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home to vote

The #HomeToVote videos released today will give you goosebumps

The 25th May is shaping up to be a day full to the brim of emotions. And many cheeky airport pints.

The #HomeToVote campaign for the Marriage Referendum in 2015 was a huge triumph, with voters from as far away as Mozambique, New York and Bangok making the journey home to cast their ballot to #MakeGráTheLaw.

It was a celebration of love

And of course, an excuse for a cheeky airport drink

But mostly, it was emotional

Following on from the Marriage Referendum campaign, London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign launched in February: a global campaign calling on Irish aboard to come home vote.

Today, they released two videos as part of that campaign.

The first one on their twitter page plays ‘Bread and Roses’, a political feminist poem turned activist song, as Irish people from all corners of the world are shown waking up and heading to the airport. As the Irish diaspora arrive at the airport, through all manner of transport in London, Las Vegas and Paris, a gentle voice-over begins:

If you’re an Irish citizen and lived in Ireland in the last 18 months, wherever you are in the world right now, you may be entitled to vote.
On the 25th of May we’re getting a once in a generation chance to make Ireland a fairer, safer place for women. Let’s do it together. Come home to vote yes to repeal the 8th Amendment.

The second video, has an unexpected ending.

London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign / YouTube

As the voters arrive into Ireland, in an exuberant mood as they travel with friends and joyfully greet loved-ones at Irish airports, the camera switches to a woman sitting alone in the departures terminal.

The woman is staring forlornly but resolutely at the departures board, displaying the times for the flights to Britain and The Netherlands – the two most common countries where Irish women travel to in order to access abortion care.


The juxtaposition of the merry travellers with the melancholic girl is a powerful ending. Whilst the last marriage referendum was a referendum soaked in joy because it was about celebrating love, this referendum is decidedly different.

Every house in Ireland has photos of family and friends’ weddings on display, and marriage is something many aspire to. No one is going to display a photograph of the day you have to travel aboard to terminate your pregnancy.

No one aspires to need an abortion.

The video effectively shows compassionate awareness that, whilst it’s a day for merriment as make Ireland a kinder place for its citizens, there will be many women on the 25th May who will be forced to travel to access care that they should be getting here.

Watch the videos and try not to cry too much.

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