggest that the obstetrician has no role is wrong - as the the medical expert that will undertake the medical procedure, the obstetrician will play an important role in the decision-making process.

    Said the legislation had been drafted on the best legal advice of the State Attorney, an independent constitutional officer, and the House should respect her advice.
  • 00:16
    Shatter says "ordinary sensible people" take the view that if their daughter was raped, she shouldn't have to be suicidal to obtain an abortion, and most members of the House would take that view also. He concludes his strong and calmly delivered speech by saying the legislation will provide protection for women in this situation.
  • 00:23
    "What evidence is there to suggest that a woman who is suicidal and has an abortion has better mental health afterwards?" Fine Gael TD James Bannon asks. He says he considers the matter to be a moral and a medical issue rather than a political one. He says he has been assured by the Taoiseach that this Bill will fully protect the life of the mother and the unborn, despite "scaremongering" by some interest groups.
  • 00:26
    Labour TD and Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White says if we are to be true to the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the X case ruling, the threat of the loss of life due to suicide can't be omitted from the legislation. "We can't pick and choose," he says.
  • 00:28
    "Are people seriously saying we can ignore the sections of the X case judgement that they don't like?"  he asks, saying it would make the law too ambiguous for doctors, and deny women a right that they are entitled to in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling.
  • 00:29
  • 00:34
  • 00:37
    Alex White says, contrary to what some people may believe, TDs "are capable of operating their brains past midnight".
  • 00:39
  • 00:47
    Jason Kennedy was outside the Dáil earlier today chatting with campaigners from both sides. Watch his video report here.
  • 00:48
  • 01:03
    Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan has just taken over from Alex White after his lengthy speech, saying he has consulted widely with friends, colleagues and constituents in making his decision on whether to support the Bill, and "the overwhelming consensus was that I should support it".

    "While I do have misgivings, I will be supporting the legislation," he confirmed.
  • 01:09
    He says the whip system of expelling TDs who vote against their party "has not served this country well". "I don't think people should be cast aside for what they believe," he says.

    It was unknown until now how John Paul Phelan would vote on the legislation. He says he still has misgivings about legal representation for the unborn, but other amendments he suggested after the first draft have been addressed, and he will therefore be supporting the legislation.

  • 01:34

    Minister for Health James Reilly is on his feet. As legislators, the  duty of TDs  is  to enact the laws of the land, he says, rejecting any notion the Government is cowering behind the Supreme Court, as suggested earlier by Lucinda Creighton.

