BREAKING: Carol Nolan resigns from Sinn Féin
Offaly TD Carol Nolan has resigned from Sinn Féin in the wake her opposition to the eight amendment.
Dep Nolan, who won a seat in the Offaly-North Tipperary constituency for the first time in 2016, had been suspended from the party earlier this summer after over her stance the 8th amendment referendum.
Her suspension was due to expire on Thursday of this week, June 21.
"I have decided to as of today 19th June to resign from Sinn Féin. I feel that as a pro-life republican woman that I no longer have a place in this party which doesn't recognise or show genuine respect for the pro-life views of members."
"It was disappointing that at the Ard Fheis which took place in Belfast at the weekend, the party's delegates voted against the motion to allow members to have a conscience vote on the issue of abortion. I want to thank all of the 24 cumainn who put forward motions on the need for a conscience vote on the abortion issue."
"I feel that it is unethical to force TDs who are strongly opposed to abortion to vote against their conscience. Every TD in Leinster House is directly responsible for the laws that they enact, if a TD votes for abortion they are responsible for all abortions that happen in this state. I do not want to have any hand, act or part in bringing about the end to the life of an unborn child, the most vulnerable in our society."
"It is not for politicians or society in general to decide who lives or dies. Every life is precious and every child deserves the chance to live. I don't believe that abortion is the solution to any crisis, how can it be when it takes the right to life away from the unborn?"
"I cannot and will not support abortion and for that reason I have made a decision to leave Sinn Fein. I want to assure the constituents that I represent in Offaly/ North Tipperary that I will continue to work hard on their behalf and that I will continue to represent them as an Independent TD in Dáil Éireann. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank them and my loyal supporters for their relentless support over the past few months," she concluded.
The Cadamstown native voted against legislation paving the way for the referendum and also actively campaigned for a 'No' vote. That was in direct contrast to the decision taken by the party to advocate for a 'Yes' vote.
At the weekend, Sinn Féin delegates voted to allow the Ard Comhairle to agree its position on legislation for abortion.
It remains to be seen what impact her resignation will have on the party which was heading into the next General Election with two TDs in Laois and Offaly which is being reduced to a five seat constituency.
Dep Brian Stanley retained his Dáil seat after first being elected in the Laois Offaly five seater in 2011.