Latest: Summer date for abortion unrealistic, says Owen
Dec 31, 2017
Update 1.38pm: A former Fine Gael Justice Minister has said that Pope Francis' visit next August might not be the only reason for delaying the abortion referendum.
The Taoiseach has previously said he would prefer if the country voted on the 8th Amendment in May or June.
However, Nora Owen has said that the preparation alone required for the referendum makes this timeline unrealistic. "I think that Pope or no Pope, you're probably looking at a longer date than May and June, and you can't push it into July or August," she said.