Together for Yes raises €170,000 as poster campaign begins
Organisers of the Together for Yes campaign said they had raised €170,000 in their bid to fight for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment, more than a third of their €500,000 target.
But the pro-choice umbrella group denied that the 'No' side had stolen a march on them in the poster war ahead of the abortion referendum.
Together for Yes plans to blitz the country with 10,000 posters over the coming weeks and launched the first one yesterday. However, on the 'No' side one of the groups, Save the 8th, has been putting up posters for more than a week.
Save the 8th says it has erected 12,000 so far - including one putting the abortion rate in England as one in five pregnancies - and plans to put up 8,000 more.
Asked about the 'No' side's head-start, Together for Yes co-director Orla O'Connor said there were six weeks to go in the campaign and "people are only now really starting to engage in the discussion on the referendum".
The first Together for Yes poster reads: "Sometimes a private matter needs public support. Vote Yes."
Ms O'Connor said the message they were promoting was that the decision for a woman to have an abortion "should be between a woman and her doctor".
Ailbhe Smyth, another co-director, said: "We think our posters are very clear...what we're saying is this is private, this is personal. This is not about sloganeering."
On the prospect that Together for Yes may be outspent by the 'No' side, she said the group was "very confident" about its fundraising, adding: "It's not really for us to be adding up what the other side is doing."
Ms O'Connor said the referendum would be close, but added: "What we're hearing from all around the country is that people in Ireland are compassionate and that they do care about women and want to show their support in terms of removing this from the Constitution."
She said the stories of women who were taking abortion pills in secrecy would be important.