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Minister Roderic O'Gorman speaking to the media this afternoon Leah Farrell/
Referendum results

O'Gorman says he is 'extremely disappointed' by anticipated No/No referendums outcome

“We weren’t successful in convincing people,” the Children and Integration Minister told reports at Dublin Castle this afternoon.

CHILDREN AND INTEGRATION Minister Roderic O’Gorman has said he is “extremely disappointed” by the anticipated No/No outcome in the Family and Care referendums. 

Speaking to reporters at Dublin Castle this afternoon, O’Gorman said that when the Government puts a question to the public in terms of constitutional amendments, that it is “up to the Government to make the case that that amendment would pass”.

“We have not succeeded in making that case to the Irish people today. I accept that decision and Government accepts the decision,” he said. 

O’Gorman said he will not resign as a result of the outcome of the votes. 

Speaking about what might have lead to No results, O’Gorman said “it’s clear that throughout this campaign issues were raised, issues that I think were incorrect, interpretations that I believe were incorrect”. 

“We weren’t successful in convincing people,” O’Gorman said, but added that the Government arguments “were strong”. 

The proposed wording for the Care referendum differs from the wording recommended by both the Citizens’ Assembly and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality in that it omits any reference to rights to care in the community or outside the home.

O’Gorman said that the departure from the words recommended by the Assembly “meant that some of those NGOs, civil society organisations, who would have been supportive originally didn’t feel they could support … I think that was certainly an element”. 

The Minister also said “people didn’t see the urgency” of the change.

“People didn’t see the urgency on these two issues like they would have seen in the case of Repeal, in the case of marriage equality,” he said. 

O’Gorman also admitted that there probably would have been a bigger turn out had the referendums be run on the same day as the European and local election day in June. 


On Thursday, The Ditch published articles containing leaked advice from Attorney General Rossa Fanning to Minister O’Gorman on the Care and Family referendums. 

In relation to the Family referendum wording, he said that policymakers would be required to offer greater weight to the rights of the non-marital family, including in child care, immigration and social welfare.

“It is likely that issues relating to the application of Article 41 to non-marital families will be more heavily litigated than at present, for example it is foreseeable that the provision will be relied upon in the context of immigration and surrogacy.”

Fanning told the Minister that the amendment will have little impact on immigration. 

“As referenced above, it is foreseeable that the amended Article 41.1.1° will be relied upon in the context of immigration. However, in my view, it is unlikely that it will have any particularly significant effect in this area,” he said.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, O’Gorman said that “it’s very frustrating to see the Attorney General’s advice leaked, or partial advice leaked, at the very end of the campaign”. 

“Even if you look at the section that was leaked, it clearly states that immigration decisions wouldn’t be changed by the family referendum,” he said. 

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