May 25th – The Day Ireland Repealed The 8th

Repealed The 8th
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Ireland has repealed the 8th

Following months of campaigning, horn-beeping, selfies and debating, the Irish Times exit poll swept its way across the country. Their projection was that the result would be a win for a YES vote to the tune of 68% versus 32% for NO. As the ballot boxes were opened and constituency results fed in, it was clear that a YES win was on the cards. A resounding 66.4% final landslide was later declared.

In 1995 the people voted 50.28% in favour to remove the constitutional prohibition on divorce. 2015 saw the people voting 62.1% in favour of introducing same-sex marriage by way of a popular vote. On May 25th the people voted once again, this time to repeal the 8th amendment. Our young men and women, in particular, swarmed on polling stations in droves, cementing their place as our nations influencers. This was despite fears up to 125,000 may miss their chance to vote.

The 25th felt longer than just a day. Cars grid-locked in the heavy heat snaking their way to the stations. Suited men and woman diverting from their regular route home to mark their X. Welcome home signs and even bags of Tayto awaiting those who made the journey home from as far away as the U.S, Canada, Asia and Australia. Snaps of passports, boarding cards, jumpers and badges all Liked, Loved, Re-tweeted and Shared.

Many from both sides breathed a sigh of relief following the final whistle. Some announced a personal social media hiatus, such was the tough nature of the cause, others respectfully yet disappointingly accepted the result. Some will raise a glass in celebration but it’s a difficult, almost bitter-sweet victory and we can’t forget.

We can’t forget the harrowing, heart-wrenching stories of those who have had to leave our shores in search of help. These women have shown monumental strength and dignity in the most harrowing of times. The decisions they make are more difficult than any of us can fathom. If you’re in doubt, take a walk In Her Shoes. The pain, suffering and trauma will still be present for many women who, in the future, find themselves in these crippling circumstances but they won’t have to leave us. They won’t have to leave us to find help.