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NWCI calls for a Yes vote to create greater certainty and clarity for families going through divorce

Published: Thursday, May 02, 2019

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today called for a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum on divorce on May 24th.  

The call was made at the NWCI members and friends meeting on the divorce referendum in Dublin today. Speakers included: Ellen O'Malley Dunlop, Chair of the NWCI, Karen Kiernan, CEO, One Family, Dr Louise Crowley, Senior Lecturer in Family Law, UCC and Dr Grainne Healy, who chaired the event.  

Speaking ahead of the event, Jennifer McCarthy Flynn, Head of Policy, NWCI said,  

“Nobody marries thinking they will need to divorce. However, it is a reality of life that sometimes relationships change. A couple may decide that the best way forward for their circumstances and their family is to divorce. Currently, the process of getting a divorce is very long and cumbersome for families in Ireland.   A Yes vote on May 24th means we can create greater certainty and clarity for these families and ease some of the harmful restrictions that are in place.”   

Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, Chairperson of NWCI said,  

“The Constitution is not the right place to deal with complex personal relationships. Currently, restrictions on divorce in the Constitution mean that a couple must wait at least 4 years in order to divorce. By voting Yes, we can create a more compassionate process for families. Divorce can also be really important for women leaving an abusive relationship. A shorter divorce process means women will be able to better protect themselves and their children from long term abuse from their former partner.”  

Karen Kiernan, CEO, One Family said,  

“One Family has been working with separating and divorced families for decades and we know how stressful and expensive such a long wait for divorce can be on everyone. We are calling for a more human, modern and compassionate response to the difficulties families face when they need to separate.” 

Dr Louise Crowley, Senior Lecturer in Family Law, UCC said, 

“Compassion and understanding demands that we trust and empower those who are dealing with the immense difficulties associated with a broken marriage and reduce the waiting period to two years. It does not demand that parties apply after two years but it does facilitate those who wish to do so. By voting Yes and according the law-making power to the Oireachtas, our public representatives in both Houses can create, reform and modify laws to respond to changing social norms and expectations.” 


For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, NWCI, Tel. 085 861 9087.  

Note to Editors:  

What: Women for Yes on May 24th – Photo call followed by Members and Friends Meeting  

When: Thursday, 2 May  

Photo call: 9:45 am 
Members and Friends meeting: 10 am  

Where: INMO, The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7