‘North is next’: fresh fight for grassroots power that beat Ireland abortion ban

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'North is next’: fresh fight for grassroots power that beat Ireland abortion ban
Women who rallied across borders to win referendum have their sights set on Northern Ireland and northern Australia

Melissa Davey
Fri 1 Jun 2018

Just a few years ago, the Abortion Rights Campaign in Ireland was predominantly active in the capital of Dublin. By the time a landslide 66.4% of the country voted on 25 May to repeal the eighth amendment and give women easier access to abortion, the Abortion Rights Campaign had 36 offshoot groups outside the capital, including in counties where Catholicism and conservatism are deeply entrenched.

The Dublin-based organiser for the Abortion Rights Campaign, Cathie Shiels, knows how hard it is to stand in the middle of a remote Irish-Catholic town holding up a placard advocating for abortion reform. She comes from Donegal, close to the Northern Ireland border and the only county that voted “No” in the referendum.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/02/north-is-next-fresh-fight-for-grassroots-power-that-beat-ireland-abortion-ban

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Una Mullally: Referendum shows us there is no Middle Ireland, just Ireland

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Una Mullally: Referendum shows us there is no Middle Ireland, just Ireland
‘The fiction of Ireland as a conservative, dogmatically Catholic country has been shattered’

May 26, 2018
Una Mullally

The handover period is over. The fiction of Ireland as a conservative, dogmatically Catholic country has been shattered. The past is left back there, and a new legacy is being created. A legacy of compassion, empathy, and maturity - a country taking responsibility for the care and health of women and girls. What happened in the referendum vote was seismic, but more seismic still was the realisation that this vote was reflecting change, not just instigating it. “They listened to us. They actually listened to us,” a young woman said to me, crying, in the RDS on Saturday morning.

Together For Yes ran an excellent campaign, from start to finish. As the No campaign scraped the barrel, the Yes campaign always acted with dignity, with facts to the fore, and never once stooped. Together For Yes built an army around the country. An army of Us. In the RDS, people burst into tears when the Together For Yes bosses came into the room.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/una-mullally-referendum-shows-us-there-is-no-middle-ireland-just-ireland-1.3509905

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Ireland, Enthusiastic About Gay Rights, Frets Over Abortion

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Ireland, Enthusiastic About Gay Rights, Frets Over Abortion

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura
May 20, 2018

CARRIGTWOHILL, Ireland — When it comes to the Roman Catholic Church, Judy Donnelly has been something of a rebel over the years. Like much of Ireland, she supported contraception, voted in a referendum to legalize divorce and, three years ago, backed same-sex marriage.

That last vote was joyously celebrated around the country and the world, placing Ireland, which elected its first gay prime minister last year, at the vanguard of what many called a social revolution.

But when it comes to the historic decision on legalizing abortion, which will be put to the nation on Friday, Ms. Donnelly says she will vote no, as will enough of her countrymen and women, including lawmakers across the political divide, to throw the referendum result into doubt. Polls for the May 25 vote have narrowed so tightly in recent weeks that “yes” and “no” campaigners are not able to confidently predict a victory.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/world/europe/ireland-gay-rights-abortion.html

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Ireland – Una Mullally: What was No side up to online that was so crucial?

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Una Mullally: What was No side up to online that was so crucial?
Reaction to Facebook and Google referendum ad ban is tactic straight out of Trump playbook

May 11, 2018
Una Mullally

The issue of dubious online campaigning, which for so long was flagged by observers in the run up to the abortion referendum, snapped into focus this week.

While legislators had plenty of time since 2016 to tackle the potential impact of online campaigning or online interference in our democratic process, the digital space remained unregulated as the referendum campaign kicked off.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/una-mullally-what-was-no-side-up-to-online-that-was-so-crucial-1.3491739

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Ireland – The poisonous online campaign to defeat the abortion referendum

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The poisonous online campaign to defeat the abortion referendum
Una Mullally: Protect the 8th and Undecided8 are ruthlessly targeting undecided voters

May 6, 2018
Una Mullally

An ad kept popping up as I watched YouTube clips the other day, the type of ad you’re forced to sit through before you can play the video you’ve selected. The ad was from Protect the 8th, one of the groups campaigning for a No vote in the abortion referendum, and its slickness was almost out of step with the more sensational messaging the No side has been using. “Don’t be tricked,” it declared.

