"What we've seen today is the culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years", Mr. Varadkar told RTE, Ireland's public broadcaster.
Together for Yes co-director Orla O'Connor paid tribute to the women and couples "whose own bravery and dignity have moved hearts and changed minds - and given the scale of the victory, changed the country".
About 170,000 Irish women have travelled to the United Kingdom and other places for the procedure since 1980. Some said it seemed as if almost everyone on their flights was headed home to vote yes on the repeal.
Ireland voted to repeal the eighth amendment to their constitution by a landslide Friday opening the path to legalizing abortion.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, speaking after the official tally was announced at crowded Dublin Castle, hailed the momentous outcome as a "once in a generation vote" that showed the electorate's concern "for the next generation".
But opponents of the repeal movement have conceded they have no chance of victory.
Boy George, Ellie Goulding and Mindy Kailing also shared their congratulations to Ireland on the result of the vote.
"You can still passionately believe that the decision of the people is wrong, as I happen to do, and accept it", said McGuirk.
"The Irish referendum, if it shows anything that relevant to us, it's that attitudes are changing and people aren't tied down by more moralistic consideration of this issue", he said.
Domestic abortions are largely outlawed, however, and an illegal abortion is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment under existing law. And after the sensational vote for gay marriage in the referendum three years ago, they have now finally liberated Irish women from centuries of misogyny.
Ireland's Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said she was grateful to the voters for repealing the eighth amendment.
In response to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calling for abortion to be taken out of the Crimes Act past year, spokesman Ken Orr said "she wrongly believes that the killing of our unborn children should not be a crime and that this killing should be a core health service". "Today, the AUL legal team is saddened that the people of Ireland have paved the way for abortion on demand in their country".
Justice Minister Andrew Little says Ireland will be ahead of New Zealand on abortion law reform if it implements its planned changes following the weekend's referendum. The government has proposed allowing abortions in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, with exceptions for later terminations in some cases.
In this case, a "more modern country" also means one in which the Roman Catholic Church's once-strong patriarchal influence over the state and populace continues to wane, even at a time when other parts of Europe have been shifting to the right and far right.
On Friday, voters in Ireland took to the polling stations to cast their ballots on whether the country should repeal the eighth amendment of its constitution, which effectively bans abortions.
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