Five women who played a vital role in the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment have won the top prize at the Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards. Tara Flynn, Anna Cosgrave, Ailbhe Smyth and Gaye Edwards were all recognised at the awards ceremony which celebrates the achievements of Irish women.
Tatler spoke about the importance of every single person involved in the campaign leading up to the Referendum:
“The struggle for women’s bodily autonomy was a national movement which saw the grass-root mobilizations of medical experts, artists, men and women across the country. Every single one of them, from the canvasser to those who spoke out on national TV, should be thanked and this award, in a way, goes to every single one of them.”
The publication added that they had selected five women to whom they would like to give special thanks and recognition for their “involvement, relentless dedication and bravery throughout the campaign”.
Tara Flynn was honoured for sharing her own experience of the Eighth Amendment, which resonated with so many Irish people.
Tatler praised the writer and actor: “Speaking up about such private issues, opening up yourself to online and social media abuse requires an amount of strength and resilience which deserve to be praised.”
The role played by Anna Cosgrave in creating the movement’s defining visual symbol – the white-on-black Repeal jumper – was recognised by Tatler:
“A statement of solidarity, a taboo-breaker and a funding resource for volunteers, Cosgrave’s Repeal Project gave impetus and support to the cause.”
Activist, academic and co-director of Together for Yes, Ailbhe Smyth was recognized for her role not just in the most recent referendum, but for fighting for women’s bodily autonomy since the 1970s.
Gaye Edwards, who courageously spoke about how the Eighth Amendment forces people to travel to the UK if they choose to end a pregnancy due to fatal fetal abnormality, had her work recognised. Tatler praised Edwards for the way in which she became a voice for Together for Yes.
Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone was also included in the overall award in recognition of the role she played as chair of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment which recommended that Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution be repealed.
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