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Clare decided to overwhelmingly reject proposed amendments in the Family and Care referendums. Photograph by John Kelly.

Clare Rejects Family And Care Amendments

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Clare people have decided by an overwhelming majority to reject proposed amendments in the twin Family and Care referendums.

The 39th Family Referendum was rejected by more than a two-to-one majority. The No vote totalled 26,574, 67% while 12, 573 voted Yes, 33%.

There was also a decisive rejection of the 40th Care Referendum. The votes cast against the proposal came to 28,979, 74%.

In total, 10, 132 voted Yes, 26% giving a No majority of 18,848.


The result is an embarrassing verdict for all the political parties, the Government, and organisations who advocated a Yes vote in the two referendums.

There were 90,101 people living in Clare who were entitled to vote, but less than half of them chose to do so.
The official turnout in Clare was expected 44% after 39,65o people cast their vote. There were 503 spoilt votes giving a valid poll of 39,147.
This result means Clare people have decided to reject eight out of the 44 referendums.
With no political or representatives from community organisations present at the count centre in Woodstock Hotel, Ennis, it proved to be a very low-key affair devoid of any real excitement in comparison to Local or General Elections.
The referendum on care in the home asked voters whether or not to delete Article 41.2 of the Constitution.

This says the State recognises that “by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved” and that “the State shall endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in economic activity to the neglect of duties in the home”.

This would be replaced with gender-neutral language on the provision of care with a new Article 42B which reads: “The State recognises that the provision of care by members of a family to one another, by reason of the bonds that exist between them, gives to Society a support without which the common good cannot be achieved and shall strive to support such provision.”

The referendum on the definition of family asked voters whether or not to change Article 41.1, which recognises the family “as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of society” to insert “family – whether founded on marriage or other durable relationships”.

This would also alter Article 41.3 which says “the State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of marriage” to remove the following part: “on which the family is founded”.
However, both of these proposed alternations were rejected in Clare and nationwide.


Dan Danaher

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