Varadkar's six-month time-line to introduce legislation is 'realistic' - expert
The Taoiseach's six-month time-line to introduce legislation following the repeal of the Eighth Amendment "is realistic", according to a lecturer in constitutional law.
Dr Conor O'Mahony, lecturer in Constitional Law at UCC, told RTE that Varadkar's proposed timing is "realistic", but he wouldn't expect it any sooner.
Speaking as it appears the country will be repealing the Eighth Amendment with a resounding 'Yes', Dr O'Mahony said he was surprised by the wide margin in the exit polls and results so far.
"I was quite surprised at the margin. It looked obvious coming in to polling day it was a yes vote but I didn't anticipate it going into the 60s or higher than that," he said.
"I didn't think the margin would be higher than the marriage equality result."
Speaking about what the government need to do next, Dr O'Mahony said he hopes they "take their time with the process".
"So the returning officer will have to certify the result," he said.
"Then, if anybody wants to challenge the legitimacy, there is a small window to challenge it. There doesn't seem to be any grounds [to challenge the result], but there didn't seem to be either in the marriage equality result and a weak challenge was brought against it.
"There were no obvious irregularities, nothing in the broadcasting or coverage that would give anyone obvious grounds.
"Yet that all stood in the marriage equality as well and there was a challenge, so it did have a delaying effect."
He continued; "It will go to the Oireachtas and they will decide what to do in any way of legislation.
"It could be Christmas or early next year when that is complete."
Constituencies with the strongest Yes/No vote
The table below shows the top five constituencies with the strongest vote for or against repealing the Eighth Amendment.
Dublin Bay South 78.49% 21.51%
Dún Laoghaire 77.06% 22.94%
Dublin Fingal 76.96% 23.04%
Dublin Central 76.51% 23.49%
Dublin Rathdown 76.10% 23.90%
Donegal 48.13% 51.87%
Reacting to the Taoiseach's six-month timeline, he said; "Varadkar's six-month timeline is realistic but it wouldn't be any quicker that than with the various stages it goes through.
"You want to process to develop so everyone has a say. You need to make sure the legislation is properly drafted so there cannot be any ambiguities.
"Sometimes it is better to take an extra month or two to make sure the process is correct."