Joan Burton calls for repeal of 8th Amendment

She also accuses Micheál Martin of 'walking off the pitch' when the going got tough

Joan Burton, Labour, Micheal Martin, pitch, Fianna Fáil, ge16


The Tánaiste says she wants to see the repeal of the 8th Amendment.

Joan Burton said that women should be allowed the choice of an abortion, when asked about her party's views on the subject.

The Labour leader says if re-elected to government her party will push for a referendum to remove the 8th Amendment from the constitution.

She criticised the existing policy of leaving women, many on their own or with just their partner, to travel to Britain for abortions "at a very sensitive time in their life."

She believes it's a sensitive issue for women, and they should have the option of a termination.

Burton has also accused Micheál Martin of "walking off the pitch" when the going got tough for the country. 

She says the Fianna Fáil leader is trying to spin the image that he wasn't involved in the government that created the financial collapse.

"He himself was a key part of that government that made those bad decisions" the Tánaiste told reporters earlier. 

She added that it was "dishonest" of him to suggest otherwise.

"He's presenting himself as a new man but he was actually for 15 years a member of the Fianna Fáil government. They drove the bus over the cliff and Micheál of course then walked away."

Joan Burton also launched an attack on Sinn Fein saying that they have "bottled it" when it comes to their tax plans.

"You'd need to be on the minimum wage or below it to benefit from the Sinn Fein proposals."

"If you want the economy to recover and if you want more people to go back to work you have to have USC relief and I think Sinn Féin have really bottled it in failing to offer any relief."

Labour are also calling for mandatory training in sexual violence for gardaí.

The measure is contained in their programme for justice reform which was launched this morning.

The policy also promises to train 700 new gardai every year.

Senator Mairia Cahill was a victim of sexual abuse, and says she hopes new measures can help others:

"I spent four long years in the criminal justice system in the North as a victim, and huge failings were identified in the way in which my case was handled, which led to my abusers going free.

"Regrettably, victims have had similar experiences in the South, and the measures we are proposing today will make improvements as to how we deal with abuse."