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An abortion Bill debate Dáil-nighter as the sun continues to shine . . . for now

Jason Kennedy Thu, Jul 11
 
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  • This event has now ended
  • 09:10
  • 09:11
    Good morning. I’m Jason Kennedy and I’ll be guiding you through today’s top stories from now until 5pm.
  • 09:17
    And no. Lucinda Creighton has not voted against the Government yet. She is expected to later on though.
  • 09:20
    Last night Mary Minihan, Ciara Kenny and Kilian Doyle ran our special abortion bill live blog. Full details of last night's events can be found here.
  • 09:22

    Were you one of the people pulling an Dáilnighter outside Leinster House last night. I popped over to meet some of the dedicated protestors on both the pro-life and pro-choice sides.

     

  • 09:31
    The Irish Independent reports of an incident caught on the Dáil camera last night. A male Fine Gael TD pulled a female colleague onto his lap during a break. Seemingly unimpressed, she gets up and walks away from him.
  • 09:34
    "After decades of delay and months of argument, Ireland’s lawmakers agonized Wednesday over government plans to pass an abortion bill for the first time in this predominantly Catholic country," reports the Washington Post.
  • 09:42
    In more upbeat news, the weather is still great. Hooray! Dublin  teenagers Feargha Clear Keena and Robyn Gill asked people around Dublin what they want to do this summer. They also wrote and performed the song. 

  • 09:49
  • 09:49
  • 09:49
  • 09:49
  • 09:49
  • 09:50
    Today’s front pages there.
  • 09:56
    Any plans for 1pm? Well Aisling Fitzgibbon, a.k.a. The Girl Against Fluoride, will be on Grafton Street taking part in a "stripping event" to raise public awareness of our water fluoridation policy, which has been in place in Ireland for almost 50 years. 
    She’ll be joined by very tired TDs Brian Stanley and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan.
    As you do…
  • 10:00
    Fianna Fáil has described the handling of last night’s abortion debate, which ran until 5am without a vote, as a “shambles”, writes Genevieve Carbery.
  • 10:13
    New research suggests that omega-3, the supplement taken by millions of people for its health benefits, may increase the risk of prostate cancer, reports RTÉ.
  • 10:14
    Our Michael O'Regan speaking on RTÉ Radio One now. He’s discussing the continuing Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill saga.
  • 10:24
    A Fine Gael spokesman described #lapgate as “silly” and insensitive and he said it should not have happene, write Genevieve Carbery and Harry McGee.

    Link to the original video posted by Muireann O'Dwyer is here.
  • 10:30
    “I have absolutely done my utmost,” says Michelle Mulherin on RTÉ Radio One now.
  • 10:33
    Deputy Mulherin talking about her infancy as a TD.
    “I’d like to think I have more to offer,” she says.
  • 10:39
  • 10:39
    Martyn Turner's cartoon today:
  • 10:40
  • 10:49

    "Politics is a funny game. I don't think these things should be seen from a point of anyone's career. There isn't any more at this stage," says Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar discussing Lucinda Creighton on RTÉ Radio now.

    He adds the chances of her supporting the bill at this hours is remote.

  • 10:54
    Fine Gael TD for Cork East, Tom Barry was the deputy who pulled his party colleague Cork North West TD Aine Collins onto his lap in the Dail chamber early this morning, the party has confirmed.
  • 11:00
    If you missed it yesterday, here’s one of my videos from outside Leinster House including interviews with leading campaigners on both the pro-life and pro-choice sides.
     
  • 11:05
  • 11:16
    While are lot spend most of the night in marathon talks, there are proposals to offer their British counterparts a pay rise of almost £10,000, The Guardian reports.
  • 11:16
  • 11:27
    Middle class was not enough for publisher Felix Dennis – he realised he needed to be rich if he wanted to live life his way, writes Una Mullally.
  • 11:32
  • 11:33
  • 11:38
    Tom Barry has apologised to his party colleague Áine Collins TD for a “disrespectful and inappropriate” incident when he pulled her onto his lap in the Dáil chamber early this morning.

    Here's the video:

     
  • 11:39
    Labour's Ciara Conway there. 
     
  • 11:46
  • 11:51
    Remember when we held the EU Council Presidency? Those were the days. Lithuania took the reins from us last Friday. Suzanne Lynch writes about Ireland’s link to the country.
  • 12:00
  • 12:03
  • 12:10
    It seems the good weather has gone to our heads. Consumer sentiment rose to its highest level for almost six years in June as the property and jobs markets showed signs of improvement, writes Steven Carroll.
  • 12:16
    Reuters reports that Police in Michigan are looking for the van driver who yesterday backed into a woman pushing a stroller and then drove away yesterday.

    The woman was with her one-year old son in the parking lot of a store in Muskegon, on the coast of Lake Michigan in western Michigan when she was knocked off her feet after a man backed his van into her.
    The baby was not injured and the mother suffered a scraped knee. Police released the video in hopes the public could help them identify the driver.
  • 12:18
  • 12:22
    Half of the estimated 1.5 million households in the UK with a 3D-enabled television watched the already mind-boggling London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony in 3D, but – perhaps unsurprisingly – only 5 per cent of potential viewers tuned into watch Christmas 3D programming, including Queen Elizabeth’s annual message, in stereoscopic glory, writes Laura Slattery in today's media column.
  • 12:31

    Late night diet of a TD

  • 12:38
    Leaders’ Questions kicking off in Leinster House now. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says the Dáilnighter was “shambolic” and “lamentable”.
  • 12:40

    Brendan Howlin said late nights are nothing new in Leinster House.

