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Tag Archives: Referendum

Clare vote vastly different to previous referendums

WHILE researching a preview of how Clare would vote last week, it became obvious that even the closest observers of local politics weren’t sure where the county’s votes would go. Friday night’s exit polls showed that the country had voted heavily in favour of yes. Then when tallies from rural parts of Clare all showed strong support for repealing the Eighth Amendment, it became apparent on Saturday morning that Clare had also voted yes, and by a sizeable majority. As it turned out, Clare was very close to the national average in more ways than one. This county’s percentage turnout was 64.37%, while the national turnout was 64.13%. Clare voted yes by 64.28% to 35.72%. Ireland did so by 66.4% to 33.6%, showing this county was an accurate barometer for the country overall. Taking a long-term perspective one can see that Clare has become far more liberal on social issues. In the 1986 and 1995 referendums, large majorities of Clare …

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GPs split on the Eight

A SLIGHT majority of Clare GPs are in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment on the eve of Friday’s national referendum. While national opinion polls have shown a lead for the Yes side in the lead-up to the referendum, local GPs are almost equally divided on this question, with 11 in favour and nine against. According to a Clare Champion survey, seven local doctors who responded will be exercising their right to apply a conscientious objection to delivering a termination. It also emerged that of the 20 GPs surveyed, none were consulted by the Health Service Executive or the Department of Health about how terminations will be carried out in their practice. The Minister for Health Simon Harris has consistently stated he would like to see a GP-led service for the termination of pregnancy, if introduced in the country. Eleven GPs who were surveyed agreed with the idea of unrestricted permission to terminate a pregnancy up to 12 weeks, without …

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Clare Says Yes to Same Sex Marriage

CLARE voted  yes in Friday’s referendum on same sex marriage. When Returning Officer Pat Wallace announced the result in Ennis Courthouse shortly after 5.30pm on Saturday evening, it emerged that 58.3% of people in Clare voted yes. A total of 28,137 voters in the county backed the right to same sex marriage. The valid poll in Clare was 48,291. Amongst the places in Clare to vote yes in large numbers were Quin, Cratloe, Ennis, Sixmilebridge, Clarecastle and Shannon. Meanwhile Clare rejected the Age of Presidential Candidates referendum by a margin of 75.99% to 24.01%. The valid poll in this referendum was 48,615.    

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Broad support for gay marriage

ELEMENTS within a Government that was damaged by defections after the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill may not have much appetite for a referendum on gay marriage, but it is on the horizon and has been labelled by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore as “civil rights issue of our generation”. Taoiseach Enda Kenny favours same sex marriage too, but when he spoke to The Champion on New Year’s Eve, Clare Fine Gael TD Pat Breen said he’d like some time to pass before the country’s next referendum. “I think that people are a little bit tired of referendums at this stage. Maybe a year without a referendum might be useful to focus on jobs and the action plan that is coming into place in 2014. Obviously, this will be another contentious issue for some people and we had the Protection of Life Bill last year. Sometimes these things can take your mind off the issues that we have to deal with …

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Changing views and attitudes

A KILRUSH man, who is now director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), said he had no choice but to leave West Clare as a young man. Brian Sheehan was reflecting on how public attitudes and opinions have changed so much since the early 1980s, as he spoke to The Clare Champion following the announcement that a referendum on gay and lesbian marriage will be held in 2015. “I knew I had to leave Kilrush as soon as I possibly could. I knew I was gay from a very young age and I knew I had to get out. Dublin was where I eventually got to,” Mr Sheehan said on Wednesday. “I had thought I would have to go abroad but decriminalisation came and circumstances changed. I realised I wouldn’t be a criminal if I stayed here any longer. At the time, I always felt that it would be absolutely impossible to be myself in Kilrush. I knew …

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Youth should vote

THE National Youth Council of Ireland has urged young people to register to vote ahead of next month’s referendums on the Seanad and on new Court of Appeal. “With just days left to register to vote, we would urge any young person who is 18 years of age on or before October 4 to apply for inclusion on the supplementary register. They can do so up until Tuesday, September 17,” said James Doorley, NYCI deputy director. The NYCI also highlighted the importance of fist-time voters making sure they are registered, as an estimated 50,000 young people are turning 18 in 2013.* Mr Doorley explained: “Not being on the register is a key reason why young people don’t vote, with many not even aware they have to register. In fact, a previous NYCI study found that 26% of 18-25 year olds were not registered to vote, rising to 36% among 18-21 year olds. “We strongly encourage young people to register and …

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