Sinn Féin to campaign Yes Yes in referendums despite ‘imperfect’ care amendment

By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Sinn Féin are to campaign for a Yes vote in both referendums, despite having concerns about the wording on care.

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald said the care amendment referendum was “an opportunity missed” by the Government, and accused it of having an “abysmal track record” on families and carers.

She said that if the care amendment was rejected in March, her “ambition” would be to put the Citizens’ Assembly’s suggested wording to the Irish public “early” in to a Sinn Féin term in government.


She said that the removal of “sexist” language around a woman’s duties in the home was a “yes, all day every day”, and that the idea of recognising care in the constitution was “powerful”.

“But the problem is that the Government in their haste failed to consult properly to actually adopt the work that had been done by the Citizens’ Assembly,” she said.

“In the end, we decided not to allow the perfect be the enemy of the good.

“We’re campaigning for a Yes Yes, but we’re also recognising that people are going to have to think about this carefully.

“I have spoken to many, many carers who believe this should be grasped as a positive if imperfect step forward.

“But I have spoken to others who are angered at the Government’s track record on these matters and see this as little more than lip service.”

Two referendums will be held on March 8th – International Women’s Day – proposing to change the constitution.

One, the family amendment, proposes amending Article 41 of the constitution to extend the meaning of family beyond one defined by marriage and include those based on “durable” relationships.

The second, the care amendment, proposes deleting Article 41.2.1 and 41.2.2, which make reference to a woman’s roles and duties in the home, and replace it with a new article – 42B – that acknowledges family carers.

The Government parties, Labour, the Social Democrats, the National Women’s Council, One Family and Treoir are all advocating for a Yes vote in both referenda.

TD Peadar Tóibín’s Aontú party and Senator Ronan Mullen are among those advocating for a No vote in both plebiscites.

Some organisations, such as Free Legal Advice Centres (Flac), are advocating for a Yes vote for the family amendment and a No vote for the care amendment.