"Today is an historic day for Ireland. A quiet revolution has taken place, and a great act of democracy." - An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to visit Kildare today

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

"Today is an historic day for Ireland. A quiet revolution has taken place, and a great act of democracy," said An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, following the official declaration of the result on the Referendum on the Eighth.

"A hundred years since women got the right to vote. Today, we as a people have spoken. And we say that we trust women and we respect women and their decisions.

"For me it is also the day when we said No More. 

"No more doctors telling their patients there is nothing that can be done for them in their own country.

"No more lonely journeys across the Irish Sea. 

"No more stigma. The veil of secrecy is lifted.

"No more isolation. The burden of shame is gone."

He continued noting that the referendum marked a difficult decision for some observing that "some voted yes with enthusiasm and pride, but many others in sorrowful acceptance, with heavy hearts. "

It is 35 years since 841,000 voted to insert the Eighth Amendment into the Constitution, he added, but in 2018 "almost every county, every constituency, men and women, all social classes, almost all age groups. We are not a divided country. The result is resounding.

"To those who voted No I know today is not welcome. You may feel that the country has taken the wrong turn, is no longer a country you recognise. 

"I would like to reassure you that Ireland is still be the same country today as it was before, just a little more tolerant, open and respectful."

He said today's result gives the Government a mandate to proceed with legislation and he hoped to secure its passage by the end of the year.

 

 

chance to treat everyone equally and with compassion and respect.

For 35 years we have hidden the reality of crisis pregnancies behind our laws.   We have hidden our conscience behind the Constitution.

 

This majority decision changes all that.

 

I believe today will be remembered as the day we embraced our responsibilities as citizens and as a country.

The day Ireland stepped out from under the last of our shadows and into the light.

The day we came of age as a country. The day we took our place among the nations of the world. 

Today, we have a modern constitution for a modern people.

 

I want to finish with one of my favouritepoets, Maya Angelou.

‘History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.’

The wrenching pain of decades of mistreatment of Irish women cannot be unlived. However, today we have ensured that it does not have to be lived again.