Leitrim County Council passes motion opposed to repealing the 8th amendment

Councillor Des Guckian claims any change to the law would allow 'abortion on demand'

Leitrim County Council passes motion opposed to repealing the 8th amendment

A Repeal the 8th mural outside the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in Dublin | Image: Rollingnews.ie

Leitrim County Council has passed a motion opposed to repealing the 8th amendment.

The Irish people have yet to have their say on the issue in a referendum, but that did not stop Leitrim councillors tabling a motion.

At the monthly meeting of the local authority, the motion from independent councillor for Carrick-On-Shannon Des Guckian claimed any change to the law would open the door to 'abortion on demand' in Ireland.

His motion attracted heated debate - but was ultimately passed by seven votes to five.

Six councillors abstained.

Sinn Féin councillor Seadhna Logan tabled a counter-proposal that called for a referendum to be held to repeal the 8th amendment.

However, this was defeated by five votes to four, with 10 abstaining.

Councillor Guckian and Councillor Logan debated the issue on Newstalk Breakfast.

"I think its extremely important that politicians of all sorts give leadership, and leadership to the public that actually voted them into office.

"And that if there's something so serious as an attempt to undermine the 8th amendment to the Constitution going on, that we've got to stand up, we've got to show a little bit of backbone anyway," Councillor Guckian said.

While Councillor Logan replied: "It's anti-democratic to put forward a motion that does not allow the people their say - the very notion of Des' motion was to put down an opportunity for a referendum."

He also believes the abstention of 10 councillors on his counter-motion was "an absolute disgrace and an act of cowardice".

And Councillor Guckian says "you cannot have a little bit of abortion" - and that he is standing up  for children with disabilities.

"I am standing up for the parents of people with disability, and those parents tell me that they value their children with disability and they would never part with them.

"To have a situation whereby they would  be singled out, or the foetus would be singled out, and disposed of - that is complete and utterly wrong."