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referendum

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With less than a week to go until polling stations open on May 25, two opinion polls suggest the 'Yes' side still leads the way. 

Commissioned by the Sunday Times, a poll of 935 people between May 3 and 15 showed a five point increase for those in favour of repealing the Eight Amendment in urban areas. 

A 12 point increase in Dublin means that 67 per cent of voters in the capital plan to vote yes, while 54 per cent of voters in the rest of Leinster plan to do the same.

Meanwhile, a Sunday Business Post poll of a thousand adults between May 10 and 16 shows the 'Yes' side up three points to 56 per cent, while the 'No' side is up one to 27 per cent. 

It seems however that the figures shifted somewhat when people were asked what way they thought their friends would vote. 

Political Editor Michael Brennan, explained:  "Interestingly, Red C – our polling company – has done an analysis asking people how do they think their neighbours or their friends [will vote] and [from] listening to the campaign, what they think the outcome will be… we get a much tighter vote.

"The result from that type of polling – known as the 'wisdom of crowds' – is 56% Yes, 44% No."

The Eighth Amendment referendum will be held on Friday May 25th.

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It's essential to vote in the upcoming referendum to repeal the 8th amendment, and with 50,000 extra people registered, the country is counting down to the day.

In the run up, we're doing the usual – working, cocktails with the gals and keeping on top of our appointments, including our nails. 

Chipped Nail Bar Dublin is offering FREE nail art this week with every mani, all in  the name of reminding people to get out and vote next Friday. 

All voters with a polling card get free nail art of their choice with their polish, shellac or gels.

As well as getting some nail embellishments, there's also a chance to win €250 worth of manis and cocktails from Chipped's neighbour, PYG. 

With cocktails at two-for-one most days of the week, that's a lot of espresso martinis and gin. 

To win, all you have to do is post a picture of your mani to Instagram with the hashtag #CHIPPEDPYGtails.

Then tag you bestie who you would share you two-for-one cocktails, and double your chance of winning by following Chipped on Insta. 

The winner will be announced on the day of the referendum, so get artsy with those talons. 

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In the final stretch of the referendum debate, both sides have stepped up their campaigning methods. 

An Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll has found that a mere eight days before the referendum, the Yes side are retaining a lead. 

Those who know how they will vote are split 58% Yes to 42% No.

 

A post shared by Together for Yes (@together4yes) on

However 17% of people who responded said they were on the middle ground. 

With that break down, the poll shows that 44% will vote Yes, 32% will vote No, and a further 5% will not be voting. 

2% declined to respond. 

Support for the Yes vote has declined slightly since the last poll conducted by The Irish Times

According to The Irish Times. women and people from urban areas are most in favour of repeal. 

Farmers and those from 'the poorest households'  stand with No majorities.

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A number of celebrities have been voicing their support for the Vote Yes side of the debate to repeal the 8th amendment in recent weeks. 

From Saoirse Ronan to Corteney Cox, singers, actors and comedians, both Irish and international have been having their say. 

Kate Nash is the latest musician to lend her voice to the repeal side. 

Taking to Twitter, the Foundations singer wrote:

'Ireland! On May 25th vote to repeal the harmful eighth!' 

'Unsafe and Illegal abortion is barbaric, ancient, harming women and must change!'

 

A post shared by Kate Nash (@katenash) on

'The future is bright if we stand #TogetherForYes,' she finished.

The GLOW actress has portrayed the difficulties of abortion in the Netflix show, after her co-character Ruth has a secret termination. 

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Today, Tuesday marks the deadline for people to register to vote in the upcoming referendum to repeal or maintain the current Eighth Amendment.

Anyone who is not registered needs to complete an RFA2 form, have it signed and witnessed at a garda station, and then return it by post or by hand to a local city or county council.

You cannot register online.

You will require a form RFA2 if you are not currently on the electoral register.

Form RFA3 needs to be filled if you have changed your address and wish to vote at your new address.

Form RFA5 is required if you have now become an Irish citizen and wish to be eligible to vote in all elections or referendums.

People are only eligible to vote in referendums if they are an Irish citizen living in the Republic of Ireland, or have been out of the country for less than 18 months.

Do not forget the completed form must be brought to your local Garda station, along with valid photo ID. 

To complete the process, the form will need to be signed and stamped with the station stamp, by a member of Gardai.

Application forms are available from local authorities or on the checktheregister.ie website.

It comes as figures from the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) show up to 150,000 young people are not registered to vote.

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As posters and billboards from both sides of the campaign continue to take over our cities and towns, the debate around the upcoming abortion referendum is well and truly under way. 

As more and more politicians and high profile figures make their stance on the issue known, an unearthed news piece from 1980s proves that President Michael D. Higgins made up his mind a long time ago. 

Recognising the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn, the Eight Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland came into effect after it was approved by referendum on September 7, 1983. 

The move was backed Fianna Fáil and some member of Fine Gael, though was generally opposed by the political left. 

Michael D, who was serving as the Mayor of Galway at the time, shared his thoughts on the amendment saying how it expressed "no concern for the thousands of women who begin a lonely journey on the boat to England." 

"Mr Higgins said that the opening speeches in last week's Dáil debate 'were monumental in their hypocrisy," and reminded him "of what Davitt said 100 years ago, that if the Irish had a weakness worse than drink, it was moral cowardice," the article reads. 

"'It expresses no concern for the thousands of women who begin a lonely journey on the boat to England. It's a callous referendum. The people behind it are mounting campaigns that are sinister and undemocratic and only half above the surface,' he said." 

The excerpt was posted by Twitter use Maurice Casey, who said he nothing but respect for the now President. 

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With a referendum date set for Friday, May 25, canvassing for both sides of the vote is in full swing. 

As signs and banners begin to pop up all over the country, Together for Yes, the national campaign to remove the Eight Amendment from the Irish constitution, have today launched a crowdfunding initiative to finance the erection of 10,000 'Vote Yes' posters. 

The original target was set at €50,000 for 5,000 posters, however, huge backing from the public saw that target smashed in a matter of hours. 

The new target now stands at €100,000 to print and put up 10,000 posters all across Ireland, in an effort to get people talking and make the case for an overall Yes vote. 

Writing on the crowdfunding page, organisers thanked the public for their overwhelming support:

"We are completely overwhelmed by the support – we received 1,051 donations in less than three hours and raised €50,000. We’ve had donations from across the country, from people who want to see a more caring and compassionate Ireland.

"With just over six weeks to go to the referendum, the anti-reform forces are ramping up. We need to have our voices heard and fight for a more caring and compassionate Ireland. This is a once in a generation opportunity for change.

"We are increasing our goal to €100,000 so that we can put up 10,000 posters across Ireland." 

If you would like to support the campaign, and play a vital role in the campaign effort, you can click here to donate. 

Every voice matters. 

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The referendum on repealing the 8th amendment to the constitution will take place on May 25 2018. 

It was speculated that this would be the date, but confirmation came today via Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. 

Earlier today, Simon Harris tweeted that 'the Referendum Bill has now passed all stages in Seanad Eireann.'

'Date for referendum can now be formally set.'

Senators voted 40 to 10 to allow the referendum to take place. 

The referendum will come after months of political debate regarding the issue. 

'I cannot close my eyes and block my ears to the fact that 3,265 of our citizens travelled to the UK in 2016 from every county in Ireland,' Mr Harris said previously. 

'I cannot stand over a situation where the abortion pill is illegally accessed in this country and women, perhaps in the privacy of their own bedroom, in a lonely isolated place, [are] taking a pill without any medical supervision.'

You can make sure you are registered to vote here. 

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With the abortion rights referendum creeping ever closer, it's important to keep the discussion surrounding the repeal campaign flowing. 

Saoirse Ronan has spoken to The Irish Times regarding her thoughts on the upcoming referendum. 

Speaking 'cautiously' in an interview, the Oscar-nominated actress told the news tome that she feels that women have the right to make decisions about their reproductive health.

 

A post shared by Saoirse Ronan (@ronan.saoirse) on

'I will be voting when the referendum happens,' she told The Irish Times.

'I was coming into my womanhood when that discussion was being had after the marriage referendum. And I know so many people who have been affected by this situation.'

