Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 6°C
AS IT HAPPENED: Yes celebrates huge victory after massive vote to repeal
The official announcement was made just after 6.10 pm this evening.

IT’S BEEN TRULY  historic day for Ireland.

The country voted clearly and decisively to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

It’s a huge win for those who campaigned against it and celebrations have already begun.

Here are the details for you to pour over:

Hello, Rónán Duffy here for the afternoon.

I won’t tease you with any preamble as we have a result coming in from Dublin Central…

The result is from Dublin Central and it’s a Yes, a big one.

The constituency has gone for Yes by a margin of greater than 3:1.


The Irish Times has spoken to the parents of Savita Halappanavar, who came out this week in favour of repeal.

They’ve said that would like the legislation giving effect to the referendum result to be named ‘Savita’s law’.

Savita’s father Andanappa Yalagi said:

I want to thank you so much. I want to say ‘Thank you’ to our brothers and sisters in Ireland for voting Yes. It is very important. There has been really a lot, too much struggle for the Irish ladies.

He and his wife, Akhmedevi have said they are were “very good” and awaiting the final result.

“We are really, really happy. We have one last request, that the new law, that it is called ‘Savita’s law’. It should be named for her.”

Our reporter Daragh Brophy is in the Roscommon count centre and sent us this:

MEP Luke Ming Flanagan, who’s been speaking to me at the count centre in Roscommon Town, has described it as an “absolutely fantastic day”.

The Roscommon-Galway constituency has been the focus of some intense media coverage in recent weeks. The (now-defunct) constituency of Roscommon-South Leitrim was the only area to vote No to same-sex marriage three years ago.

Together for Yes campaigners are in jubilant form here this afternoon, and say the result is the culmination of months of hard work.

“It shows we’re not conservative we’re just complicated,” Flanagan said.

It’s strange to say about someone who is already Health Minister, but Simon Harris has in some ways burst into the mainstream political stage during the campaign.

He’s been getting a good reaction as people begin to gather in Dublin Castle.

Termination for Medical Reasons reflect on what has been a very long battle.

PastedImage-27368 RTÉ.ie RTÉ.ie

Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly is wearing her Repeal t-shirt on RTÉ. She said the result made her think of her parents:

When I saw the exit poll last night I thought first about my parents. They campaigned against the Eighth Amendment in 1983. They said it was going to hurt women and they were right.

“I’m not shocked at the results as it was a reflection of what we were hearing on the doors.”

“I think when people saw people like Peter Boylan coming out and saying that the Eighth stopped us doing our jobs, people heard that very clearly.”

Speaking after O’Reilly, No campaigner and Independent TD Mattie McGrath said: “The people have spoken and I accept the will of the people. ”

He said that No voters, and their concerns, will have to be listened to.

He said that he expected Yes side to win but that’d it be a “bit tighter” in the result.

“Things have certainly changed since 1983,” McGrath added

We did tell you earlier that Simon Harris has been cheered pillar to post in Dublin Castle… / YouTube

We have a result coming in from Wexford. Here it is:



In the marriage equality referendum, Roscommon-South Leitrim was the only constituency to vote No.

This time around, it’s tight, but Donegal may be the only constituency to vote to retain the Eighth Amendment.

The latest tallies show a 52% voting No in the referendum, although an official result has yet to be declared.

Speaking to Ocean FM, Minister of State Joe McHugh said:

It’s very interesting, there’s no natural urban-rural divide in the county… my own parish voted yes. You have no trend. It’s just really, really tight here.

However, the Donegal constituency does not cover the whole of the county.

The Sligo-Leitrim constituency contains part of south Donegal, including Bundoran and Ballyshannon, which voted heavily in favour of repeal with a Yes vote in excess of 60%.

PastedImage-91929 RTÉ.ie RTÉ.ie

Together for Yes obstetrician Mary Higgins have been giving her reaction in a Dublin Castle that has swelled with numbers.

“People listened to the stories and they took on the facts and the evidence and they believed it,” she said.

We have to give it the due respect, people are talking about about relief but for clinicians we feel a responsibility. In medicine, in midwifery and among doctors we have to do this properly.

Asked what it means for her she says:

“It means I can go to sleep and back to work on Monday and tell someone with a fatal foetal abnormality and say it will be different in the future.”

Three more more results for you, Wicklow and Carlow-Kilkenny and Waterford.




This is the state of play with eight constituencies in.


As part of RTÉ’s exit poll, people were asked what way they’d vote if there was a general election tomorrow.

It makes for fascinating reading

Prime Time’s David McCullough warns that the massive ‘don’t know’ vote skews the figures, but it’s fair to say that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will happy.


