The 8th

'It's like an enormous weight being lifted': Applause for Clare Daly's heartfelt referendum speech

The TD, who has campaigned on the issue for years, said she couldn’t believe change had taken so long. / YouTube

CLARE DALY’S HEARTFELT speech on Friday’s referendum was met with applause from both sides of the Dáil chamber this afternoon, as she described how the result felt like an enormous weight being lifted from the country.

The Independents 4 Change TD, who for years has been a consistent campaigner for action on abortion, said she couldn’t believe it had taken so long for a referendum to be held. She also castigated politicians who she said had stalled progress on the issue.

For many women, she said, it felt like society “atoning for everything it’s done” – from stigmatising women in crisis pregnancies, to the Magdalene Laundries and the mother and baby homes.

She also took aim at the “posturing” of some TDs who she said were now attempting, in the wake of the landslide Yes result, to have legislation introduced “yesterday” and called on them to stop their “nonsense”.

Daly, who noted that she had been involved in student politics herself, also paid tribute to the young people who had taken to the streets and run the ground campaign on the Repeal side.

“The young people who mobilised and enfranchised their members – they’re the legends out of this and I hope they make a better job at changing the world than we did.”

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