Independent Alliance TDs are to meet tomorrow to discuss the stance their two ministers will take when a motion on repealing the Eighth Amendment comes before the Dáil next week.

The amendment deals with the right to life of the unborn, with equal regard to the right to life of the mother.

Ministers Shane Ross and Finian McGrath insist they must have a free vote, but the Taoiseach is set to be adamant that the Cabinet votes as a bloc.

Earlier this year there was controversy when the Cabinet split over a similar measure.

At the weekend, the inaugural meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly decided to hold four weekend-long meetings on the constitutional restrictions on abortion before submitting a report to legislators.

The assembly, consisting of 99 people chosen by a polling company to be broadly representative of the electorate, has been mandated by the legislature to report on five topics over the coming year; the Eighth Amendment, the ageing population, fixed-term parliaments, referendums and climate change.