Donegal pro-life campaigner Sarah Gillespie reacts to the local and national vote:
Sarah Gillespie (21) came home from the USA to vote last week. The student has been canvassing in Ballybofey and Letterkenny for the past week, and was confident there would be a No vote from Donegal.
Donegal was the only constituency in Ireland to reject the proposal to repeal the Eighth Amendment. The final result was 48.13% Yes to 51.87% No, with the turnout at 57%. Ireland has voted by 66.4% to 33.6% for a landslide Yes result.
“I’m proud for those who did go out to vote No,” Sarah tells Donegal Woman.
“With the overall country’s result, I am disappointed. The Eighth Amendment is about equal right to life and so this is the first country to vote to remove the words from the Consitution.
“This is very much a human rights issue for me. I voted yes in the marriage referendum in 2013 because of the same reason, for human rights.
“I am disappointed with the result but of course this is a democratic vote.”
Sarah said she believes the next steps for the Love Both and Save the 8th campaigns will be to focus on positive reform of the other issues in healthcare.
“I am very much in support of other healthcare services, such as getting beds in hospitals, there are over 500,000 people on hospital waiting lists, and there is no cancer unit in service in Donegal right now.
“Hopefully Ireland can unite to focus on these issues as well as the other ones we have,” Sarah said.
This referendum saw a surge in young voters and additions to the supplementary register, with the majority of voting to repeal the Eighth. Despite the result, as a young campaigner, Sarah was glad to see her generation taking action.
“I always think it’s so important to vote, regardless of what you are voting for, so I’m happy they did come out to vote.”