Home News ‘Quiet Revolution’ The Republic of Ireland Repeal the 8th

‘Quiet Revolution’ The Republic of Ireland Repeal the 8th

‘Quiet Revolution’ The Republic of Ireland Repeal the 8th
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Endless tears of joy and relief were shed in Ireland on Friday as the country voted unanimously to repeal the 8th Amendment, meaning that women will now have safe and available access to abortion.

A tremendous 66.4 percent of people voted in favour of repealing the strict law, after three whole months of campaigning.

The referendum saw over 700,00 thousand people turn out to vote, more than the Irish general election and the referendum to legalise gay marriage.

The only constituency who voted ‘NO’ was Donegal with a 51.87 majority, all other constituencies voted resoundingly in favour of reform.

The Prime Minister of Ireland has promised to introduce the new legislation at the end of the year, remarking that the result has finally come for the quiet revolution which has been going on for nearly thirty five years; ‘We have voted to look reality in the eye and we did not blink. And we have voted to provide compassion where there was once a cold shoulder, and to offer medical care where once we turned a blind eye.’

The Prime Minister also stated that with this referendum vote, Ireland had finally stepped out of the dark ages and into the light; ‘finally, we have come of age as a country, today we took our place among the nations of the world’.

As always, not everyone was happy about the repeal.

The head of the ‘Save the Eighth’ campaign has commented that the vote stands as a tragedy in Irish history, whilst the ‘Love Both’ campaign are equally as disgruntled, stating that they will continue fighting to change the law again.

With Ireland legalising abortion, there is now excessive pressure on Northern Ireland to follow suit as they now stand as the country with the strongest abortion laws in Europe.

Although the removal of the eighth will mean that women will be able to travel from Northern Ireland to the Republic instead of heading across the sea to the UK, there are still calls for Northern Ireland to review their current laws in terms of abortion.

Click here for more information on the campaign.

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Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a third year history student studying at The University of Manchester.