8th Amendment committee resumes hearings

The committee has faced criticism from two members

8th Amendment committee resumes hearings

Senator Catherine Noone at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting in 2013 | Image: Laura Htuton/RollingNews.ie

The Committee on the 8th Amendment will resume hearings this morning.

Discussions will focus on risks to mental health, terminations arising from rape and cases of foetal abnormality.

The committee has faced criticism after two members - TD Mattie McGrath and Senator Rónán Mullen - alleged its work has been fixed to deliver a particular outcome.

Chair of the committee, Senator Catherine Noone says that is not the case.

"Allegations of bias really are unfounded, as far as I'm concerned as chair.

"There was a clear methodology that we would look to the Citizens' Assembly for certain witnesses - and many of those appear in the work programme.

"And the other witnesses were suggested by members of the committee".

Last week, the group voted that the 8th Amendment should not be retained in full in the Constitution.

It was the first vote in the committee after weeks of hearings - with 15 members voting Yes, three voting No and two members abstaining.

It will now be decide between six possible options to be put to the people by referendum.

These will range from a simple repeal of the 8th, to repeal and replacing it with a new law.