Tipperary Sinn Féin councillor says voting Yes in abortion referendum on Eighth Amendment is a "momentous day in Ireland's history"

Dylan White

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Dylan White

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dylan.white@iconicnews.ie

A Tipperary Sinn Féin county councillor says Ireland voting Yes in the abortion referendum on the Eighth Amendment is a "momentous day in the country's history".

A RTÉ exit poll has predicted a vote of 69.4% in favour of changing the Constitution, with 30.6% against repealing the Eighth Amendment. 

Cashel councillor Martin Browne has welcomed the vote, stating that "Ireland is at last coming out of the dark ages.

"The yes side will be very happy this morning, especially with the exit polls, even though nothing is confirmed yet. We were on the yes campaign ourselves and we are happy with that. We are giving women authority over their own bodies and that has to be a good thing. If nothing else it gives women a choice," he tells The Nationalist.

Cllr Browne says the fact that both the younger and older generations voted yes is a clear sign that society want to have their say in the issues that affect them most. "We got a good response on the doors. One of the biggest things - like the same-sex marriage equality referendum - is that people actually travelled home to vote. The younger generation that were forced into exile came home to have their say and political parties have to wake up to the fact that people just aren't excepting it anymore and they want to have their say heard. That kind of vote has swung it for the yes side.

"It's a momentous day in the country's history. It would be hard to go back 20 years and say 'this day would happen'. A big factor is that both old and young have voted for the yes side, whereas a rule of thumb was always that the older generation would stay with the status quo. All of Irish society has given women a choice and we are no longer exporting the problem. There was no denying that abortion was taking place and women can now have them under safe circumstances," he adds.