  • 01:39
    His comments follow a very emotional and forthright speech from Labour's Kathleen Lynch, who said she was insulted by the idea women could not be trusted, a  stance put forward by some anti-abortion campaigners
  • 01:42
    Reilly says lives “may have been saved” had this Bill been enacted in 1992, following the Supreme Court’s X case ruling. “The decision of the Supreme Court in the X case has never been added to, varied or contradicted by any subsequent decision by the Supreme Court. It is the law and we are bound by it,” he said. “When the statute book is silent on matters of life and death great mischief can occur,” the Minister added.
  • 02:11
  • 02:15
    A number of pro-choice Independents who are voting against the Bill have spoken. Mick Wallace said  the Bill is a very significant step, "but so much more has to be done".
     Clare Daly said she is glad the bill is being introduced and thinks it's symbolically important, but is voting against it.
  • 02:16
    Our people in the Dail are telling me the debate may not actually conclude by 5.00am, as planned, and could continue into tomorrow.
    Anybody as pleased as we are?
  • 02:27
    Lucinda Creighton is now speaking. She says the law is about interpretation, and it is is "clearly wrong" to say it is impossible to disagree with a court decision. "The idea that you can't analyse, parse...or question a Supreme Court judgement is clearly wrong."
  • 02:30
    Nobody is denying that a woman who is pregnant can be suicidal, Creighton says. However, she again insists abortion is not a treatment for suicidal ideation. In a terse exchange, she accuses Dr Reilly of 'scoffing' at her.
  • 02:31
    Reilly says he respects all views across the House which he says are held in good conscience and good faith. However, he says he also respects the pregnant women of Ireland and the people who care for them. He insists the Bill brings clarity and rejects the current batch of amendments under debate.
  • 02:34
  • 02:49
    The Dail has voted 135 to 24 to reject Peader Toibin's amendment on the suicide clause. Creighton voted with the Government. The chamber has suddenly filled up, with the Taoisach back in attendance.
  • 02:50
  • 02:56
    Here's the vote on Peadar Toibin's amendment
    Here's the vote on Peadar Toibin's amendment
  • 03:08
  • 03:10
  • 03:20
    Toibin’s amendment effectively calls for the deletion of the suicide clause, where termination is permitted to prevent suicide.
    Creighton was among those who voted with the Government while her Fine Gael colleagues Peter Matthews, Brian Walsh, Billy Timmins and Terence Flanagan, who have already rejected the legislation, supported the Sinn Fein TD’s amendment.
    In a vote on the second or introductory debate on the legislation, 13 of Fianna Fail’s 19 TDs voted against the Bill, and a similar number did so on the this vote.
    Many of the Independents voted with the Government but Maureen O’Sullivan, Michael Lowry, Michael Healy-Rae and Mattie McGrath voted against.
  • 03:37
  • 03:42
    Clare Daly giving an impressive speech. Silence in the chamber after a brief contretemps between herself and Labour's Alex White, to whom she apologised for misquoting him.
  • 04:01
    Amendments regarding fatal foetal abnormalities are  being debated by  the Dáil, with submissions from Joan Collins, Thomas Pringle, Michael Healy Rae and Clare Daly, so far.
  • 04:08
    Sheesh, is it that time already?
  • 04:14
    Fine Gael sources have told my colleague Harry McGee the #grabgate incident involving two of the party's TDs - see video below - was regrettable. We'll have to see where this one goes.
  • 04:17
    It looks increasingly likely - nay, inevitable - that the debate will not be concluded by the 5.00am cutoff point. The Dail is expected to return this afternoon to resume the debate and, hopefully, vote.
  • 04:24

    If you've been up all night or have just risen, a quick reminder that you can watch the last half an hour or so of proceedings here:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/government-wins-first-vote-on-abortion-bill-1.1458920

  • 04:43

    TDs are now voting on on Amendment 10, which is  to include fatal foetal abnormality as grounds for termination. It is likely to be the last business before the House rises.

  • 04:45
    Amendment 10 was proposed by Catherine Murphy, Seamus Healy, Mick Wallace, Richard Boyd Barrett and Joe Higgins. All 165 amendments can be seen here: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/government-wins-first-vote-on-abortion-bill-1.1458920
  • 04:52
    Lots of TDs tweeting about dawn rising. You'd think they want us to feel sorry for them or something.

  • 04:53

    The Government has won the vote against Amendment 10 by 124 votes to 19

  • 04:55
    Labour's Michael McNamara (Clare) voted against the Government on Amendment 10.
    Government chief whip Paul Kehoe has asked that the Dail will now adjourn until 12.30pm
  • 05:00
    And that's it.

    The Dail has adjourned until 12.30pm when the debate will resume.
    I've been Kilian Doyle. Thanks for following this liveblog overnight. We'll be back again in a few hours to do it all again.
  • 05:12

    Erm, this McNamara vote appears to have rocked Labour. He has told fellow TDs that he fully intended to vote the way he did. No question of a blunder.
    Understandably,  some on the Opposition benches are rather pleased.

  • 05:55
    Labour Whip Emmet Stagg has insisted the vote against the Government was a "genuine mistake". While it cannot be changed on the Dáil record, Labour is accepting it was an error and the Clare TD will not lose the whip.
  • 05:55
    Now, that really is it.
    Morning all.