In a statement issued this afternoon, ICTU said it opposed the inclusion of the 8th Amendment in the Constitution in 1983 and its position today remains unchanged.

“Congress believes that repeal is necessary in order to achieve a more compassionate Ireland, one in which restrictions on women’s healthcare are removed from the Constitution. It would then be a matter for our elected representatives in the Oireachtas to legislate for the introduction of a regulated, comprehensive and quality healthcare service that is safe for women and girls, in line with international norms. It is our view that the 8th Amendment prevents this from happening and should now be repealed.”

Congress added that recent contributions to referendum debate from David Begg, the former General Secretary of Congress, were made in a private and personal capacity and stated that Mr Begg retired from his position with Congress, in March 2015.