Coveney says public should 'look at facts, not posters'

By Elaine Loughlin, Political Correspondent

The Tánaiste has pleaded with the public to "look at the facts rather than the posters" in calling for a yes vote in next week's abortion referendum.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Simon Coveney said abortion is already a reality in Ireland, but it is governed by British law.

"I passionately believe and hope that the Irish people will vote yes next week," said Mr Coveney

He said "by and large" the referendum debate and campaign around it has been respectful but said "there have been some notable exceptions to that".

"In any campaign as emotive as this one, as divisive as this one, you are going to get people who are desperate to win an argument and who may present the facts in a very emotive way.

"We should try to look at the facts here rather than the posters.

"I think there has been a sense of discussion and real consideration from people within their homes, from my prospective I have spoken to many people in their homes on this and they want facts."

Answering questions from Solitary-PBP TD Bríd Smith he agreed that a yes vote would be a "reflection of reality in Ireland".

"Abortion is a reality in Ireland. The truth is that the laws that apply to abortion for Irish women, is British abortion law, that's the reality," Mr Coveney said adding that he is not willing to stand over that anymore," he said.

"I am somebody who has had a change of perspective over time based on facts not on posters and based on conversations and talking to people and listening to horror stories that we are continuing to allow."

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