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Limerick Together for Yes react to referendum win

Group shot of LT4Y committee and volunteers at the count centre Saturday morning ahead of the referendum win. Picture: Michael Lee. 

Limerick Together for Yes react to referendum win

The following statement was read by Limerick Together for Yes Chairperson Yvie Murphy and Deputy Chairperson Jennifer Schweppe on Saturday last in Dolans Pub, immediately after the referendum results were announced nationally.

“First, we dreamed and fought for a referendum about the 8th Amendment. Then we dreamed and hoped for a win in the referendum. We dared to dream and hope that we would get the yes vote over the line and receive a referendum win. But in our wildest dreams – in our most delirious and hopeful of moments – we never once thought that Ireland would not just support us, but that Irish people would stand up and roar that it had to stop. That they would not just repeal the 8th Amendment but that they would lay siege to the 8th amendment and destroy the 8th amendment.

Today [Saturday] has been 35 years in the making. And today [Saturday] would not have happened were it not for the activists throughout Limerick, across the country, and around the world. We stand on the shoulders of women and activists who have come before us and sacrificed so much. They spoke when nobody else would speak. They spoke when nobody would listen. But today [Saturday] we have spoken and Ireland has listened.

Because for too long we have been discriminated against. For too long we have been marginalized. For too long we have been told to be meek and quiet and polite and civilized. But not anymore. Listen to us roar, because we will no longer be silenced. Because we were silenced.

We died and we were silenced. We were locked up in laundries and our children were stolen from us and sold or buried in septic tanks and we were silenced. Because our pelvis’ were broken without our consent to make sure we could have more children and we hobbled and we struggled and we were silenced. Because we were dead but we were kept alive and it was called grotesque and our family pleaded and our children cried and they were silenced. Because we sought refuge and safety in this country and we got here and we thought we were safe and we had a pregnancy test and our worst nightmare came true and we were strapped to a bed and we were force fed and we were cut open and we were silenced.

Because the gender pay gap, because childcare, because ableism, because homelessness, because smear tests, because transphobia, because suicide rates, because self-harm, because domestic violence. We were silenced but we will not be silenced any more. We will roar and we will be heard.

referendum win

Group shot the moment the national results were announced, and the yes side earned the referendum win. Picture: Michael Lee.

And what you have done – what Limerick Together for Yes, which began as Repeal LK a few short months ago has done – is create a movement in Limerick. Since our first meeting in a little cafe on Denmark Street, we have grown into something amazing. We have grown into a movement. And that movement, from day 1, was respectful, inclusive, and informed. People from all backgrounds and walks of life joined us in our fight for full reproductive rights. 

We would like to take the time to thank the many brave individuals and couples who have had to share their harrowing stories with the public, again and again, to prevent future generations from ever having to do the same. We would also like to remember the voices that could not be heard. We did this in their honour and in their memory. We bore witness to their stories and we heard them. And they made Ireland listen.

We would like to thank the political parties for their support and in particular the Labour Party, the Green Party, the Social Democrats, and Sinn Féin. Maurice Quinlivan, Paul Gavan, Sarah Jane Hennelly, and Jan O’Sullivan all came out canvassing with us and supported Limerick Together for Yes from day 1. Limerick Together for Yes was made up of over 400 volunteers who knocked on over 25,000 houses, dropped literature at many more, and in the last two days of the campaign, dropped postcards in 40,000 homes across Limerick.

We would like to thank the public for their support, compassion, and generosity. And our families, equally for their support, compassion, and generosity. The work that has gone into this campaign has been monumental. Groups like just this one have been working around the clock across the country to get us to today. But you did it. We did it.”


For more info on Limerick Together for Yes go here.

For more stories on Limerick Together for Yes go here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.