The landslide victory for the ‘Yes’ campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment - which saw results of 65.9 per cent in Galway West, 60.2 per cent in Galway East; 57.2 per cent in Roscommon-Galway, has been welcomed as an "historic vote" and a "mark of compassion and respect".
This is the view of Niall Ó Tuathail, the Galway West candidate for the Social Democrats, who said he was "incredibly honoured" to have played a "small part of this historic, women-led campaign" in Galway. He said the results from the Galway constituencies "showed the people of Galway can respond with compassion and care for pregnant people who require healthcare".
He added that such results "would not be possible" without the work of the leaders and volunteers of Together4Yes. "This incredible group of mostly women, of all parties and none, came together and organised a grassroots campaign that has led to what we saw last week," he said.
Mr Ó Tuathail also paid tribute to the work of his own party, saying the Social Democrats drew the largest percentage for the Yes vote among its supporters, with exit polls providing a figure of 89.5 per cent of Social Democrats supporters voting to repeal.
The turnout in the Galway constituencies was just under 60 per cent, while tallies of boxes on the Islands and in Connemara showed similarly high support for Yes votes as in Galway city. Inis Mór, Indreabhán, and Letterfrack roughly averaged a 68 per cent yes votes, comparable to many boxes in the city such as Shantalla (65 per cent Yes ) or Knocknacarra (70 per cent Yes ).
Mr Ó Tuathail said he was "delighted" with these results, which he said showed the urban/rural divide "predicted by many does not exist" and "shows that some politicians and commentators are out of touch with the people of Ireland, who responded with decency when asked to consider a nuanced issue”.