The Irish people’s decision to repeal the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution has been described by Galway Together for Yes as “incredibly welcome”, and the group has thanked “all our campaigners, supporters, and volunteers for their amazing work over the past few months”.
In a statement this week, Galway Together For Yes said: “The commitment, love, and care shown by you all, and the endorsement from the Irish public, has been outstanding. As a campaign crossing so many different groups in civil society as well as political groups, we are incredibly proud of what has been achieved. To those working every day in the office, organising and battling for us, a huge thank you, in particular to Imelda, Saoirse, Lorraine, and Dette. Also to our spokespeople, well done and thank you for your work.”
Together for Yes Spokesperson Yvonne Aherne has described Friday’s Yes vote - 66.4 per cent across the State; 65.9 per cent in Galway West, 60.2 per cent in Galway East; 57.2 per cent in Roscommon-Galway - as “one of reparation”. She said it was “a message to the more than 180,000 women who have travelled for abortions and who didn’t know if they were loved or accepted”. She said: “For some women, 35 years of darkness has been replaced with a ray of sunlight filled with love and compassion from their own country. What a wonderful message.”
Last Saturday, hundreds of people stood on Eyre Square for the official announcement from Dublin Castle, with many in the crowd exchanging hugs, smiles, and tears as the result was read out. The announcement was followed by a few words to remember Savita Halappanavar and express gratitude to her husband and family for making her story public. As the evening drew to a close, bystanders in Eyre Square joined hands and stood in silence as a song was played in memory of Savita.
“This wasn’t a celebration, it was a collective sigh of relief that no other woman would suffer in Ireland like Savita,” said Ms Aherne. “Strangers held each other’s hands and we cried for Savita. We owe a debt to her family and support them in their call for the new legislation to be called Savita’s Law. Savita will never be forgotten in Ireland, especially here in Galway, we hope this positive change is of some comfort to her family.”
Ms Aherne pointed out that the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act is still in place and Galway TDs and senators need to be “aware of this as there are still women who are ordering abortion pills online”. She said the pro choice campaigners in the Republic also want to “support and help our colleagues in Northern Ireland in their campaign to remove the very restrictive law there which has seen women arrested for taking illegal abortion pills”. In conclusion she said: “For now, thank you Galway for making a change for a better future.”