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Friday, April 12, 2024

Huge no vote result in both Irish referendums

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Ireland has made a resounding decision, with 67% of voters rejecting the Government’s proposal to amend the Constitution regarding family matters.

The official declaration came from referendum returning officer Barry Ryan at Dublin Castle, indicating a clear stance from the electorate just before 7pm.

This outcome follows a notable decline in turnout compared to the 2018 abortion referendum, with only 44.36% of eligible voters participating. Despite the Government’s efforts to advocate for constitutional changes, the majority of the public remained unconvinced by the proposed amendments, as emphasized by Tánaiste Micheál Martin.

Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman acknowledged the Government’s failure to sway public opinion, attributing it to various factors including discrepancies from the Citizens’ Assembly’s recommendations. The official results of both referendums on family and care are anticipated later in the evening, with initial indications suggesting a decisive defeat for the proposed amendments.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar conceded defeat, recognizing the comprehensive rejection of the amendments. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan echoed sentiments of respect for the people’s decision, emphasizing the sovereignty of voters in complex matters such as these.

Counting is underway for both referendums, reflecting a national conversation on issues surrounding family, care, and constitutional reform. Despite a reported low turnout throughout the day, citizens engaged in critical discussions on the roles of women, the State’s responsibilities for care, and the evolving definition of family.

The proposed amendments, aimed at removing sexist language and extending protection to diverse family structures, faced scrutiny and ultimately rejection by the electorate. The Government’s acceptance of the outcome underscores the democratic process and paves the way for future reflections and considerations on these significant societal issues.

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