A Realistic Timeline Towards #repealthe8th


  • The Dáil votes down a bill to hold a referendum on repealing the 8th amendment.
  • The movement to repeal the 8th amendment finally heeds the unsolicited advice of broadsheet columnists and tones it down.
  • Further columns are published assuring Middle Ireland that progress can now be made on our 8th amendment problem.
Newspaper with headline Everything Is Fine
Nothing to see here


  • The Citizens’ Assembly issues a report on the 8th amendment, which is referred to the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality rather than the Health committee. The report remains unreleased to the general public.
  • A lone citizen brings a case to the High Court in an attempt to nullify the Assembly’s report. The citizen has seemingly no connections to any existing lobby organisation, yet somehow has enough money to pursue this litigation.


  • Another bill to hold a referendum is brought before the Dáil, but the government refuses to take any action while the High Court case is ongoing.
  • Fianna Fáil collapses the government when a row breaks out over Ernest Hemingway’s “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn” story. A general election is called.
  • In an unprecedented situation, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil win an equal number of seats. Of course, Fianna Fáil ends up running the government.


  • After a massive collapse in property prices, which nobody in the media foresees, a grand coalition is formed. Leo Varadkar is elected Taoiseach.
  • Nobody in government can remember at what stage the Citizens’ Assembly was, so a new Congress for Plebiscites is formed to deal with the 8th amendment.


  • The Congress is marred by controversy when the Sunday Times runs a story showing the polling agency in charge of sourcing members just used a coach to pick up all sixty people from the same church.
  • The coalition allows the Congress to continue because they’ve run out of names for this particular stalling tactic.


  • A meteorite crashes in rural Utah. It is made of materials never encountered before in this solar system.
  • In a surprise move British Prime Minister Jeremy Hunt triggers Article 50 the evening of December 25th. The Guardian holds a particularly bad Doctor Who Christmas special responsible.


  • An abortion prohibition organisation launches a nationwide billboard campaign for no reason whatsoever despite the issue having been dormant for several years.
  • The pro-choice movement is rekindled much to the annoyance of Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil.
  • Two more meteorites crash in Uzbekistan and Argentina.


  • A stronger, government-subsidised media allows broadsheet columnists to once again tone police the pro-choice movement before they get any ideas above their station.
  • A new EU treaty is devised in the wake of Brexit. A referendum is held and the government is shocked to find that it passes on the first attempt. No other referendums are held alongside it.


  • The Earth is invaded by space aliens. Within a week they destroy most of North America, Asia and mainland Europe. Ireland remains relatively intact.
  • With no way to import goods the coalition enacts emergency measures to ensure the survival of the Irish people. It is dubbed the “Remergency” by the media, annoyingly.


  • After a decade of skirmishes without any communication, the aliens send envoys to Dublin. A ceasefire is reached. The aliens allow the government to stay in power.
  • The aliens order the government to legalise abortion for cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, because they’re not fucking monsters.


  • The aliens discover their ruling on FFA has not been implemented and dissolve the government – in a strong acid.
  • A space referendum is held on repealing the 8th amendment, which passes comfortably. Article 40.3.3 is removed from the constitution after sixty years.
  • A new generation of broadsheet columnists rave about how great getting the referendum passed was. Every single piece ignores all of the very real and lasting damage done by the invasion that allowed it to happen.
Illustrations by Conor Nolan