The referendum results: the best possible Mother’s Day present

THE results of the two referendums are the best possible present ahead of Mother’s Day tomorrow. The Government asked voters to remove the word ‘mother’ from the Constitution and they answered with a resounding No. They also rejected by a huge margin the attempt to foist the extremely nebulous term “durable relationships” on the Constitution.

A recent poll commissioned by The Iona Institute showed that 69pc of mothers with children under the age of 18 would stay at home with their children given the chance. The Government completely overlooked this group, and so did almost the entirety of the political establishment.

Article 41.2 is the only provision in the Constitution that mentions mothers and says they should not be forced out of the home by “economic necessity”. But many do feel forced out by economic necessity and don’t like it. The Government held the referendums on International Women’s Day for symbolic purposes, but it forgot that two days later (tomorrow) is Mother’s Day, a massive oversight.

The Government also wanted us to insert the term “durable relationships” into the section of the Constitution on the family and marriage. But no-one in the Yes campaign could properly explain what the phrase means and they often contradicted themselves. Former Justice Minister, Michael McDowell highlighted the problems with the term very well and so did barrister and stay-at-home mother, Maria Steen. Everyone knows when someone gets married, but when do they enter a “durable relationship”?

Interestingly, both referendums went down hardest in the parts of the country with the highest concentration of lone parents. They were clearly not impressed by what they were offered.

The task before the Government now is to carry out the promise of Article 41.2 which is to try and provide mothers with the option of staying at home if that is their wish. If not, then someone ought to take a case to the Supreme Court and see what happens.