Four more constituency results for you.





Former Labour Joan Burton has been giving her reaction

“It means that the Dáíl and the Seanad have the authority of the people to deal with the issue and help women in crisis pregnancies and stop the situations we know of, and all the sad, sad stories that helped make people make up their minds.”

What I detected in Dublin West was that it would be a minimum of 60-40 in favour. Meeting men in the doorstep with tears in their eyes saying there was someone in their family who’d had a fatal foetal abnormality.

“I think as the knowledge grew, people’s natural compassion grew and that translated into a Yes vote.”

“Horrific posters of bloody foetuses. So many mothers would say to me ‘can you take those pictures away from the school’. I thought those photos were very callous. I think any woman who ever had a miscarriage… I think it was deeply offensive to most women.”

Similar sentiments from current Labour leader Brendan Howlin who says legislation must now be passed in the Dáil.

“We need to afford it time and scrutinise it closely of course. But the general direction of travel is now established. We have our mandate from the people. Before we face them again as individual public representative and candidates this work should be done.”

Scenes in Dublin Castle this afternoon.

Ireland abortion laws Niall Carson / PA Images Niall Carson / PA Images / PA Images

Ireland abortion laws PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Ireland abortion laws PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Pollster Kevin Cunningham of Ireland Thinks says that the exit poll results show that, while the Yes vote was strong among young people, it wasn’t the decisive factor.

Older age groups would also have passed the referendum.

Three more results now: Offaly, Tipperary and Dublin North West




More emotion, this time from Dublin.

Workers’ Party councillor Éilis Ryan became emotional as she spoke about the result:

“The single biggest reason people voted yes because they belived women have a right to choose.” / YouTube

International pro-life groups have been giving their reaction to Ireland’s historic decision today.

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, the world’s largest annual pro-life rally, said:

“We are deeply saddened to learn that many Irish people voted against love and life by repealing the Eighth Amendment. Americans know from experience that there will be many grave and irreversible consequences to this decision, including the loss of precious lives.”

“A study released this week shows that legalising abortion greatly increases the number of children whose lives are terminated in the womb. Though they are the first, unborn children are not the only victims; abortion harms mothers too. “


The master of the National Maternity Hospital Rhona Mahony was a key person in this debate.

She delivered expert evidence at the Oireachtas Committee and has been campaigning to remove the Eighth Amendment for a number of years.

“It’s a very emotional day and I think it’s a very emotional day for all the women who have travelled or taken a tablet and have been excluded from our health system,” she says.

Mahony says that although many personal stories have been told publicly “there were also many stories told over kitchen tables and over glasses of wine”.

“We talk about 1983 and it was divisive but this has been a calm and informed debate,” she added.

Speaking to‘s Céimin Burke at the Galway West count centre, No campaigner and Fianna Fáil deputy Eamon Ó Cúiv admitted he has been “on the wrong side of referenda before”.

“I think the result is overwhelming clear and we obviously have to reflect on that now,” he said.

Asked about the impact of the result on him personally, he continued:

It doesn’t seem to affect things on the ground. There’s interesting precedent of that from the past… what happens in a referendum doesn’t seem to have any impact on general elections. If you ask me if I am quaking in my shoes that my seat’s gone then not particularly.

“The other thing is this, if you take a five-seater, I presume 30% in Galway West voted on the no side – that’s two quotas.”

However, he does not think we’ll be heading for the polls again this year.

“My understanding of the election timescale has always been that we’ll certainly see out this year. Micheál Martin has made it absolutely clear that there won’t be any election this year – he’s not calling an election.”

Do I think it’s going to last long next year? No, I don’t but I don’t think this will affect one way or another. Let’s be honest about it, all the big parties were in unanimous, well, all the leaders of the big parties were in unanimous vote.

“Well in Fianna Fáil, this issue is just a personal issue. Back to business in the other business tomorrow and we’ll just get on with things.”

Dr Peter Boylan was also speaking to reporters in the RDS count centre.

“Everybody’s gone into this with open eyes. They know what the legislation proposed is so I think politicians from all parties can take it that the legislation outlined by Government is what the will of the people is.”

My experience over the years in talking to women, particularly older women, was that they were ready for this change and it wasn’t just the issue of abortion, it was the way women had been treated by this state over the years.

“We all know the litany of abuse that women and children have suffered so I think it was part of the sequence of redress for all of the wrongs over the years.” / YouTube

“Everybody’s views need to be respected. I think that came out particularly in stories about fatal foetal abnormality. A lot of those couples choose to continue on with pregnancy and they are looked after with all the compassion and care that we weren’t able to give to women who had to travel who chose not to go through to end of pregnancy but to deliver their much loved babies early and they kept momentos and so on.”

