The 8th traces Ireland’s campaign to remove the 8th Amendment – a constitutional ban on abortion.

It shows a country’s transformation from a conservative state in thrall to the Catholic church to a more liberal secular society. The 8th includes voices from both sides of the debate, but its primary focus is on the dynamic female leaders of the pro-choice campaign.

The film follows the veteran campaigner Ailbhe Smyth and self-described glitter-activist Andrea Horan as they chart a bold strategy of grassroots activism and engineer the impossible. This dramatic story is underscored by a vivid exploration of the wrenching failures that led to this defining moment in Irish history. An urgent narrative, a cautionary tale and a roadmap for progressive reforms in a modern era where authoritarianism is on the rise, The 8th shows a country forging a new progressive path when reproductive rights are threatened all over the world.

Directors Lucy Kennedy, Maeve O’Boyle and Aideen Kane said in a statement: “When the government called a referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment, we knew this was one of the most important stories of our generation. Our goal was to document this defining moment in the context of Ireland’s historic treatment of women. “This is one of the most divisive issues in the world but the Irish campaigners, on both sides of the debate, chose an alternative approach. Civility and civic engagement are critical to democracy and ‘The 8th’ demonstrates that even when issues are deeply felt and passions (are) near the surface, people can discuss, differ and choose a positive way forward.”

After the screening you will have an opportunity to join Susan McKay, Ailbhe Smyth, Aideen Kane and other special guests discussing the film and the campaigns In Northern Ireland and the republic.


Please note this event has been moved online due to temporary closure of cinemas.