"Important day for this country" say Longford voters

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Karen Reilly

Karen Reilly with her son Mac at St Joseph's National School Polling Station after casting her vote this morning.

Voting is brisk in Longford town this morning as the electorate steps out to cast its vote in a referendum that seeks to determine whether or not to remove the Eighth Amendment from Ireland’s Constitution.  

A number of voters spoke to the Leader as they were leaving the polling station at St Joseph’s National School in the last hour.  

Many say this referendum marks an important day for women, and indeed society as a whole.

Karen Reilly who lives in Ardagh brought her son Mac to the polling station this morning.

She says today is an important day and everyone needs to come out and vote.

“I have my son with me and I think this referendum is important for his future as well; we should be able to take care of our own women in our own country with compassion, care and dignity and that is not happening at the moment.

“Things need to change.”  

Meanwhile, and according to the latest statistics on those choosing to terminate their pregnancy in the UK, 16 Longford women travelled to Ireland’s nearest neighbour to obtain an abortion last year.  

The local electorate says Irish women should have a choice in this country.

“I voted Yes because I think that women should have the right to make the choice for themselves when they are pregnant,” said Stephanie Coote.

“Women should have the right to make choices about their own body; it’s 2018 now and people need to move on.”

Ms Coote went on to say that it was unacceptable in this day and age that any pregnant woman, regardless of her age, or circumstance, should have to travel to the UK for a termination.

“Imagine too a young girl that has been raped and having to get on a plane or a boat and leave her own country to deal with the pregnancy - it’s just terrible,” she continued.

“Women deserve to be cared for.”

Local woman Eleanor Crossan also spoke to the Leader this morning.

“I’m actually pregnant with my third baby at the moment and I think that this referendum is very important not just for women, but for men, grandparents, everybody,” she added.

“I think everybody should be out voting today because this is a very important referendum.  

“I don’t think that women should have to leave their own country to deal with a crisis pregnancy, they should be looked after here in Ireland.”

Paul Delaney, meanwhile, said he voted because today was “an important day for the people of Ireland”.

“People need to come out and use their vote today,” he smiled.

“This is a very important day for the people of Ireland; I think the women of Ireland deserve the right to have their own say on what they want when pregnant.”

Mohamud Hussein who is originally from Pakistan but now an Irish citizen also voted this morning.

He told the Leader that he voted No.

“I voted No because that is how I feel,” Mohamud concluded.  

Read Also: Yes or No? Longford politicians have their say on referendum