Over the last number of weeks, we've seen posters and leaflets torn down and defaced; people on television dehumanise mental health struggles and traumatic experiences, and canvassers violently intimidated.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the campaign has been watching people bonding over the Eighth, especially Mná na hÉireann. People sharing their personal stories became the crux of the Yes campaign and resulted in a 66.4% Yes vote and the eventual Repeal of the 8th.
Although many of the people who voted to introduce the Eighth Amendment in 1983 are still alive, this time around pro-choice men and women began a passionate movement based on facts, creativity, and empathy for women facing a crisis pregnancy.
The movement by grassroots organizations such as The Repeal Project, Rosa, and The Hunreal Issues rejuvenated political affairs with young men and women and the men and women who opposed the Eighth in '83.
Compared to the marriage equality campaign of 2015, this debate has been emotionally charged and a difficult one for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy - before, during and after the Government announced a date for the referendum. It's been a journey and here are just some of the more memorable moments that occurred during the buildup to Saturday's Yes vote:
1) We Face The Land
In 2016 a powerful poem by Sarah Maria Griffin went viral after a number of Irish women recited the piece on camera.
2) Katie Ascough's impeachment as UCD SU President
Back in November, Ascough - a pro-life campaigner - was impeached by UCD students after removing abortion information from a freshers handbook. The moment revitalised student bodies across the country with several colleges deciding to take a vote on their stance on the referendum.
3) Vote No Campaigners Interrupt The Last March For Choice
During the last March for Choice in Dublin's city center, a man interrupted speakers on stage with a giant No poster. He was quickly removed from the stage and the day was remembered for its inspiring speeches from women across Ireland and, of course, the posters and signs.
Definitely the best poster of the day #March4Choice #RepealThe8th #dontmakeunnecessaryjourneys pic.twitter.com/0wfmhwZ5No
— amnesties co (@amnesties_co) September 30, 2017
my favourite sign of yesterday's #March4Choice pic.twitter.com/NbAoaqLL7D
— Andie Foley (@teenyandie) October 1, 2017
4) Don't Stop Repealin' podcast
Una Mullally and the Hunreal Issues founder Andrea Horan introduced a podcast dedicated to all things Eighth Amendment.
5) The disappearing Maser Repeal logo
The Maser Repeal logo has found a home outside Amnesty International on Fleet Street but that wasn't always the case. The logo was painted over twice outside the Project Arts Center before having to be moved to its new home.
Maser's beautiful Repeal mural outside Project Arts. There's compassion in repealing the 8th amendment. pic.twitter.com/uk49ImZgoe
— Chris McCormack (@ChrisMacCormack) July 15, 2016
Today we #singforrepeal where Maser's repeal mural used to be, hopefully for the last time! We can do this, get out and vote, vote vote! X pic.twitter.com/guJlMlcSVc
— Mongoose (@MongooseTunes) May 23, 2018
The @MaserArt mural batons has been passed from @projectarts to @AmnestyIreland #Repealthe8th pic.twitter.com/uR38Nno7VG
— The HunReal Issues (@HunRealIssues) April 27, 2018
6) UK students funding Irish students to get them home to vote
In a beautiful moment of solidarity, Irish students living in the UK were helped by their fellow students to come home and vote.
7) Repeal Jumpers
After the massive success of the black Repeal jumpers, the campaign released a selection of colours in their pop up shop in Dublin's Temple Bar.
Look at the queue for the coloured Repeal Project @repealproject jumpers in our new shop in Templebar, opening tonight! pic.twitter.com/FxljQ77h91
— Together for Yes (@Together4yes) May 3, 2018
8) Dublin man attacked for wearing Repeal merchandise
A young man was attacked by a group of men for wearing the Maser Repeal logo t-shirt.
One of our members of LGBTQ community attacked for wearing #repealthe8th tee-shirt last night #Together4Yes pic.twitter.com/n3NFFoU05W
— LGBT+ for Choice (@LGBTforChoice) April 28, 2018
9) The Ireland Simpsons Fan page memes
A welcome break away from debating on the Eighth, the Ireland Simpsons Fan page turned the ridiculousness of the amendment into much welcome humour and incredible Simpsons repeal merchandise.
