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Sinn Féin Declares Support for Yes Vote in Dual March 8 Referendums on Constitutional Changes 

Dublin: Sinn Féin, the opposition party, has announced its endorsement of a Yes vote in both referendums scheduled for March 8, coinciding with International Women’s Day. The referendums aim to bring changes to the Irish constitution concerning caregiving and the role of women in the home.

Sinn Féin’s affirmative stance underscores its belief that the constitution should accurately mirror the diverse realities of contemporary life in Ireland. Although the party did not propose any amendments during the legislative discussions in the Dáil or Synod, it extended its support to various amendments put forth by fellow opposition parties.

Divergent Positions among Political Parties
Different political parties have taken varying public stances on the upcoming referendums. Sinn Féin’s commitment to a Yes vote is expected to galvanise supporters of the proposed amendments. Concurrently, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and the Green Party have all advocated for a Yes vote.

People Before Profit has also expressed support for a Yes vote. While the Social Democrats do not fully endorse a Yes vote due to disagreements with proposed amendments, they caution against the potential harm of a no vote.

Labor’s position is yet to be officially determined, with discussions anticipated during the party’s executive board meeting. The party had introduced some amendments during the senate deliberations.

Implications of Referendums
If the referendums are passed, Article 41 of the Constitution will be amended to expand the definition of family beyond marriage, extending benefits to same-sex couples and those in non-marital relationships. Additionally, Article 41.2, addressing the role of women in the home, will be eliminated, and a new Article 42B will be introduced to emphasize family protection.

During the Dáil debate, discussions revolved around terms such as durable relationships, families, and caregiving in the home. Sinn Féin expressed disappointment with the government’s rejection of certain amendments and criticised the amendments for not aligning with the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly and the Committee.

Party leader and TD Eoin Ó Broin affirmed Sinn Féin’s support for revising the constitutional language, despite differences over the final wording. He emphasised the party’s belief in societal obligations to support caregivers, whether they are parents of young children or providers of care to elderly and disabled family members.

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