It’s all about #Hometovote on Irish Times Abroad this week
Top tweets, epic journeys, and frustration among those watching referendum from afar
Group of Irish people living in Chicago gathering to call for repeal of the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Áine Collins
With just one day to go until polls open, there’s no avoiding the Eighth Amendment referendum today.
Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, Pennsylvania… no distance is too far for some Irish emigrants determined to cast their ballot in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment. From the women whose husband surprised her with birthday flights home from Canada, to the group of a “few dozen” coming back together from Brussels, readers have been sharing their journeys home to vote with us.
Even if they make the trip back to Ireland, only those who have been abroad for less than 18 months are legally allowed to vote. Shane Hickey meets some of the #Hometovote campaigners in London who have been raising awareness of the legal restrictions.
Some are claiming the #Hometovote hashtag is even bigger for the Eighth Amendment referendum than it was for the marriage equality vote, with tens of thousands of social media posts in the past few days alone. Tissues at the ready - we’ve compiled a list of the top tweets here.Abroad readers around the world have been telling us about abortion law where they live, and how it compares to Ireland; Jessica Cassidy writes about how student unions at Oxford and several other British universities have offered financial assistance to Irish students to travel back to vote; and Sharon Horgan, Aisling Bea and a host of other Irish comedians living abroad have rallied to call for a Yes vote on Friday: “Please let Waterford Crystal and Tayto be Ireland’s biggest exports, not women.”
Irish Times Abroad has been running its own virtual vote for members of the Abroad Network, offering emigrants a chance to have their say on the referendum question. Anyone opted in to participate in polls will have received a unique “ballot paper” link by email this week. Unfortunately the poll is closed to existing members only, but if you would like to participate in similar projects in the future, you can join (for free) here.
We’ll be publishing the results over the weekend, after the official polls close.
There are plenty more stories about the referendum (and other things too!) on irishtimes.com/abroad.
Thanks for reading.