Thursday 13 December 2018

Final Results

Repeal the Eighth Amendment?

Yes 66.40% 1,429,981

No 33.60% 723,632

  • Constituencies declared: 40/40

Referendum Hub


'Sorry we were too late... but we didn't forget you' - hundreds continue to leave tributes for Savita

  • Single candle remains burning in memory of Savita Halappanavar
  • Mural becomes a focal point of remembrance - a place for many to share both apologies and thanks
  • 'Sorry we were too late. But we are here now, we didn't forget you' - one note
  • Emphatic 66.4pc win for Yes side confirmed yesterday
  • 39 out of 40 constituencies vote to repeal Eighth Amendment - Donegal is the only county to vote 'No', and it was by a narrow margin
  • Taoiseach: This is a country where we trust women
  • Father of Savita Halappanavar: 'We've got justice for Savita'
  • Drafting for legislation will take place over summer
A couple look at a mural to Savita Halappanavar, on South Richmond Street in Dublin, she was a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died in 2012 at University Hospital Galway in Ireland due to complications arising from a septic miscarriage. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 26/5/2018
A couple look at a mural to Savita Halappanavar, on South Richmond Street in Dublin, she was a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died in 2012 at University Hospital Galway in Ireland due to complications arising from a septic miscarriage. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 26/5/2018
26/5/18 People come to pay tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
26/5/18 People come to pay tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
People come to pay tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
Hundreds of messages left in tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
A woman kneels in front of a mural of Savita Halappanavar in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

Rachel Farrell

A single candle flame remains burning in front of a mural of Savita Halappanavar the morning after a landslide 'Yes' vote in the abortion referendum.

Seen as the catalyst for repealing the Eighth Amendment for some, Savita's death sparked the start of a revolution following her death in 2012. The 31-year-old Indian dentist died of sepsis in a hospital in Galway after she was denied an abortion during miscarriage.

In 2012, Savita's husband Praveen claimed that she requested a termination, but was denied because the baby's heart was still beating. She was told is wasn't possible because Ireland was "a Catholic country".

Thousands of pro-choice activists lay flowers and heartful messages beside the mural of Savita's face, intertwined with the word 'Yes'. The mural appeared last week at the Bernard Shaw pub, designed by street artist Aches.

26/5/18 People come to pay tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
26/5/18 People come to pay tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron

For many people across Ireland, Savita's name was on their mind as the final tally was called out at Dublin Castle yesterday evening. The Eighth Amendment was repealed, with an overwhelming 66.4pc of voters in favour.

The drafting of legislation will take place over the summer, with the first draft due to be tabled in the autumn.

Messages in memory of Savita Halappanavar, beside a mural of her on South Richmond Street in Dublin, she was a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died in 2012 at University Hospital Galway in Ireland due to complications arising from a septic miscarriage. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 26/5/2018
Messages in memory of Savita Halappanavar, beside a mural of her on South Richmond Street in Dublin, she was a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died in 2012 at University Hospital Galway in Ireland due to complications arising from a septic miscarriage. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 26/5/2018

Savita's father Andanappa Yalagi said he had "no words to express his gratitude to the people of Ireland". 

"We’ve got justice for Savita. What happened to her will not happen to any other family," he told the Hindustan Times as exit polls predicted an overwhelming 'Yes' vote.

Over the last week, the mural has become a focal point of remembrance, a place for many to share both apologies and thanks.

"Sorry we were too late. But we are here now, we didn't forget you," one note reads, taped to the wall.

Hundreds of messages left in tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
Hundreds of messages left in tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron

"I'm so deeply sorry you had to suffer," reads another. "You have changed our history and our destiny."

Some left flowers, some left post-it notes, others simply stood by to share their emotions.

A man and his child look at messages in memory of Savita Halappanavar, beside a mural of her on South Richmond Street in Dublin, she was a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died in 2012 at University Hospital Galway in Ireland due to complications arising from a septic miscarriage. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
A man and his child look at messages in memory of Savita Halappanavar, beside a mural of her on South Richmond Street in Dublin, she was a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died in 2012 at University Hospital Galway in Ireland due to complications arising from a septic miscarriage. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

According to the RTÉ exit poll, a total of 8pc of voters surveyed said their 'Yes' vote was influenced by Savita's story, a statistic reflected by the sheer volume of tributes left at the mural. 

Another poignant note reads; "Savita, I am so sorry. The travesty of your death propelled this country towards change. You should not have died. You are in our hearts, today and always.

26/5/18 People come to pay tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
26/5/18 People come to pay tribute at the mural of Savita Halappanavar on Richmond street south in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron

"Signed, Mná na hÉireann."

Another reads; "Savita, because you slept, many of us woke. Tomorrow we'll awake to an Ireland less ashamed. Because you came to us, women can now stay with us when they need us. Thank you. Rest in peace."

"I'm sorry. I hope this absolves our country's guilt. Grá mór, Savita," reads another.

Another note, written on a 'Together for Yes' post-it reads;"Your death started me on this journey to repeal the 8th. Today I stand proud of our country as we managed to do that. You will never be forgotten and I'm so sorry we couldn't help you. My 'Yes' was for you."

Another adds; "I'm so sorry we let you down. It won’t be in vain."

While a longer tribute reads; "Dear Savita, you wouldn’t know who I am, and if Ireland was fairer, I wouldn't know who you are either. I'm sorry it took the tragic loss of you and your child's life for me to wake up and care, to do something.

"I'm sorry that when you needed some kindness, all you got was fear. I'm sorry that no word or apologies can turn back time, give you the joy, the family, the life you should gave had.

"You should be alive. I only hope my actions, in voting Yes, might save the next woman. I hope no Irish person forgets your name".

Results

Speaking yesterday after the result, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar called the result a “quiet revolution.”

He said: "We have voted to look reality in the eye and we did not blink."

For those who voted No, he said: "I would like to reassure you that Ireland is still be the same country today as it was before, just a little more tolerant, open and respectful."

Mr Varadkar said for 35 years we had "hidden our conscience behind the Constitution" but voters had said "no more".

"No more doctors telling their patients there is nothing that can be done for them in their own country.

"No more lonely journeys across the Irish Sea.  No more stigma. The veil of secrecy is lifted.

"No more isolation. The burden of shame is gone.”

Mr Varadkar said the results represented "the culmination of a quiet revolution", one that had been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 to 20 years.

"We are a country that is not divided, a country that says that we respect women, that we trust women and we support them."

He said the result was a mandate to bring forward legislation enabling the procedure and the Government is expected to pass laws by the end of the year.

"The people have said that we want a modern constitution for a modern country, that we trust women and we respect them to make the right decision and the right choices about their healthcare."

A vocal anti-repeal movement conceded defeat, calling the the result "a tragedy of historic proportions."

Anti-repeal activist Cora Sherlock said that “what we voted on today is the ending of human life.”

Ms Sherlock said she is personally “very, very upset” at the exit polls but that the pro-life movement will continue in its pursuit to keep Ireland abortion-free.

"I will accept the will of the Irish people, at the same time I will make it very clear what I feel of the campaign that has taken place. We will now regroup and find out what our next move is," says Ms Sherlock.

Head of Save the 8th John McGuirk said that "the constitution has changed but the facts have not".

"The 8th Amendment did not create a right to life for the unborn child- it merely acknowledged that such a right exists, has always existed, and will always exist," Mr McGuirk said.

"What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions. However, a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it."

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