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Double referenda YES vote will finally recognise care and all families – Fine Gael

12th February 2024 - Fine Gael Press Office

Voting YES for Care and YES for Family in March’s referenda will ensure an Irish constitution which is modern and inclusive, recognising all families and supporting the care families give to one another.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael’s Director of Elections for the Referendums, Minister Heather Humphreys today outlined why Fine Gael is calling for a double yes vote on the March 8th votes.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said:

“Our Constitution is a legal document. Our most basic law.  It’s also much more than that, it’s a statement of our values as a nation, the beating heart of our Republic. We want to make sure that it reflects our values as a society and as a nation as it is now. 

Nobody will lose anything from the changing we are recommending but many people will gain new rights and new recognition. Families that are not based on marriage like those led by a grand-parent or lone parent will gain constitutional recognition for the first time. 

The new article on care will afford protections to carers and those they care for that are now limited to only to women and only in the home. It will put a positive obligation on future Governments to continue to work hard to provide additional state support for family carers, men and women, in the home and outside of it.”

Director of Elections for the Referendums, Minister Heather Humphreys said:

“Fine Gael takes great pride in delivering a more modern, inclusive Ireland and these referendums are a key part of that. It is so important that our constitution reflects the Ireland of today – an Ireland that recognises that all families are different, an Ireland that places huge value on the role played by our carers.

“Fine Gael is also strongly advocating to remove the outdated language in the Constitution in relation to a woman’s place in the home. It’s important that we send a clear message to women, and indeed men, that a woman’s place is wherever she wants to be.

“I look forward to respectful debates on these important issues and am eager to engage with the public to bringing about the long-awaited and necessary changes to our Constitution that reflect the country that we live in today.

“Voting yes in these two referendums is a vote for a Caring and Changing Ireland.”

Fine Gael Councillor Anna Grainger from Dún Laoghaire said:

“I became a single parent to my son, Óran when he was one year old. The 41.2 Article in the Constitution, written in 1937 has not represented me, my family, or families le mine for the last 87 years. On March 8th I intend to change this by voting Yes, after which I hope Óran (27) and I will finally be treated equally, with the same fundamental personal rights, values, protections, and opportunities as others have enjoyed for decades.”

Tracy Carroll from Meath, who is a carer for her daughter Willow (7), who has complex needs and son Noah (9), who is autistic, said:

“A Yes vote for our family means recognition. It will make care visible and places an obligation on the Government and future Governments, to provide, support and make our society accessible for all. This gives recognition to my daughter Willow, ensuring as a disabled person she also has a place in the community, equal to her peers.”

Fine Gael Councillor John Reilly from Louth, who has an autistic adult son, Chris (23), with complex medical needs said:

“I look forward to a seeing a Constitution that recognises and embraces all families, modernising our perception of family as reflected in our society. As a father, the referendum will give equal rights to both parents as carers within their family in our most fundamental legal framework. It makes a move away from outdated notions of parental roles, towards a more balanced and equitable approach that benefits children, parents and society as a whole.”

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