The No campaign doing everything in their power to stop a repeal. "Well Simon Harris thinks Ireland should do it..." pic.twitter.com/ABUT9NmsiT
— Ireland Simpsons Fans (@iresimpsonsfans) May 24, 2018
10) A photo of Ann Lovett is revealed to the public for the first time as her boyfriend speaks out
Ann and her baby died after she gave birth in a graveyard in Granard in 1984. Growing up in a conservative Catholic town, 15-year-old Ann hid her pregnancy from family and friends. Her boyfriend, Richard, claimed he was asked to keep silent on the issue for decades by the Church. Click here to read the full article.
Ann Lovett became almost a mythical figure, reduced to a poor “victim", faceless for 30+ years. Seeing her for the first time this morning is profoundly moving: a girl just like us with the same teenage feistiness, the same teenage fears. @IrishTimes pic.twitter.com/1fqlJwmeSF
— Helen O'Rahilly (@HelenORahilly) May 5, 2018
11) USI dissociates itself from Catholic pregnancy agency
USI (Union of Students in Ireland) announced that they would be dissociating themselves from the Catholic crisis pregnancy support agency Cura. The union, or its members, will no longer include Cura in any of their USI material on sexual health and support unless they provide information on terminating a pregnancy to women in a crisis. A service agency of the Catholic Church, the group's aim is to work in accordance with the compassionate vision and teaching of the Church.
12) The Eamon Dunphy, John Waters drama
Appearing on Eamon Dunphy's podcast, John Waters, a pro-life advocate, stormed out the interview after being asked by Dunphy about the morning after pill.
13) An Irish mountain spoke for the first time and just said the word "No"
Vote No male campaigners popped up a giant No sign on one of Ireland's landmarks, the Ben Bulben mountain, and got 'the women' to make tea and sandwiches. Twitter had a field day, obviously.
Those behind the erection of a huge NO sign on Ben Bulben complete their work, insisting they have not broken any laws @OceanFmIreland #loveboth #Together4YES #8thAmendment #sligo #benbulben #leitrim pic.twitter.com/Ob5H8NgWmO
— Niall Delaney (@OceanNWT) May 17, 2018
Fixed it #benbulben pic.twitter.com/qKpeodPjat
— Conor Mulvagh (@ConorMulvagh) May 17, 2018
But I'd rather just go to my GP #repealthe8th #BenBulben pic.twitter.com/eZkOUmtw8k
— Emma LangfoREPEALd (@ELangfordMusic) May 17, 2018
14) The Dublin Mountains also said 'No' from a weird angle. This time the sign was protected by a bull...
"How do we connect to and win over Dublin?
"How about a giant 'no' on the Wicklow mountains...protected by a bull?"
"Excellent this is a totally normal thing to do and will not make us look like a bunch of freaks at all, lets do it"
— Andy (@ImACultHero) May 23, 2018
Sorry has anyone noticed the big no on the dublin mountains???
— Hannah Lou (@Hana_Lou_) May 22, 2018
15) A Leitrim Councillor declared sex slavery would be legalised if the Yes vote wins
16) And an Irish Bishop thought it was necessary to say abortion is 'far worse' than rape.
17) Savita Halappanar's parents appealed to voters
Savita died because of a septic pregnancy after being denied access to a termination in order to save her life. Throughout the debate the No campaign wrongly insisted Savita did not die because of the Eighth.
Savita's life would have been saved if she had been allowed to have an abortion - now her parents are urging Ireland to vote to #RepealThe8th #8thref pic.twitter.com/lIW56qiXDL
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 23, 2018
18) Simon Harris became a sex symbol overnight
One of the biggest surprises of the campaign came when Simon Harris became a bona fide sex symbol after his appearance on Primetime's referendum debate. The Minister for Health debated for a Yes vote and left plenty of people thirsty for his stance on bodily autonomy:
“The tactic here is you recognize the majority of people in this country want change, so you’re trying to suggest that there’s some better change...you need to tell them the truth. You wouldn’t back any change.” @SimonHarrisTD #rtept #repealthe8th #together4yes pic.twitter.com/UcQ3B0TzPu
— Emer O' Sullivan (@msemerosullivan) May 22, 2018
I would like to apologise to all my followers for my unwarranted Simon Harris thirst last night, I was off my tits on well-structured debate and targeted eye-rolls
— Louise Bígí Ag Vótáil Tá (@SelkiesGirlband) May 23, 2018
19) Home To Vote
The last week of the campaign has seen thousands of people coming home to vote from all across the world. Men and women have been sharing their support for women facing a crisis pregnancy from airport lounges and from the sky. Facebook groups like Abroad For Yes have been raising much-needed funds for Irish people around the world who need to get home and vote.