I ignored it the first time. But then I watched a completely different YouTube video. There the ad was again. It was clear a big, and expensive, online advertising campaign was being rolled out. Around the same time people noticed adverts on Facebook linking to a website called Undecided8, which purported to be an unbiased website for “facts”.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/the-poisonous-online-campaign-to-defeat-the-abortion-referendum-1.3486236

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Why are Irish journalists again missing a movement?

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Una Mullally: Why are Irish journalists again missing a movement?
Media appears unable to interpret political movements formed outside traditional party structures

Mon, Apr 16, 2018
Una Mullally

We are at that moment in a referendum campaign where stories, takes, and points of view need to be generated as commentary. Some will be insightful, others less so. Some will be deliberately provocative, some will be more concentrated on facts. Some will fulfil the most tedious trope in journalism, where criticism will be levelled at a campaign by those who substitute expertise and experience for a “hunch”.

There are more than two opposing campaigns under way, of course, multiple campaigns – particularly on the pro-repeal side – emerging from grassroots activism and active citizenship. As the media narratives weave themselves in knots, what I find especially interesting is how this referendum campaign is frequently compared to the marriage equality referendum campaign. Generally, this comparison follows two narratives.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/una-mullally-why-are-irish-journalists-again-missing-a-movement-1.3462385

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Ireland’s abortion debate proves how deeply the country trades on shame

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Ireland's abortion debate proves how deeply the country trades on shame

Una Mullally
5 April 2018

It's impossible to describe Ireland's abortion debate as anything but just sad. While politicians and religious fundamentalists wring their hands over matters of legislation and dogma, it’s the personal stories of Irish women and girls travelling out of the country to terminate their pregnancies that linger in the background; stories that, until a few years ago, largely went untold.

Occasionally, an Irish woman would talk about an abortion. But silence begets silence, and Ireland’s national sport is sweeping things under the carpet.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/irelands-abortion-debate-proves-deeply-country-trades-shame/

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Ireland – The Women’s Podcast: Reflecting on the Repeal movement

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The Women’s Podcast: Reflecting on the Repeal movement
Writer Una Mullally and poet Elaine Feeney talk to Kathy Sheridan about Repeal the 8th book

Thu, Apr 5, 2018
Jennifer Ryan

“Social change is creative change and it’s important to remember the artistic expressions that have brought us to this place and have been a part of it too,” says journalist Una Mullally, about why she has put together an anthology of writing and art on the Repeal movement.

The Repeal the 8th book is a collection of stories, essays, poetry and photography around the movement for reproductive rights in Ireland in the lead up to a referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the constitution on May 25th.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/the-women-s-podcast-reflecting-on-the-repeal-movement-1.3450592

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Ireland – We need to talk indoors, not shout outdoors about abortion

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Nell McCafferty: We need to talk indoors, not shout outdoors about abortion
No conversation about abortion is complete without celebration of the magnificent plenitude of conception, pregnancy and motherhood

Sat, Mar 24, 2018
Nell McCafferty

We need to have a conversation about conception, pregnancy and motherhood. After that, we need to talk about abortion.

The way I talked about both changed during the infamous and successful campaign of 1981-83 to introduce the Eighth Amendment into the constitution, which put the fertilised egg on a par with a pregnant woman.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/nell-mccafferty-we-need-to-talk-indoors-not-shout-outdoors-about-abortion-1.3428291

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Ireland: Borders of the middle ground being redrawn in abortion debate

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Una Mullally: Borders of the middle ground being redrawn in abortion debate
Micheál Martin’s support for repeal of the Eighth Amendment is already being described as a key moment in the campaign

Jan 21, 2018
Una Mullally

A referendum campaign begins when a date is called and ends when the votes are counted. Officially. But on social issues in Ireland, we know that’s not the case. “Matters of public debate” drag on for years, perhaps none more so than the issue of abortion. If a campaign is to happen in May or June, we’ll know the date soon. Then the slog will begin. Referendum campaigns have a seemingly endless capacity for drama, for personalities, for emotion.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/una-mullally-borders-of-the-middle-ground-being-redrawn-in-abortion-debate-1.3363130

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