As the movement begins to die down after last Saturday's decisive win, attention has been drawn to those who deserve recognition and gratitude for their tireless campaigning. As legislation discussions began in the Dáil, TD Clare Daly wished to remind Ireland's politicians of some home truths.
In the speech, Daly recognised Ailbhe Smyth, head of women's studies in UCD until 2006, worked tirelessly since the 70s and was a founding member of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.
Moving on from the figures who helped influence the public's decision to repeal the Eighth Amendment, Clare stressed that this was not a movement led by politicians and it was not until the boulder was pushed over the edge that politicians began to speak about the issue of abortion and the Eighth being a barrier for Irish women.
I can't believe I'm 50 years of age and it has taken this long. It has taken my daughter to come home for her first vote to get us here and I think for so many women it represented so much. It was almost like society atoning for everything its done for women in this country. Atoning for how we stigmatised women facing crisis pregnancies, the Magdalene laundries, the Mother and baby homes, the shaming, the forced adoptions, the robbed identities that we're going to hear about later on this afternoon. It still goes on...Politicians haven't led on this issue. We haven't even followed until recently. A boulder has been pushed up a hill for decades and no one here was behind it.
The last moments of the speech were dedicated to reminding the politicians of the Dail that young people and a grassroots movement won this campaign and calling the young people of Ireland 'legends':
If you can't watch the video click here.
When her words came to a close, Clare's speech was not only celebrated by members of the Dáil:
Surely one of the most compelling and passionate speeches ever made in Dáil Éireann by @ClareDalyTD today https://t.co/rK4jwq69Vm
— Ailbhe Smyth (@ailbhes) May 29, 2018
Incredible speech by @ClareDalyTD on the #repealthe8th movement. https://t.co/mS3u2vnqb3
— Una Mullally (@UnaMullally) May 29, 2018
Brilliant Dáil speech by @ClareDalyTD who was so instrumental in trying to introduce legislation on abortion. “If there’s one name, we need to mention, it’s @ailbhes, who is a hero”. https://t.co/oUmfrlDFVT
— The Anti Room (@antiroom) May 30, 2018
CLARE DALY TODAY ✊?@ailbhes and @Arlettemlyons & @TFMRIRE rightly named ("if I have to name some") by @ClareDalyTD
She ends with @Students4Ch8ice and all those YES young people & #HometoVote - legends.
THANK YOU ALL IS RIGHT?#RepealedThe8th#8thRef #Together4Yes
— Leah Doherty (@LeahNiD) May 29, 2018
The moment when FG are confronted with Clare Daly's metaphor of being the lads who only 'jumped off the boulder to help it over the hill when everyone else had already pushed it to the top'#8threpealed #repealedthe8th pic.twitter.com/oYvhs70Bc7
— Steve Byrne (@thestevebyrne) May 29, 2018
Clare Daly proposed an abortion bill back in 2012 and 101 TDs voted against it. Only 27 TDs at the time voted Yes. Simon Harris, the current Health Minister, was amongst many members of Fine Gael to vote No and Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach at the time, abstained from voting.
No members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or Labour voted Yes. The majority of the Yes votes at the time came from Sinn Féin including Mary Lou McDonald and former party leader Gerry Adams.