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NEW – Audio from Colm Keaveney. Could there be a referendum on Abortion this autumn and is it possible that the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 will have to be shelved? It appears that this could be the case, with pro life and pro choice TD’s and Senators possibly pulling the rug out from under the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. The clerk of the Oireachtas was approached earlier this week to inquire as to the procedures for invoking article 27 of the constitution and appears that numbers are growing in support of the move. Colm Keaveney, Labour Party chairman, Independent TD, Stephen Donnelly and Fine Gael members, John Paul Phelan and Paul Bradford, are just some of the names mentioned as being behind this move. In order to invoke the provisions under article 27 of the constitution, thirty senators and fifty five TD’s must petition the President. This may not seem as unlikely now, as it did some weeks ago! This issue will be discussed in the broadcast media in detail today, following details that were published in this mornings Sunday Independent (See article below). The next two weeks will prove very interesting the Houses of the Oireachtas, as the chase to garner numbers intensifies. But for the time being, check out below what Colm Keaveney had to say on the issue this morning at this link:
and acquaint yourself with the details of Article 27 of the Constitution below.
This Article applies to any Bill, other than a Bill expressed to be a Bill containing a proposal for the amendment of this Constitution, which shall have been deemed, by virtue of Article 23 hereof, to have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
1. A majority of the members of Seanad Éireann and not less than one-third of the members of Dáil Éireann may by a joint petition addressed to the President by them under this Article request the President to decline to sign and promulgate as a law any Bill to which this article applies on the ground that the Bill contains a proposal of such national importance that the will of the people thereon ought to be ascertained.
2. Every such petition shall be in writing and shall be signed by the petitioners whose signatures shall be verified in the manner prescribed by law.
3. Every such petition shall contain a statement of the particular ground or grounds on which the request is based, and shall be presented to the President not later than four days after the date on which the Bill shall have been deemed to have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
4. 1° Upon receipt of a petition addressed to him under this Article, the President shall forthwith consider such petition and shall, after consultation with the Council of State, pronounce his decision thereon not later than ten days after the date on which the Bill to which such petition relates shall have been deemed to have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
2° If the Bill or any provision thereof is or has been referred to the Supreme Court under Article 26 of this Constitution, it shall not be obligatory on the President to consider the petition unless or until the Supreme Court has pronounced a decision on such reference to the effect that the said Bill or the said provision thereof is not repugnant to this Constitution or to any provision thereof, and, if a decision to that effect is pronounced by the Supreme Court, it shall not be obligatory on the President to pronounce his decision on the petition before the expiration of six days after the day on which the decision of the Supreme Court to the effect aforesaid is pronounced.
5. 1° In every case in which the President decides that a Bill the subject of a petition under this Article contains a proposal of such national importance that the will of the people thereon ought to be ascertained, he shall inform the Taoiseach and the Chairman of each House of the Oireachtas accordingly in writing under his hand and Seal and shall decline to sign and promulgate such Bill as a law unless and until the proposal shall have been approved either
i by the people at a Referendum in accordance with the provisions of section 2 of Article 47 of this Constitution within a period of eighteen months from the date of the President’s decision, or
ii by a resolution of Dáil Éireann passed within the said period after a dissolution and re-assembly of Dáil Éireann.
2° Whenever a proposal contained in a Bill the subject of a petition under this Article shall have been approved either by the people or by a resolution of Dáil Éireann in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section, such Bill shall as soon as may be after such approval be presented to the President for his signature and promulgation by him as a law and the President shall thereupon sign the Bill and duly promulgate it as a law.
6. In every case in which the President decides that a Bill the subject of a petition under this Article does not contain a proposal of such national importance that the will of the people thereon ought to be ascertained, he shall inform the Taoiseach and the Chairman of each House of the Oireachtas accordingly in writing under his hand and Seal, and such Bill shall be signed by the President not later than eleven days after the date on which the Bill shall have been deemed to have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and shall be duly promulgated by him as a law.
ARTICLE FROM TODAY’S SUNDAY INDEPENDENT – http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/tds-plot-to-force-abortion-poll-vote-29365603.html