Wednesday 18 September 2019

Final Results

Repeal the Eighth Amendment?

Yes 66.40% 1,429,981

No 33.60% 723,632

  • Constituencies declared: 40/40

Referendum Hub

Simon Harris refuses to be intimidated by 'graphic' referendum posters

Health Minister has described graphic posters erected in his constituency as a “low blow”

The health minister thanked people for contacting him about what he described as
The health minister thanked people for contacting him about what he described as "disgusting posters" which have appeared in his Wicklow constituency (Photo: Twitter/@aoifs123)
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

HEALTH Minister Simon Harris has described graphic posters erected in his constituency as a “low blow” but said he won’t be intimidated.

The posters erected in his Wicklow constituency show his face alongside what appears to be an aborted foetus.

Speaking today Mr Harris said the posters were upsetting for both his family and people locally and he appealed to people to return to a civil campaign.

“They are very upsetting posters, they’re upsetting for my family. They’re upsetting for anyone who has seen them today.

“They’re upsetting for any parent who is out and account with their children today riving by the most horrific images that have been put on posters,” he said.

“No matter how upset I am or my family are it’s nowhere near as upsetting as the nine women travelling abroad today from this country to access terminations. It’s nowhere near as upset as the three women today who will take abortion pills, alone, isolated and without medical support.”

Minister Harris said he will continue his work in calling for a Yes Vote despite the posters.

“I have no intention of being intimidated in any way shape or form from getting the facts and information out as we enter the last two weeks and a bit of this campaign,” he said.

“I think it’s really a low blow. Up until this point a number of people had remarked that this campaign had been more civil than abortion campaigns in the past.

“I would return to everyone involved... to return to that,” he added.

Mr Harris also welcomed the fact that the posters would be taken down but Wicklow County Council has said it has referred the matter to the returning officer. understands gardai has not yet received any complaints about the posters.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan also criticised the posters on Twitter earlier on Tuesday, describing them as "obscene".

Former Ministers Liz McManus (LAB) and Gemma Hussey (FG) have described the depiction on the posters as a “horror show” and the people who support them “hopeless cases”.

Speaking at the launch of Grandparents for Yes – a pro-repeal group also involving broadcaster Vincent Browne, retired judge Catherine McGuinness and Ms Hussey, Ms McManus - a former minister for expenditure said the anti-repeal side was ‘overdosing’ on “unsettling and disturbing” posters.

She added that she was the subject of smear campaigns in the past which then resulted in her vote ‘going up’.

“Its actually disgraceful that children are being exposed to these things”, she added regarding the fact that the images were outside schools.

Gemma Hussey said ‘the one I’ve just seen is dreadful’.

“I think it will do Simon Harris good”, she said.

“People will say that is not acceptable; and those that accept them are hopeless cases anyway; they were going to vote No anyway”, said the former Minister for Education.

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