Hillary Clinton hails role of grassroots activists in Eighth Amendment campaign

The former US Secretary of State was conferred with an honorary degree at Trinity College today

Hillary Clinton hails role of grassroots activists in Eighth Amendment campaign

Photo:Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has hailed the role of grassroots activism in the recent abortion referendum.

She was speaking at a ceremony in Trinity College Dublin, where she was awarded an honourary doctorate.

The 2016 US presidential candidate delivered a lecture to a gathered crowd, and took part in a public conversation with former Irish President Mary Robinson

During the public address, she described how she followed the recent referendum on the Eighth Amendment and watched Irish people travelling home to vote.

Mrs Clinton said: "Citizens came from as far away as Japan, Australia and of course America.

"On the day of the vote, one of the strictest laws in the world was overturned - with nearly 87% of 18-25 year olds voting Yes."

She added: "It's an example of a government placing that decision before the people, and grassroots activism leading to an outcome that represented the voices and views of the Irish people."

Speaking more generally about democracy, she said: "Every citizen should believe in his or her power to make a difference - even what that difference looks like it will be hard to achieve. Every citizen should vote in every election."

Mrs Clinton also warned that Brexit cannot be allowed to undermine the Northern Ireland peace process.

A number of campaigners demonstrated outside today's event, with several groups protesting against the former Secretary of State's past support for a number of US conflicts.

Photo:Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie