Simon Coveney’s proposals for a supermajority for future changes to abortion law are crazy, unconstitutional, and telling, Save the 8th has said.

Commenting on reports in this morning’s newspapers, which astonishingly ignore that what the Tánaiste is proposing falls outside article 15 of the constitution, Save the 8th’s Niamh UiBhrian said: “We agree with Simon Coveney that politicians simply cannot be trusted with abortion, and that additional safeguards are needed. But what the Minister is proposing is crazy, unconstitutional, and telling. Article 15 of the constitution says that all matters before the Dáil shall be decided by simple majority.

It is absolutely astonishing and outrageous for the second most senior figure in the Government to effectively mislead the public about what can be included in a contentious piece of legislation. It is, frankly, even more outrageous that such ill-informed proposals could be reported uncritically on the front page of two national newspapers. That Mr. Coveney has proposed something like this, in an attempt to reassure voters with an actual impossibility, must be close to the definition of the fake news that the Irish media has spent a week fretting about.

If the Tánaiste genuinely wants additional protection for the unborn, he needs a constitutional amendment – but he is campaigning to get rid of just that.

What the Tánaiste is saying this morning is that he does not trust politicians to legislate on abortion. He is not alone. The voters should listen carefully to Simon Coveney. He’s changed his mind four times in six months – so when he warns about slippery politicians, voters should know that they are being warned by a truly expert witness.”