20) Ronan Mullen, Seanad member, versus a woman sharing her experiences of abortion
Twitter went into meltdown mode when pro-life Senator Ronan Mullen told Saoirse, a woman who described experiences of traveling for abortion on national television, "you deserve love and respect, regardless of what you've done":
I think Saoirse and the shocked gasps at Ronan Mullen's response to her story is a standout moment of this campaign #pkshow pic.twitter.com/ZRuohwIeOl
— Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) May 24, 2018
21) Cute moments like Grandads with ice creams for Yes kept us all going
GRANDADS WITH ICE CREAM FOR YES #Together4Yes pic.twitter.com/wPnlQhkQk2
— Síona (@AnTaobhRua) May 24, 2018
22) International stars supporting a Yes vote was met with relief
Hozier, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Pink, Emma Thompson, Ed Sheeran, and U2 are just some of the international stars who showed their support for a Yes vote.
A vote for the freedom to choose, a vote for women's rights, a vote for women's control over their bodies, a vote for women's health & safety, a vote towards equality. Thinking of Ireland #together4yes #repealthe8th https://t.co/CDNj9KoSGt
— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) May 24, 2018
23) Sky Reporter Mistakes Offaly for Westmeath
.@SkyNews man: “Where do you think the view is in Offaly?”
Outraged Yes campaigner: “This is Westmeath!”
Hope he gets out alive.
— ?Donald Clarke? (@DonaldClarke63) May 24, 2018
24) Enya's Castle
Photoshop or real, we knew Enya would be repealin'.
enya's castle this morning pic.twitter.com/wc8jAUawcW
— Patrick (@PrayForPatrick) May 25, 2018
Early in the voting day thousands of people shared the #ivotedyes hashtag on social media and we're all finally here for it.
As #IvotedYes this morning I met a woman I canvassed yesterday. She was teary-eyed and she thanked me for knocking on her door. Every door knocked on, every leaflet dropped, every conversation. It all matters. #RepealThe8th
— Peter Kavanagh (@TheKavOfficial) May 25, 2018
Grand day for it! #IvotedYes #repealthe8th #together4yes #together2vote pic.twitter.com/saFYnVH3SU
— Deirdre Kingston VOTED YES! (@deirdrekingston) May 25, 2018
I’ve never felt this emotional casting a vote before. Genuine tears in my eyes. Trust women, trust their doctors and vote yes #IvotedYes
— Suzanne Chase (@SuzanneChase_) May 25, 2018
26) Savita Mural
On Friday crowds began to appear outside the Savita mural beside The Bernard Shaw. The Yes voters showed their respect to Savita and her family by leaving notes.
27) Dublin Castle chants
After the exit polls revealed the Yes vote was leading by 70% on Friday night, Saturday morning saw crowds forming at Dublin Castle to hear the results announced. Chants like "Savita" and "Repealed" rang through the courtyard.
“Savita. Savita. Savita.” #8thRef pic.twitter.com/S5A8IuYaw3
— Richard Chambers? (@newschambers) May 26, 2018
28) After Eights
After it became clear the Eight would be most definitely repealed a woman began distributing After Eights to the crowd.
29) Dogs for Choice
Becoming a crucial member of the Yes campaign, Dogs for Choice took the streets with canvassers and celebrated Saturday's win. In a moment of joy and mental anguish, one dog owner decided to replicate a scene from The Lion King.
Dachshunds for choice ☺️♥️? pic.twitter.com/vSCh5jR6xn
— Ispini Dachshunds (@IspiniD) May 26, 2018
A dog has just been held up like Simba and people went mad. #8thRef pic.twitter.com/LcO01699Lz
— Richard Chambers? (@newschambers) May 26, 2018
30) Donegal becomes the only 'No' county
Just like Roscommon voted No in the same-sex marriage debate, it became clear that Donegals aging population would result in a No vote. It didn't matter in the end as all votes counted towards repealing the amendment:
#Donegal contributed 32,559 YES votes to national result#DubCentral contributed 18,559
A YES in Donegal is as good as one anywhere else in the country
The team @ARCDonegal should be proud of the fantastic campaign they ran, and their massive contribution to #RepealedThe8th
— Dublin Central Together4Yes (@DublinRepeal8) May 27, 2018
31) New legislation could be named after Savita
In a full circle moment, Savita's family has asked the Irish Government to name new abortion laws the Savita law. Their request has been supported by Yes campaigners.