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Taoiseach hails 'historic' vote and promises new laws and support

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has promised to implement new laws following the "historic" Yes vote.

It will include legislation allowing for children in foster care to be adopted -- even if their parents are married, the reporting of child custody cases, and the setting up of the new Children and Family Support Agency.

But Government figures acknowledged they would have to be careful in future on "socially divisive" referendums after the higher than expected No vote and the low turnout.

Mr Kenny said the Government would implement the decision of the people after what he called a "historic day for the children of Ireland".

He said: "The passing of this amendment will help make childhood a good, secure and loving space for all our children. It will also give hope, reassurance and confidence to parents, foster parents and vulnerable children."

Meanwhile, the threat of a legal challenge to the result of the poll is hanging over the Government, as No campaigners warned court action was possible.

They cited the Government's €1.1m information campaign -- which was found to be unfair and unbalanced by the Supreme Court as a factor in the Yes side success.

Disabled rights campaigner and former MEP Kathy Sinnott said she believed there were very strong grounds for a legal challenge on the basis of the Supreme Court ruling.

"I think there should be a legal case for the sake of democracy and I will support any group or any individual who takes that challenge," she said.

Journalist John Waters has also warned that the result could be challenged in the courts. But so far, no group or individual has confirmed they will be taking a case.

Irish Independent