herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Some FG TDs did not push for 'Yes', says Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has admitted there is a conservative element among Fine Gael membership who have not campaigned actively for 'Yes' votes in their constituencies.

Mr Kenny said he would have liked a "150pc" effort from his TDs, but conceded that it was difficult to convince all members of the party to support the passing of the referendum.

"The Fine Gael party has quite a few members who would be very conservative. As I have said publicly before, I have travelled on a journey myself," Mr Kenny said.

inequality

"What really stuck me was the power of the ordinary stories of ordinary people living their ordinary lives. How can you expect them to be the people they are if there is an inequality in our society?"

His comments followed revelations that there was growing unease in the Labour Party over the failure of some Fine Gael TDs to canvass.

Labour leader Joan Burton conceded many Fine Gael politicians had "reservations" about actively supporting gay marriage. But she insisted that Fine Gael in government was totally committed to a successful campaign.

"I am aware of what some Fine Gael backbenchers have said. Some of the older members in the party may have had reservations," she said.

Speaking at Fine Gael's final press conference before tomorrow's vote, Mr Kenny said a 'Yes' vote will "obliterate the remaining barriers of prejudice and "the irrational fears of them-and-us".

He warned against complacency and called on people who support the constitutional change to vote in their droves.

Mr Kenny said the country had the opportunity to be the first state to introduce same-sex marriage by popular vote.

A government spokesman said there is concern that an element of complacency has set it, adding that he believes the result will be "extremely tight".

Mr Kenny also admitted that legislation on surrogacy, which has been a divisive issue during the referendum campaign, will not be enacted before the next general election.

He insisted that passing the referendum will not affect access to surrogacy in Ireland, which is currently unlegislated.

He said laws are needed in the area, but because the issue is complicated they will not be enacted during the Government's term in office.

andrew lynch: page 14

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