Ireland will hold a referendum on whether or not legalise abortion on May 25, it has been announced.

The date, announced on Wednesday, will be the first opportunity in 35 years for voters to have their say on abortion.

Abortion has long been a divisive issue in once stridently Catholic Ireland, where a complete ban was lifted only in 2013 when terminations were allowed in cases where the mother’s life was in danger.

Voters will be asked if they wish to repeal the eighth amendment of the constitution that was added in 1983 to enshrine the equal right to life of the mother and her unborn child, instead enabling parliament to set the law on this issue.

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