The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) welcome the commitment from Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, to take into account young people’s ability to vote on the Eighth Amendment. Newly elected Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attended Queens University Belfast, marking the Taoiseach’s first visit to Northern Ireland since he was appointed, where Queens University Belfast Students’ Union asked if he would take into consideration that a June or July referendum on the Eighth Amendment could hinder students casting a vote.
USI Deputy President Síona Cahill stated, “The first question to the Taoiseach came from Queens University Belfast Students’ Union asking if he would take into consideration that a June or July referendum on the Eighth Amendment could hinder students casting a vote. Right there, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pledged to take student concerns about the timing of the upcoming abortion referendum into account when setting a date for the vote. We will hold the Taoiseach to his word.”
“USI believe the referendum must be standalone, and must take into consideration that 85% of the members of the USI are younger than 23, and approximately half are female. A referendum in June or July could see students denied a chance to vote. We will hold our Government to account and persistently question if students, and young people, are really being taken into consideration when setting a date for a referendum on the Eighth Amendment”
USI addressed the Citizens’ Assembly on March 5th 2017 calling for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment and the introduction of free, safe and legal abortion services in Ireland. USI is a pro-choice organisation and represent 354,000 students across the island of Ireland.