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The Limerick Lady Podcast

Feb 15, 2024

On 8 March 2024, Irish citizens will be asked to vote in two referendums to change our Constitution. The first Referendum concerns the concept of Family in the Constitution. The second Referendum proposes to delete an existing part of the Constitution and insert new text providing recognition for care provided by family members to each other.

You have two separate votes on whether you wish to make the proposed changes to the current text of Article 41 of the Constitution.

Ailbhe Smyth, an activist in women's rights and the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, is actively campaigning for a yes vote on both amendments, and we chat with her about why that is.

She was the founding head of Women’s Studies at UCD (University College Dublin) where she began lecturing at the age of 21. She has been campaigning on feminist, LGBTQI+ and socialist issues for decades. She played a key role in the victorious Marriage Equality referendum in 2015. A pro-choice activist since the late 1970s, Ailbhe co-founded the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment and went on to become Co-Director of the Together for Yes 2015 referendum campaign which won the right to abortion for women in Ireland in 2018.

A Dublin resident, Ailbhe is currently Chair of Women’s Aid Ireland, and Honorary Patron of the Women’s Collective Ireland (previously National Collective of Community-based Women’s Network). She is a founder member of Climate Justice Coalition, and also of Le Chéile: Diversity not Division which campaigns against the growth of far right extremism.

In 2019, Ailbhe was listed as one of Time Magazine’s ‘Most Influential People’. She was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Laws by NUIG in 2021, and was conferred with the Freedom of the City of Dublin.

Follow Ailbhe Smyth on Twitter at AilbheS

Follow Ann Blake on Twitter at annblake78, on Instagram at annblakeplay and check out  her band The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra on twitter at BPLO.

Find Emma Langford on Twitter at ELangfordMusic – on Instagram at EmmaLangfordMusic - and at her website   

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Intro music: Demon Darling by Emma Langford

Outro music: Closed Book by Emma Langford