Mary McAleese's 'divine intervention' on the side of the angels in same-sex debate
A divine intervention? Well, not quite, but the decision of ex-President Mary McAleese to make a public announcement about why she and her husband Martin will be voting in favour of the forthcoming referendum on equal marriage will encourage many advocating a 'Yes' vote to believe that they are on the side of the angels. No doubt, traditionalists will feel betrayed.
As Mrs McAleese is now a private individual, her opinion shouldn't carry any more weight with the public than that of Joe the butcher or Mary the schoolteacher. But it does. Not just because Mrs McAleese is a former president, but because she is also an expert in Irish law and in Catholic canon law. So, not only is she a committed Catholic but she also knows what she is talking about - from both a secular and religious point of view.
This is the voice that many ordinary Irish Catholics have been waiting to hear. Why? Because over recent months, they have been inundated with conflicting opinions as to what this referendum is really about. Is it the beginning of the end of marriage and family life as we know it, as so many 'No' advocates would have us believe? Or is it just a way of formalising loving unions - many of which already exist.