How the Yes and No sides won and lost the abortion referendum
Harry McGee: Smiling Savita portraits proclaiming a new reality for Ireland
May 26, 2018
Harry McGee Political Correspondent
In the last few days of the referendum campaign on the Eight Amendment dozens of small posters appeared around Dublin.
The image was of Savita Halappanavar, instantly recognisable from her thick dark hair, wide smile, smiling eyes, and the Bindi dot on the forehead. The message contained one word: Yes. They were striking in their simplicity and directness.
The Savita case (read Kitty Holland’s report from 2012 here) was never too far away from people’s minds during the eight weeks that this extraordinary referendum campaign seeped into Irish public consciousness on doorsteps, in the streets, in the media, or on the airwaves… right up to polling day.
Battle on doorsteps reveals different truths for Yes and No campaigns
Both sides in abortion referendum believe they have the edge. How can both be right?
April 27, 2018
When you ask Joe Walsh, a No campaigner, when he started canvassing for the referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, his response takes you aback. “We started three years ago,” he says, matter-of-factly, “and have not stopped since then.”
Although the media spotlight over the past five years has been mostly on the evolution of the referendum to decide whether to repeal the amendment, which bans abortion in almost all circumstances, anti-abortion campaigners have not been idle, as is immediately apparent outside Dublin. The No campaign was first to put up its posters, and it has big canvassing teams, in which young women tend to be to the fore, in most parts of the State.