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Directors: Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane Running Time: 95 minutes
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The Galway Film Fleadh opened last night with the world premiere of Irish documentary The 8th. With subject matter so closely tied to the recent national psyche of the country, going as it does through the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment which constitutionally banned abortion in the Republic, it can be difficult to assess Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy and Aideen Kane’s documentary on it’s own merits. Functioning similarly Linda Cullen and Vanessa Gildea’s Marriage Referendum doc The 34th, the film plays out as a matter of historical record, but the filmmakers do allow the heavy emotions of the time their rightful place, elevating The 8th beyond the newsreel footage.

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With just 10 days to go until the Referendum on the regulation of termination of pregnancy, it is a vital time to provide information that is honest, both factually and emotionally, to the public. One of a number in the Irish film community making efforts in this regard is Karl Callan, whose short film, simply titled  Repeal aims to tell the stories of women for whom the repealing of the 8th amendment is vital.

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Repeal is the story of 3 women and the difficulties they encounter in the face of abortions laws in Ireland. Released early next month, the short is inspired by real women’s testimonies of the difficulties they have faced as a consequence of the 8th amendment, and speaks to the importance of repealing the amendment when it goes to a referendum in May. A trailer for the short, directed by Karl Callan, is available now.

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