Tuesday, 19th June 2018
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It was a truly emphatic Yes

In the week leading up to the referendum it seemed as if the whole thing was on a knife edge and that either side could potentially win it. So it came as a huge surprise when the Yes side romped home with one of the biggest winning margins that has been seen in an Irish referendum. Even those who were campaigning on the Yes side in the referendum weren’t 100% sure that they would win even though they said that they were getting good feedback on their campaigning. As it turned out over 66% of the Irish electorate said that they wanted to repeal the 8th Amendment and even now the reverberations from the result are being felt. Here in Waterford the electorate went even further and turned out in their thousands to vote to repeal the 8th with just over 69% of those who voted voting for the Yes side.

What was abundantly clear as the results started coming in from all over the country is that the electorate was united in their view that the 8th Amendment should be repealed and that abortion should be allowed here in Ireland.

There was no gender divide and no rural/urban divide as there had been in recent referendums or elections.

The electorate spoke almost consistently with one voice to say that it wanted a more compassionate and caring Ireland and when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke of a ‘quiet revolution’ most of the people in the country understood exactly what he meant.

While the result of the referendum was almost overwhelmingly in favour of Yes there still however was a sizable minority who voted no and the Taoiseach spoke to them saying that they weren’t going to be ignored or their concerns brushed under the carpet.

Given the momentous nature of the Yes win in the referendum attention has now, not unexpectedly, been turned on how fast the result of the referendum can be enacted into law and Irish women will no longer have to travel to Britain to avail of abortion services.

There have been calls on the Dail to have a special summer sitting so that all the legislation surrounding the changing of the constitution can be enacted and a thorough repeal of the 8th amendment can be pushed through.

Considering the fact that there might be a general election called in the very near future those who have been campaigning for a Yes vote don’t want to see the legislation which will allow abortions to take place in Ireland to be caught up in the electioneering and effectively be kicked down the road.

The momentum is with the Yes side and they are going to use it to their best advantage as indeed they should, and have the right, to do.

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