Statement by Brendan Howlin on Referendum
Speaking from the RDS, Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin TD has reacted to the projected landslide win for the Yes campaign saying that the priority must be to pass the proposed legislation.
Deputy Howlin said:
“While the results still have to be officially declared the tallies from across the country show this will be an overwhelming Yes vote to repeal the 8th amendment.
“For thirty five years we have denied something essential to Irish women.
“We’ve denied them security and protection at crucial points in their lives.
“We’ve denied them dignity too.
“Today is a levelling day for them.
“And it is very much a cause for celebration.
“For many of us this has been a long road to travel.
“Those of us that opposed the 1983 amendment.
“That opposed two attempts to repeal the X case decision.
“That passed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act in Government, an essential stop on the journey to today.
“That committed to this referendum at the last General Election.
“I want to pay tribute to a number of people.
“To everybody in Together for Yes.
“Ailbhe, Orla and Grainne and to those that worked with them.
“You held a very disparate group of people together in pursuit of a common cause.
“Political rivals, campaign newcomers, the long committed and the newly converted.
“Your campaign was dignified and decent.
“And today you have reaped a deserved reward.
“I want to pay tribute too, if I may, to my own party members.
“We’ve had some difficult years doing the state some service.
“But nobody should doubt our campaigning capacity and our belief in our values.
“We fought this campaign as a united and determined team.
“And I’d like to pay particular tribute to Jane Horgan Jones, our Director of Elections for her sterling effort on behalf of a new generation.
“To Jan our representative on the Oireachtas Committee, the personification of dignity and decency.
“And finally to Ivana Bacik for for whom today must feel like the culmination of a lifetime’s work.
“We are deeply proud of you all.
“I want to say this to my colleagues in Leinster House.
“I regard this process as being integral to this Dail.
“The mandate we have received today is unambiguous.
“We need to pass this legislation in our parliament.
“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.