“Of course, we have sympathy and empathy with the people who voted not and they voted out of genuine concerns. Nobody has to have an abortion if they don’t want it and their views will be respected.”

More emotional reaction from Dublin Castle, this time from campaigner Frank Crummy.

Results time again, six quick hits here.




[image alt="GALWAY WEST" src="" width="500" height="500" wp-size="size-large" credit-url="" credit-source="" credit-via="" credit-via-url="" caption="" title="" wp-id="wp-image-4036892" class="alignleft" /end]



Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Simon Harris have arrived at Dublin Castle.

Varadkar is due to make a formal statement following the formal declaration of the result.

The declaration could come in the next hour or so as there are just 10 of 40 constituencies yet to declare.

fa17411b-6754-4c3f-ab37-2ac0bf55e188 Marga Jiminez Marga Jiminez

There was debate about whether the courtyard in Dublin Castle would even be open to the public today.

It was opened. And it’s now almost full to capacity.

Meanwhile, Donegal is going down to the wire…

Our reporter Christina Finn is in Dublin Castle and she reports that while it is filling up, there are issues with microphones on the podium:

The atmosphere here in Dublin Castle is electric. There were thoughts that celebratory scenes would be muted but that is clearly not the case. The courtyard looks almost full to capacity and the cheers continue.

It’s clear from the reaction of the crowd to Health Minister Simon Harris that campaigners believe he is owed thanks for the result – one woman holds up an ‘I fancy Simon Harris’ poster.

The plans to not install a TV and mic system has angered some people in the crowd, who tell me the authorities should have expected such a reaction. / YouTube

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald gives her reaction to the result:

“I know even people who had a reservation or were uneasy or are alarmed today, I just want to say that this was another step forward in a more open tolerant Ireland for all of us.”

“I was out yesterday getting the vote out and I met a woman with her kids and she said it best: ‘Today I feel like Ireland is mine again’.”

“It says that all those voices that had been silenced, all those people who felt like they couldn’t speak out now can.”

“And now we are in a mature way, in a fair way, accepting the realities of Irish life. We have work today, we have legislation now to get through and I’ve every confidence that we will.”

Here are some more results, there are just three remaining now.

[image alt="MYO" src="" width="500" height="500" wp-size="size-large" credit-url="" credit-source="" credit-via="" credit-via-url="" caption="" title="" wp-id="wp-image-4036962" class="alignleft" /end]








Some more images as Dublin Castle waits for the final result.

Ireland abortion laws PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Ireland abortion laws PA Images PA Images

Trying my best not to miss out on any result as they all come in, here’s one you haven’t got yet.

It’s Dublin Bay South and the biggest Yes vote in the country, with just three remaining.

It will likely stay that way too.


Cavan-Monaghan has gone Yes too.


Ever since the exit poll last night, many abortion rights campaigners have been saying that their next target is to bring Northern Ireland’s laws in line with Britain, and now Ireland.

A sign reading ’The North is next’ was being waved in the crowd in Dublin Castle and Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill are now making that promise.

f8d9f096-273b-493c-98b2-893c6f9b7192 Marga Jiminez Marga Jiminez

An important update here Cork’s Red FM:

The speculation is that the result is being held so that it can by the announced as part of the official final declaration.

Just over three years after they celebrated the passing of the marriage equality referendum in the same Dublin Castle square, Katherine Zappone, now a minister, and Leo Varadkar, now Taoiseach, share a moment together.

4950 Leo Varadkar_90545989 Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

Ireland’s new heartthrob Simon Harris has been getting a lot of love recently, particularly since his performance in this week’s debate.

And that love has come to a head in Dublin Castle today.

Ireland abortion laws Brian Lawless / PA Images Brian Lawless / PA Images / PA Images

More love coming from the stage in Dublin Castle. This time for Dr. Peter Boylan.

Our reporter Gráinne Ní Aodhá is there and she says that it’s looking like rain. We’ve been waiting a while for the official result, it would want to happen soon.

Ever wonder what goes on behind the camera? Our Facebook Live from Dublin Castle is being brought to you by Nicky Ryan and Gráinne Ní Aodha, who’s doing a great job as camera woman.

IMG_20180526_173611 (1)

There’s a woman in Dublin Castle literally handing out After Eight’s. *Applause emoji*

PastedImage-2480 Twitter / IamPhoebe Twitter / IamPhoebe / IamPhoebe

Here it is, the announcement is about to be made…

PastedImage-93705 RTÉ.ie RTÉ.ie

Total poll: 2,159,655

Invalid votes: 6042

Total poll: 2,153,613

In favour: 1,429,981

Against:  723, 632

Majority in favour: 706,349


This is the final result.


