Preserving the integrity of the Yes Vote


Sir, – Rhona Mahony (Opinion & Analysis, September 22nd) attempts to rewrite history when she argues that the “integrity” of the Yes vote in the referendum must be retained and respected, even though it was based on a “non-binding but unambiguous commitment about what would be in the legislation”.

Very few of us are naive enough to believe that this Dáil or any subsequent one is obliged to legislate in the manner that was discussed prior to the referendum.

In fact the Referendum Commission clearly stated in its booklet, “You are not being asked in this referendum to vote on any particular law relating to the termination of pregnancy”.

It’s clear from this that voters were not being asked to approve any particular form of legislation and that there are no binding commitments at stake.

Promises were made to provide care and compassion. Judging by hospital waiting lists, the homeless crisis and the response to the cervical cancer scandal, the reality about whether any of these will be delivered is entirely questionable. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Breda O’Brien (Opinion & Analysis, September 22nd) contends that politicians have pulled a fast one by claiming that voters were voting on the legislation that was outlined prior to the abortion referendum, despite the Referendum Commission telling people that they weren’t voting on any particular legislation.

On the contrary, it is not mutually exclusive to state the legal fact that the referendum itself was only asking people to make a legal change in the Constitution to effectively remove the Eighth Amendment – as the Referendum Commission is bound to do – while also informing voters about the legislative changes the Government planned to make if the vote was positive, which both sides of the referendum consistently did throughout the campaign. – Yours, etc,


Ballinamore, Co Leitrim.