Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Adams 'inadvertently' voted on abortion legislation in seat of ex-SF colleague Toibin

Former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
Former Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams

By Hugh O'Connell

Sinn Fein's former leader Gerry Adams mistakenly voted in the seat of former party colleague Peadar Toibin on legislation to hold an abortion referendum in March 2018.

The party said the Louth TD made the error after moving to a new seat in the Irish parliament, Dail officials were informed and Mr Adams apologised to Mr Toibin

It means that Mr Toibin, who quit the party over his opposition to abortion, is listed on the Dail record as having voted in favour of a referendum to liberalise the abortion laws.

The revelation is the latest in the "phantom voting" scandal engulfing politics in the Republic which has senior senior politicians sanctioned over apparent errors which has seen Dail members recorded as having voted when they were absent from the chamber.

Last night, Mr Toibin said: "I was not in Leinster House on the day. I in no way asked for Gerry Adams or anyone else to vote on my behalf. Obviously I completely disagreed with this policy at the time and I would not have voted with Sinn Fein had I been there.

"I understand that record of the vote was not corrected and it remains on the Oireachtas website to this day. I was disappointed and annoyed with the error. However, Gerry apologised to me afterwards."

A Sinn Fein spokesperson said: "Gerry Adams had been allocated a new seat several weeks earlier after standing down as party leader and inadvertently voted in Peadar's seat, not his own. We alerted the Dail officials that day to the error and Gerry apologised to Peadar."

The Dail debate record notes Mr Adams "inadvertently voted" in Mr Toibin's seat but the official Oireachtas record shows no correction.

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