Mopping up the other results. It’s been confirmed that Donegal was the only constituency in the country to vote against repeal.

Donegal voted by 2,42 votes to retain the Eighth Amendment.


PastedImage-40369 RTÉ.ie RTÉ.ie

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is speaking following the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. He promises to pass legislation by the end of the year.

Today is an historic day for Ireland. A quiet revolution has taken place, and a great act of democracy. 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. When we went to the polls yesterday, some voted yes with enthusiasm and pride, but many others in sorrowful acceptance, with heavy hearts.

The ‘X’ marked on the ballot paper represented so much more than an individual vote. In 1983, 841,000 people voted to insert the eighth amendment into our constitution.

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.

This gives us the mandate we need to bring forward legislation and secure its passage by the end of the year.

Varadkar says that Ireland’s democracy is “vibrant and robust”:

We voted for the 200,000 Irish women who have travelled to Britain since 1983 to end their pregnancies. For the couples who shared their stories of returning home with tiny coffins. For the young and the not so young women, who spoke their truth. For those whose stories have still not been heard. I said in recent days that this was a once in a generation vote.

Today I believe we have voted for the next generation. We have voted to look reality in the eye and we did not blink. We have voted to provide compassion where there was once a cold shoulder, and to offer medical care where once we turned a blind eye.

At the beginning of this campaign I called for a respectful debate, one that was never angry or personalised. I think that by and large we succeeded. Our democracy is vibrant and robust and can survive divisive debates and make difficult decisions.


“Unexpected. Shocking. Overwhelming. Flabbergasting. A silent Yes vote,” are the words of‘s News Editor Sinead O’Carroll.

She’s put together a summary of how the 40 constituencies voted and points out that fourteen constituencies returned Yes votes of over 70%.

We mentioned earlier that campaigners were looking towards Northern Ireland as the next goal.

The Alliance Party’s Naomi Long told the BBC that she agreed, “all eyes will focus on Northern Ireland – we are again a place apart”, she said.

Long added that NI will continue to export people abroad, away from their families, at a time when they need that support more than ever

This was the view from the stage at Dublin Castle as the crowd reacted to the Yes result being announced. / YouTube

Some perspective on the Donegal result from Sinn Féin Senator Padraig MacLochlainn.

Doctors for Choice Ireland (DfC) has welcomed the overwhelming result of a Yes vote in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. Dr Mary Favier, co-founder and spokesperson for DfC said:

“After years of witnessing the harms of the Eighth Amendment and campaigning to have it removed, we are delighted to see this momentous result for Ireland and Irish women.”

“A Yes result may go some way to repair the hurt and suffering the Eighth Amendment has caused for the estimated 170,000 Irish women and girls that have had to travel for abortions since 1980, and the uncountable number who have taken illegal medication abortion pills bought online; women who the state abandoned: legally, morally and when they most needed healthcare.”

The Irish College of General Practitioners has says that is “welcomes the clarity” brought about the result. The GP group says that it “awaits the passing of amending legislation for the management of crisis pregnancy.”

On the fly, I’ve put together some analysis of Ireland’s vote: Six reasons why Ireland was a landslide Yes for repeal

Campaigners have been seeking the removal of the amendment for many years and there have been several fateful events that brought the issue into the national consciousness.

In recent years pressure to repeal has been building, culminating in today’s result.

But why is it that people voted in such numbers repeal?

Here are Six reasons why Ireland was a landslide Yes for repeal

Well, that was really something. It was a truly incredible day for Irish democracy and I hope we helped you experience and understand it all.

I’m logging off now but my colleague Michelle Hennessy is going to keep going with some more reaction to the result.

Thank you all and goodbye,


Have you checked how your constituency voted? You’ll find all the results here.

People have been drawn to this mural of Savita over the last couple of days. There are emotional scenes there right now:

Our reporter Aoife Barry spent the day at the RDS in Dublin. She has described the atmosphere there and the emotion of those who gathered for the result:

As they stood in the RDS count hall on Saturday afternoon, surrounded by campaigners and reporters, you could almost hear them exhale after weeks of pent-up nerves. For Amy Walsh, whose baby daughter Rose was stillborn at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, the results were a “huge relief”.

She and the other parents who spoke were not just thinking of themselves – they were thinking of the other parents who would be given FFA diagnoses in the future, a future where legislation would allow them to decide what they want to do, to make a choice that, should it include termination, would not have to involve travelling far from home.

That’s all from our liveblog, but we’ll have more referendum content on the site this evening and tomorrow so stick with us.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel