In just a few month's time the Irish public will be casting their votes on the Eighth Amendment - but what are our local representatives' stance on the issue?

Two national surveys have taken place this week asking Ireland’s TDs and Senators about how they plan to vote in the abortion referendum.

The Irish Times asked the clear question of ‘Should the 8th Amendment to the Constitution be repealed?’. Here is how Donegal’s representatives responded:

  • Charlie McConalogue TD (FF) – Undeclared
  • Joe McHugh TD (FG) – Undeclared
  • Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (FF) – No
  • Pearse Doherty TD (SF) – Yes
  • Thomas Pringle TD (IND) – Yes
  • Senator Padraig MacLochlainn (SF) – Yes

Across the board, 75 TDs declared their support for repeal of the Eighth Amendment, with 30 opposed and 53 undeclared.

The Irish Times found that all Sinn Fein TDs, apart from Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín, plan to vote for a repeal. Fine Gael had the highest number of undeclared voters, as the majority party view has not yet been decided by An Taoiseach. More than half of Fianna Fail TDs surveyed were undecided.

Of the Senators who responded to the paper, 26 supported a repeal, 3 are opposed and 29 were undeclared.

Today’s Irish Independent published results from a similar survey that also explored TDs’ opinions on legalising unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Here is how Donegal’s TDs responded:

  • Charlie McConalogue TD (FF) – No response
  • Joe McHugh TD (FG) – Undeclared
  • Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (FF) said he is against repeal and the 12 weeks proposal. The Leas Cheann Comhairle told the paper he ‘supports the status quo’
  • Pearse Doherty TD (SF) said the Sinn Fein policy supports repeal but is currently opposed to unrestricted abortion.
  • Thomas Pringle TD (IND) said he supports a repeal and the 12 weeks proposal.

The referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution is set to take place in May or June 2018. The topic will be the subject of a Dail debate tomorrow and Thursday examining the recommendations of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment.

The Eighth Amendment is an article in the Irish Constitution introduced in 1983 concerning the country’s abortion laws.

The wording is as follows: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”