World & Nation

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.

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.