Sinn Féin suspend Peadar Tóibín for voting against liberalisation of the Republic's abortion laws
PRO-life Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has been suspended from the party for six months.
It follows the Meath representative's decision to vote against abortion legislation in the Dáil last month, counter to party policy.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald signalled in April that Mr Tóibín, who had the whip withdrawn for six months in 2014, would face suspension if he failed to toe the party line in regards to abortion.
In May, following a landslide referendum result in favour of removing the Eighth Amendment from the Republic's constitution, Sinn Féin changed its abortion policy to reflect fresh legislation.
The first vote on the Termination of Pregnancy Bill passed in the Dáil last month by 102 votes to 12.
Sinn Féin's whip in the Dáil Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the suspension would take effect immediately.
"The party's position on this legislation is to support it – the whip was in place and all TDs were instructed to be present and to vote for the legislation," Mr Ó Snodaigh said.
But Mr Tóibín has raised concerns about the possibility that he may not be able to run as a Sinn Féin candidate if there is an election in the next six months.
"It is my understanding that while on suspension I would be prevented from standing for Sinn Féin as a candidate and would not be allowed to re-enter the party subsequently if I seek re-election during the suspension," he told The Journal.ie.
"The six month suspension presents significant difficulties and uncertainty."