TheJournal.ie obtained the email that TD Walsh sent to his colleagues, which indicated that TD Walsh would be going against his party’s direction and not support the new legislation.
TD Walsh said in the email, “Last evening I informed An Taoiseach that I cannot support its passage through the Dáil. I regret if this decision has the unintended effect of placing you under additional pressures from some of your constituents.”
TD Walsh wrote that he has the “utmost admiration and respect” for Taoiseach Enda Kenny and that he hopes that his decision will not be interpreted as undermining Kenny.
He continued, “As a father of two young children with obvious commitments and responsibilities, I had hoped for a long career with Fine Gael, and I accept that this move will likely herald the end of my membership of the parliamentary party and, quite possibly, my political career.”
Concluding, TD Walsh said he hoped that the Taoiseach would listen to requests and grant a free vote on the legislation when it comes before the Dáil and Seanad.
Speaking on RTE’s ‘News at One’ on Wednesday June 19, Walsh said he had “no doubt” others would be in opposition to the legislation.
“I am sure there are others who will oppose it,” saying that members are being “forced to choose between their conscience and their livelihoods.”
In April, TD Walsh said that he would not support the bill if it included risk of suicide as a legitimate ground for termination.
He had told RTE’s Morning Ireland, “I’m saying very clearly that if this legislation, at the end of the day, legislates for suicide being a grounds for a termination, then I can’t support it."