John Downing: Legacy of bitterness that haunts generations
YOU have to have lived through Ireland's first referendum on abortion to realise how utterly appalling the campaign was. And many of us who did live through it often don't want to recall it.
"It was a dialogue of the deaf, though not of the mute."
The words of the irrepressible historian Joe Lee sum up what happened in Ireland in August and September 1983. The campaign on the eighth amendment to Bunreacht na hEireann – which appeared to put a total constitutional ban on abortion into the Constitution – was very loud.