A date for the vote should be known later this week

The Government has approved the draft laws they'd try to bring in if the 8th amendment is repealed.

It proposes to allow abortions where a doctor assesses that a woman is not more than 12 weeks pregnant.

Seventy-two hours will have to pass between a woman seeking an abortion and the termination being carried out.

After the first three months of pregnancy terminations will only be allowed in limited circumstances - where there's a fatal foetal abnormality, or a risk to the life or health of the mother.

A debate on holding the referendum has just started in the Seanad.

Health Minister Simon Harris says we should know this week when polling day will be:

"Earlier this year, I set out a very detailed, ambitious and demanding timetable to facilitate a referendum by the end of May, and I’m pleased to say that it's firmly on track.

"I expect that we will be in a position to set the polling day this week so that the people of Ireland will know exactly what day in May this referendum will take place."