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Irish Opponents Of Divorce May Appeal To Court

Mon., Nov. 27, 1995

Defeated divorce opponents are considering a court challenge to Ireland’s vote to legalize divorce, saying the government misused taxpayers’ money to campaign for the referendum.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing divorce by little more than 9,000 ballots out of more than 1.6 million cast Friday, the closest such vote in Irish history.

Anti-divorce campaigners blamed their loss on government-funded, pro-divorce advertisements that the Supreme Court ruled illegal Nov. 17.

They have seven days to consult lawyers about a challenge before the amendment - which legalizes divorces for couples after at least four years of separation - is signed by President Mary Robinson. Political analysts, however, give a challenge little hope of succeeding.

The ads were ordered by Prime Minister John Bruton, who led the pro-divorce campaign.

They were withdrawn after the Supreme Court ruled that they constituted “unauthorized interference with the democratic process.”

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