Today is no ordinary Friday. As the country goes to the polls to vote on the Eighth Amendment, for this week’s #WhatTickledAlice we’ll be looking at the moments from the Together for Yes campaign that have touched #TeamAlice most.
#TeamAlice began working with The Coalition to Repeal the 8th in 2016 and have worked with Together for Yes since February. It has meant so much to us to have worked with both of these passionate, tireless and unendingly compassionate groups. On this historic, momentous day we’re looking back at the most touching moments from the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
Leo Varadkar Announces the Referendum
Watching Leo Varadkar announce that the cabinet had formally decided to hold a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment this year was a surreal experience. Having worked with the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment since 2016 and in #TeamAlice’s personal capacities at rallies and protests, this step took us one step closer to a fairer Ireland. It was a move in solidarity with the women of this country and their right to decide on their healthcare and future for themselves. It was a move and a moment that has taken us to this historic day.
Who will forget the lines ‘In recent weeks many people, mainly men, have spoken about the personal journeys they have been on. But we should remember that the saddest and loneliest journey is made by the Irish women who travel to other countries in their thousands to end their pregnancies.’
Launching Together for Yes
The official launch of the Together for Yes on Thursday 22nd of March was a day that #TeamAlice were honoured to play a part in, with members of the medical, legal and political worlds coming together advocating for repealing the Eighth Amendment. The brave and honest testimony from Gaye and Gerry Edwards and what this article meant for their lives and that of their baby was harrowing and grounding. It was also powerful to see such a diverse group of individuals come together in that room to begin the last leg of this decades long fight to see the removal of this constitutional amendment to make this country a safer kinder place to be a woman, a man, a human being.
The Repeal Project presents Together for Yes at The Olympia
An evening of music, spoken word, drag and a rereading of Abba’s 1982 break up which Tara Flynn suggests may have sent the Irish population into ‘a collective madness that led us to introduce the Eighth Amendment.’
There is no way to express in words the atmosphere of love, togetherness, determination and hope in the Olympia on the evening of the 2nd of May. #TeamAlice will never forget the Tágetherness in that room and mostly our hero and friend Ailbhe Smyth’s inspiring rally cry, rousing the most intense and visceral hope in the 1,200 people in attendance.
The last couple of days have been deeply heart-warming. The #HomeToVote scenes of determined Irish citizens returning to these shores to make a change our constitution for their sisters, their daughters, their mothers, their friends and themselves, coming from Vancouver, and from Beijing, and from Melbourne have been some of the most touching moments of the campaign. The sacrifices they make to be here today always played down in comparison to that of their sisters in this country who must travel abroad for basic healthcare needs. It is a heroic show of solidarity, one that each and every person travelling should be immensely proud of.
There have been any number of personal and powerful moments throughout this campaign for everyone. Today we do not what the result will be, but we can hope that it will be the right one. The right one for the thousands of women exiled from this island to access what they have decided to be right for them. The right thing for the women, and their families, who’s health is at risk whilst pregnant and are unable to access the health care they desperately require. The right thing for asylum seekers without the right to travel. The right thing for Savita, the right thing for Gaye, the right thing.