Thirty-five years after the Eighth Amendment was inserted into the Constitution the country has voted decisively to repeal it.

In a referendum on the 7 September 1983, Ireland voted to recognise the equal right to life of the pregnant woman and the unborn. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution was approved with 66.9% of the electorate voting in favour of the amendment and was subsequently signed into law on 7 October 1983. On 25 May 2018, a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution took place .

For some, it's been an arduous 35 year journey. Others weren't even born when the eighth amendment was introduced. But today, they spoke with one voice.

Speaking at Dublin Castle, Minister for Health Simon Harris said,

Under the eighth amendment, we said to women in crisis, take the boat or take the plane. Today we say take our hand.

The official confirmation of the result came with 1,429,981 (66.4%) votes in favour of repealing the eighth amendment. 733,632 (33.6%) people who voted to keep the eighth amendment. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the result showed a more open, tolerant and respectful Ireland.

The consitutional change will now be followed with legislation. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the Minister for Health Simon Harris is anxious to push ahead swiftly with the legislation. He said it was important to give momentum to the decision of the people.

All these votes suggest that people's views have changed in the most fundamental fashion in the last 35 years.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the result is a clear message of compassion and progress.

Those who opposed repeal had mixed views on the outcome of the referendum. Independent Senator Ronan Mullen fears that abortion rates will increase if it is available on demand. Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler who voted against repeal said that the people have spoken and as a legislator she will have to listen to them.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 May 2018. The reporter is Micheal Lehane.