Vote Yes to ensure our Constitution reflects the Ireland of today and to fight for a fairer future

19 February 2024

Labour’s Director of Elections for the Family and Care Referendum, Senator Marie Sherlock, is calling for a yes yes vote to bring Ireland’s Constitution up to date with the reality of family life in Ireland and to fight for a fairer future for all those who are excluded from support by the State.

Senator Sherlock said

“The current language in our Constitution is not reflective of the many types of families in Ireland and we cannot underestimate the hurt caused over many years by Art 41.1.1 which was based on a restrictive definition and which led to the exclusion of certain families from State supports. The proposed constitutional change in 2024 is the result of campaigning over many years by our Party leader and many others in the Labour party who sought to broaden the definition of family in the Constitution.

Article 41.2.2 which recognised a particular role for women reflects outdated perspective and perpetuated gender stereotypes and we are asking voters to vote yes to its removal and to insertion of Article 42B. It is no secret we have been very frustrated at the wording delivered by Government. It is our view that this is a missed opportunity to make a comprehensive commitment on care.

“But our politics is about making a material difference to people’s lives and I am very conscious there are almost 300,000 unpaid carers out there who toil day in, day out with little or no recognition. 

“Crucially the proposed amendment states that the State will strive to support the provision of care within the family, and we in Labour, will use this to fight for better supports for those who provide and receive care in the home. Whether it is access top carers allowance, and the means test that excludes so many, or the DCA where disgracefully thousands of parents are put through stressful rounds of appeals.

“Labour has a clear vision for a radical model of care that supports all citizens, from cradle to grave. We envision a welfare state that prioritises care, ensuring that every individual, regardless of their background, receives the support they need. This referendum presents an opportunity to build a fairer and more compassionate society for all.

“I urge all citizens to vote yes yes in the upcoming referendum on family and care. Let’s seize this opportunity to modernise our Constitution. Together, let’s build a future where care is valued, families are recognised, and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

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