Women challenge result of children’s referendum

The Government has been left embarrassed after two women began a legal challenge aimed at overturning the result of the children’s referendum.

The women — Joanna Jordan, of Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, who campaigned for a no vote, and Nancy Kennelly, a nursing home resident in Askeaton, Co Limerick, who voted yes — claim that the Coalition’s use of public money to fund an unbalanced information campaign wrongfully affected the outcome.

The opposition said the legal challenge had been all but inevitable given the Government’s failure to mount an impartial information campaign.

The women are challenging the result based on the Government’s misuse of public money on its information campaign. The women’s petition was supported by journalist and no campaigner John Waters, who said the Government’s information could not but have influenced people to vote yes.

Reacting last night, Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy said the challenge was “probably inevitable”.

Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, whose party also supported the amendment, agreed that a challenge had always been a possibility.

“However, given the yes majority of almost 170,000, it would be my earnest wish that the decision of the electorate would stand.”

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