Tuesday 19 June 2018

Final Results

Repeal the Eighth Amendment?

Yes 66.40% 1,429,981

No 33.60% 723,632

  • Constituencies declared: 40/40

Referendum Hub


Jane Last: It's a Yes for women as voters deliver a resounding result

A woman carries her baby as she arrives to vote as Ireland holds a referendum on liberalizing its law on abortion, in Dublin. REUTERS/Max Rossi
A woman carries her baby as she arrives to vote as Ireland holds a referendum on liberalizing its law on abortion, in Dublin. REUTERS/Max Rossi
People pass a mural of Savita Halappanavar in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
Jane Last

Jane Last

Yes. It's a Yes. It is a Yes for Women. It is a Yes for better support in times of crisis. It is a Yes for better healthcare. It is a Yes for trusting in our judgment.

The landslide vote in support of repealing the Eighth is so much more than that.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina cast their votes at the polling station in St Mary’s Hospital, Phoenix Park, Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina cast their votes at the polling station in St Mary’s Hospital, Phoenix Park, Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
Sister Victor a Dominican nun casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution at Drumcondra national school in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar casting his vote at Scoil Thomas, Castleknock, Dublin 15. Pic: Mark Condren
A dog looks on as Minister for Health Simon Harris speaks to media briefly after voting at Delgany National School Polling Station. Pic: Steve Humphreys
Minister for Health Simon Harris voting at Delgany National School Polling Station. Pic Steve Humphreys
A mother holding her baby arrives to cast her vote in the referendum on the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution at St Josephs school on the Navan Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Minister for Health Simon Harris voting at Delgany National School Polling Station.Pic Steve Humphreys
Sinn Fein President, Mary Lou McDonald casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution at St Josephs school on the Navan Road in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Bronwen Connor, with help from her daughters, Eadaoin, 6, left and Eithne, 9 vote in the referendum on the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution at Drumcondra national school in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Sister Victor a Dominican nun prepares to vote in the referendum on the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution at Drumcondra national school in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
A Vote is dropped in the ballot box in the referendum on the 8th amendment of the Irish constitution at St Mary's Hospital in the Phoenix Park. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 25/5/2018

No more shall our country turn its back on the thousands of women who travel to another country for a termination.

No more shall the parents of a child with a fatal foetal abnormality have to get the remains of their child couriered home from abroad.

No more shall our country turn a blind eye to the women who take their lives into their own hands as they take abortion pills ordered online..

No more shall a woman fear going to a doctor for urgent medical assistance after such a procedure or taking of pills, feeling they have to lie out of fear they will get into trouble for breaking the law.

No more - it is over, it is done, it has all changed. The Eighth is gone.

The Irish electorate have delivered a resounding result - they want to embrace those of us that are in crisis. .

It is optimistic at best that legislation for this will be passed by the end of the year, as proposed by Health Minister Simon Harris.

We will probably witness filibustering in the Dáil like never before.

There will be more heated, passionate debate about the 12 weeks proposal.

But the people have spoken - and more than two-thirds of the electorate have voted for change. And the elected members of Dáil Éireann cannot subvert the democratic will of the people.

This result will be unpalatable to so many people - but this is how democracy works.

Overall the debate surrounding this referendum has been respectful - of course there have been some moments, most notably the 'Claire Byrne Live' debate and Senator Rónán Mullen's comments to a young woman on TV3's 'Pat Kenny Show'.

Debate on this issue was always going to be robust and emotional. There is no common ground.

Going forward, we need to put these differences behind us, focus on the best way forward for women and be respectful of the result delivered at the ballot box.

And let's remember the other promises made by Simon Harris - a better schools sex education programme for our children, and better supports for those in crisis pregnancies. These cannot fall by the wayside.

Many will feel (on both sides of the campaign) that today is not a day for feverish celebration - but we would do well to reflect upon where our country is now.

It took 35 years and four referendums to get us to this point - let's be thankful that we have had activists such as Nell McCafferty to fight for women's rights for decades. A fight that wasn't always popular.

The 68pc vote in favour of repeal does not mean 68pc of the Irish people favour abortions. They favour women getting treatment at home. They favour love, care and compassion to be shown to our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our friends in a time of crisis.

It's a Tá For Mná - and everything has changed. All for the better.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News