Some thoughts while waiting for the count.
Negative campaigning didn’t suppress the Yes vote. It infuriated young voters tired of the dead hand of history and impatient for the polls to open so they could cast their vote and move on.
And speaking of young people…
The young voted against the Eighth in 1983, but they were outnumbered by the old. In 1983, Ireland had a young, educated population, half of them under 25. But in 1983, most of them were under 18. The youngest of them are 35 this year, old enough to be president. Some of us are in our fifties.
Throughout the campaign, I’ve seen canvassers surprised and delighted as older voters too assured them they were voting Yes. But those older voters were young in 1983. A 66 year old today was 31 in 1983, the same age as Simon Harris. A 74 year old was 39, the same as as the taoiseach. They’ve been waiting for this day, making the best of the bad choices offered to allow travel and information amendments, and twice rejecting attempts by Fianna Fail to roll back the X Case suicide ruling.
This has been a Long War, and it’s almost over.