  • 12:47
    Ceann Comhairle says his tolerance of "you lot" is decreasing already.

    Will be a long day.
  • 12:53
  • 12:56
    The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill debate will continue at 5pm and is expected to end at midnight. However, there may be an extension until 3am.

    Coffee at the ready.
  • 13:06
    Mattie McGrath tells the Dáil that a Supreme Court challenge is being lodged today against the abortion legislation's constitutionality.
  • 13:20
  • 13:23
  • 13:39
    And now for something completely different. Volvo have revealed a car that's able to park itself. A video of the car is available here.
  • 13:41
  • 13:45
    Do you think Justin Timberlake is a "super cool dude"? It seems someone in RTÉ does. This picture was sent to Broadsheet.ie by a reader.
  • 13:48
    A group of six Greenpeace activists have begun scaling London's 72-storey Shard, Britain’s tallest building, in protest at drilling in the Arctic.
  • 14:03
    Mattie McGrath is set to hold a press conference outside Leinster House at 3:45pm today. He will be joined by former MEP Kathy Sinnott, Mr Mark McCrystal and a number of others who are preparing to launch a High Court injunction seeking to prevent the Oireachtas from voting on the proposed Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013.
    According to a statement issued by Deputy McGrath, "the Oireachtas has no right to vote on a Bill that contains provisions that have been put to the Irish people in referenda and which they in a sovereign exercise rejected."
    "The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 contains two provisions which were put to the Irish people in referendum in 2002 and which they rejected," it states.
    "These provisions, which stand rejected by the Irish People in referendum, cannot be included in proposed legislation and voted on by the Oireachtas."

    We will have a video from this conference later on. 
  • 14:05
    Bookmakers Paddy Power has some interesting odds on who may replace Lucinda Creighton as Minister of State for European Affairs.
  • 14:07
    Here's Micheál Martin calling the late-night debate a "shambles".
     
  • 14:07
  • 14:15
    Our reporter Christopher McKinley has just returned from Leinster House. He says there were no protestors outside. Gardaí are expecting them to return once debate resumes.
    Maybe they've gone for a much-needed rest.
  • 14:33
  • 14:36
    So how do you think The Guardian is reporting lapgate? 
    It’s homepage headline is ‘Irish MP sorry for grabbing woman’. Thanks to Genevieve Carbery for pointing this out to me.
  • 14:54
    A protest against water fluoridation took place in Dublin this afternoon, with women stripping down to their bikinis and men to their swim shorts. This was to demonstrate how they're being stripped of their right to fluoride-free water, writes Aoife O’Connor.
  • 14:54
  • 14:56
    Minister for Justice Alan Shatter is talking about court reform in the Dáil now.
  • 14:59
    Earlier, I mentioned that protestors were attempting to climb London's Shard building. Here's a video sent to me from our video guru Niamh Guckian.
     
  • 15:07
    More fallout from lapgate:
    The National Women’s Council of Ireland has said there was “a long way to go before politics in Ireland is a woman-friendly place”.
    Eóin Murray, the council’s coordinator of its women in politics project said: “Any sexist incident sends a message to women that unprofessional behaviour is acceptable in politics. This discourages women from getting involved.”
    The General Secretary of Fine Gael Tom Curran said: "I wish to make it clear that the instinctive characterisation last night of the incident as 'horseplay involving two people' doesn't reflect how Fine Gael views this kind of behaviour, having seen the footage."
    "One deputy's actions were unwelcome to another deputy. If it happened in any other workplace, it would be unacceptable. That it happened on the floor of Leinster House makes it more so.
    "Deputy Tom Barry's apology to Deputy Aine Collins makes it clear he understands the inappropriateness of his actions. We welcome his apology and the fact that Deputy Collins has accepted it."
  • 15:21
  • 15:24
  • 15:37
  • 15:40

    Tom Barry has opened up to the Evening Echo. “I have been extremely stupid and I’m dreadfully sorry," he said.

  • 15:54
    The Orange Order has stated that protests will be staged “over the coming period” against the decision by the North’s Parades Commission to ban three north Belfast lodges from returning past the flashpoint Ardoyne shops tomorrow evening.
  • 15:55
    The President of the High Court has refused to grant an injunction to a Dublin woman aimed at stopping provisions of the Protection of Life During Pregancy Bill being voted into law, wrties Mary Coralan. 

    More coming soon.
  • 16:01
    More on that High Court ruling here.
  • 16:07
    The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill debate is set to kick off once more in around 55 minutes.
  • 16:25
    Our Ciara O'Brien is at the Nokia #zoomreinvented event. She is live tweeting updates. You can follow her here.
  • 16:28
    Pro-life and pro-choice protestors are returning to the Dáil gates now to demonstrate outside the Kildare Street entrance while abortion debate takes place.
  • 16:35
  • 16:44
    New standards for crèche inspections will be put in place in September with an emphasis the importance of the relationships children experience in childcare facilities, Pamela Duncan writes.
  • 16:54
    A few pro-life protestors have gathered outside Leinster House. Bill debate continuing in five minutes.

     
  • 16:58
    That's all from me today. Further updates for the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill debate will be available on irishtimes.com. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday.