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Together for Yes Activists Named on Time Magazine's Most Influential People List

"They put the experiences of women and the needs of their country first."

The three are celebrated alongside the likes of Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama. 

Three activists who led the Together for Yes campaign during the Eighth Amendment referendum have been named on Time magazine’s list of ‘Most Influential’ people for 2019.

Grainne Griffin, Ailbhe Smyth and Orla O’Connor were named in the ‘Icons’ section of the list, alongside newsmakers including Taylor Swift, Caster Semenya and Christine Blasey Ford.

Their citation, written by Ruth Negga, said that the “their incredible tenacity and integrity and courageousness will be an inspiration for generations to come.”

"Together for Yes, the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish constitution, put the Mná na hÉireann (women of Ireland) front, centre and in control of their own bodies and rights like never before," Negga wrote. 

"It was breathtaking to witness the determination, intelligence and sheer hard work of its leaders Grainne Griffin, Ailbhe Smyth and Orla O’Connor, who mobilized people of all different backgrounds in the lead-up to the vote.

"They put the experiences of women and the needs of their country first."

The Together for Yes campaign – of which Griffin, Smyth and O’Connor were co-directors – was an umbrella group a made up of about 70 civil society groups that campaigned successfully to repeal the Eighth Amendment in the 2018 referendum. 

Smyth, who was convenor of the Campaign to Repeal the Eighth, said Ireland’s result has had an impact beyond these shores.

“We are honoured to receive this accolade from Time Magazine.  It is evidence of the significant international ‘ripple’ impact of the Together for Yes campaign,” she said today.

“The referendum result here in Ireland was a real boost for the morale of pro-choice campaigners throughout the word, and we hope it can be a beacon of light wherever and whenever abortion rights are denied, restricted or under severe threat.”

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