'I just feel everybody has a right to their own body. Everyone has a right to make their own decisions,' she continued. 

 

A post shared by Saoirse Ronan (@ronan.saoirse) on

The actress also feels that people have their right to an opinion on the matter, but that it is essential for the people of Ireland to vote and make that decision for themselves.

'I think it will be an empowering thing for the people of Ireland to get out and make their own decision on the topic. More than anything else – regardless of how you vote – we need to be given the chance to have our voices heard,' she said.

'Since the marriage referendum, Ireland has definitely taken a turn. I do feel it’s become more of a modern, cosmopolitan place. It’s such a turnaround.'

'I feel like there is a turning point with our generation. Women are being empowered in a way they haven’t before.'

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Minister for Health Simon Harris will draft legislation for the referendum to repeal the 8th amendment. 

The legislation will include provision for abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks, as per the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee

He intends to have a draft published by late March. 

'Whether the Eighth Amendment is in our Constitution, or indeed not in our Constitution, abortion is a reality for Irish women,' he said, speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

'I cannot close my eyes and block my ears to the fact that 3,265 of our citizens travelled to the UK in 2016 from every county in Ireland.'

'I cannot stand over a situation where the abortion pill is illegally accessed in this country and women, perhaps in the privacy of their own bedroom, in a lonely isolated place, [are] taking a pill without any medical supervision.'

He did not provide the date of the intended referendum. 

However, after a special Cabinet meeting last night, it was announced that a referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution will be held in late May or early June. 

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After a special Cabinet meeting last night, it was announced that a referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution will be held.

The meeting lasted for four hours, and the Cabinet concluded that late May would be the preferred time for the referendum to take place, or early June at the latest, RTÉ reports.

The timing of the referendum will depend on the passage of a referendum Bill through the Oireachtas.

Ministers decided that 'repeal and replace' would be the best policy so that if the Eighth Amendment is repealed by voters, new wording will be put in the Constitution stating that the Oireachtas 'may provide for the termination of pregnancies in accordance with law'.

If the Eighth Amendment is repealed, Minister for Health Simon Harris has been given permission to draft a Bill on the matter to be introduced in the Oireachtas.

As well, if this referendum passes, the Government would introduce legislation allowing unrestricted abortion access up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

After 12 weeks of gestation, abortion would only be allowed in 'exceptional circumstances such as a serious risk to the life or health of the woman or in the event of a fatal foetal abnormality'.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated in the press conference following the meeting that he wants abortion to be legal, safe, and rare, saying: 'We know that thousands of Irish women – women from every single county in Ireland – go abroad for abortions every year.'

'We know that many women are obtaining abortion pills through the post to end their pregnancies, without any medical support, or counselling, or supervision.'

'So, we already have abortion in Ireland but it is unsafe, unregulated and unlawful. We cannot continue to export our problems and import our solutions.'

'As Taoiseach – as a medical doctor – and as a former Minister for Health – I do not believe we can continue with a situation where women in crisis are risking their lives through the use of unregulated medicines.'

In order to vote in the referendum, Irish citizens must register at least 15 days before polling day.

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The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is urging young people to register to vote ahead of the November 25 deadline.

It's feared that up to 150,000 young people may not be eligible to vote in a number of referendums scheduled to take place in 2018, including the vote on the Eight Amendment.

The council is encouraging people who have not yet registered (particularly those aged between 18 and 29) to fill out the RFA1 form and post it to the relevant local authority by Thursday, November 23.

Alternatively the form could be physically handed in on the November 25 deadline.

You must be 18-years-old to legally vote in Ireland, however, anyone who comes of age on or before February 15, 2018, is eligible to register.

According to The Irish Times, NCYI director, James Doorley has called for the “cumbersome and outdated” registration system to be revamped.

“Every year over 60,000 young people turn 18 and become eligible to vote, yet our cumbersome and outdated system makes it hard for many of them to get on the electoral roll.”

“It is ridiculous that in the 21st Century eligible voters cannot register online, we are effectively still administering a 19th Century voter registration system – all that’s missing is the quills.”

RFA1 forms are available from all local authorities, post offices and public libraries. You can also download a digital copy here.

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