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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020

The world's media looks to Ireland as referendum results come in

Many international outlets have noted Ireland’s past relationship with religion and how recent referendums indicate the country is becoming more liberal.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA ORGANISATIONS are looking at Ireland today as votes are being counted in a historic referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

Over the past few days, TV stations, newspapers and other media outlets from around the world have been covering stories about Ireland’s abortion laws and sending reporters here to cover the referendum.

BBC has a story about the referendum on its homepage. It states that emotions have been running high during the campaign.

BBC Source: BBC

The Guardian is running a liveblog as the votes are being counted. Guardian reporter Lisa O’Carroll is at the count centre in Roscommon talking to people on the ground.

SkyNews has Ireland’s referendum as its top story on its homepage. It’s also running a liveblog as the votes are being counted.

Many international outlets have noted Ireland’s past relationship with religion and how recent referendums indicate the country is becoming more liberal.

International news agency AFP has been reporting stories on the referendum throughout the day. It reports:

The result looks set to be another hammer blow to the Roman Catholic Church’s authority in Ireland, coming three years after referendum voters backed legalising same-sex marriage by 62%.

“On what was traditionally one of the most religious countries in Europe, the Church’s influence has waned in recent years following a series of child sex abuse scandals.”

Reporting on the exit poll results, TIME magazine said “Ireland has long been one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries, and contraception was only fully legalized in 1985, while divorce was banned until 1995.

The declining influence of the Catholic Church, which was instrumental in seeing the Eighth Amendment introduced via referendum in 1983, is one explanation for today’s result.

The Irish referendum is also on the homepage of CNN. A story on the American news channel states:

If the exit polls are confirmed, the referendum will also complete a circle of sweeping social reforms in the European Union nation that fly in the face of the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church, from contraception to divorce, and most recently gay marriage.

Ireland abortion laws Source: PA Wire/PA Images

One of the largest news agencies in the world, Reuters, reports that Ireland “is set to liberalize some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws after exit polls suggested a landslide vote for change in what was until recently one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries”.

No social issue has divided Ireland’s 4.8 million people as sharply as abortion, which was pushed up the political agenda by the death in 2012 of a 31-year-old Indian immigrant from a septic miscarriage after she was refused a termination.

The New York Times is also reporting on the referendum. A story entitled ‘Understanding Ireland’s Vote on Whether to Keep Its Abortion Ban‘ its states that Ireland’s abortion laws “are among the most restrictive in Europe, with abortion effectively outlawed in nearly all cases, including rape, incest or crisis pregnancies”.

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