Ireland

As the results of the Irish abortion referendum were announced on May 26, registering a big win for repealing a constitutional ban on abortion, scenes of celebration were shared around the world, writes Kamala Emanuel.

Ireland's historic abortion vote has fuelled calls for reform in the island's North, with Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald saying it was time for the six counties to adopt the same legislation. The six counties that make up the Northern Ireland statelet are still controlled by Britain, although British laws governing abortion does not apply and abortion remains illegal.

Ireland, one of Europe's most socially conservative countries, has voted by a landslide to liberalise the world's most restrictive abortion laws, Common Dreams noted.

As Ireland prepares for its referendum today, May 25, on repealing the constitutional amendment prohibiting free, safe, legal abortion, women and health workers in Rojava, the largely Kurdish area in Syria's north, have expressed their solidarity with Irish women’s right to choose.

With the exception of the Vatican state and Malta, Ireland has the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. It exceeds Saudi Arabia and Qatar in its restrictions on women’s rights to basic reproductive health.

Campaigning for a woman right’s to choose in Ireland has stepped up since the announcement of the date and wording of a referendum on changing the constitution to allow abortion.

The referendum, to be held on May 25, will ask voters whether to repeal the section of the Irish constitution that bans abortion. If passed, it would allow parliament to make laws to regulate the procedure.

Derry community activist Tony Taylor has been held in jail for more than two years without charge or trial on the orders of a British official, write the Free Tony Taylor Campaign Team.

Ireland’s Dail Eireann (its lower house of parliament) voted by a large majority on February 8 in favour of a bill to ban the government issuing new contracts for oil and gas exploration.

The new #UnitedIreland campaign has released the video below, narrated by actor Irish actor John Connors. The video says it is time to build a new, democratic, inclusive and United Ireland.

The Che Guevara stamp produced by the Irish republic’s postal service (An Post) has sold out its initial 120,000 print run. The stamp was released to mark the 50th anniversary of the Latin American freedom fighter’s murder on October 9, 1967 by CIA-backed Bolivian state.

The announcement confounds right-wing critics, who opposed the stamp.  An Post has described the demand for the €1 stamp — using Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick’s image of the revolutionary icon — as “unprecedented”.

In Northern Ireland — the partitioned statelet made up of the six Irish counties still claimed by Britain — the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is the largest unionist party (supporters of an ongoing “union” with Britain).

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