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4 years of separation before divorce? Irish voters say no in a big way

4 years of separation before divorce? Irish voters say no in a big way
A Dublin voter leaves after casting her vote Saturday in the European elections, Ireland's local elections and the divorce referendum, all held concurrently. (Paul Faith / AFP/Getty Images)

Irish voters have overwhelmingly endorsed a plan to liberalize the country's constitution to make it easier for couples to divorce.

Election officials said Sunday that voters approved removing a constitutional requirement that couples be separated for four years before being allowed to divorce.

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It will fall to Ireland's Parliament to come up with new legislation to govern divorce.

Officials say more than 82% of voters endorsed the change, which follows liberalization of abortion laws approved in a referendum last year.

Culture Minister Josepha Madigan told RTE News that voters had shown compassion by "humanizing the system."

Voter turnout for the referendum vote was just over 50%.

Local election results are still being tallied.

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