Tuesday 16 July 2019

'Most people would think it's going too far' - Outrage after pro-choice jumper photographed in church

The jumper was placed in a church grotto
The jumper was placed in a church grotto
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

Someone photographing a Repeal jumper in a church is going "too far", The Iona Institute said today.

The jumpers are being sold to raise money and awareness for pro-choice groups ahead of the upcoming referendum on whether to change the Eight Amendment, which restricts abortion by giving equal rights to the mother and the foetus.

David Quinn, Director of The Iona Institute,  shared the photo of the jumper in the grotto of the Mary Immaculate Church in Inchicore, Dublin on Twitter today.

He told Independent.ie: "Somebody obviously thought it would be a great joke to put their Repeal jumper in the church, take a picture and share it.

"If it had appeared in a Muslim place of worship we'd all know how to react instantly, it's in incredibly bad taste.

"It's incredibly disrespectful and you can understand why people would be upset about it."

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The Irish Independent columnist has called on both sides to show restraint and respect ahead of the vote.

He said: "It wouldn't surprise me if there were more instances like this coming up to the referendum, there may have been some already that we just haven't heard about.

"There has to be boundaries on both sides and certain things should be sacred, including churches, it's not an appropriate place to be putting activist jerseys like that.

"I think it would offend most middle-ground people, never mind Catholics, I feel that most people would think it's going too far."

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The photo of the jumper has sparked a debate online.

Many people are outraged, with one saying: "It you honestly think that kind of stunt is going to win you votes you have not an idea of what electioneering is about."
Another said: "Very easy to attack the Catholic Church in Ireland, no matter what your views this is so wrong.

"Respect needed from all sides of debate."

Others felt there was nothing wrong with the picture.

One woman said: "I wouldn't do it, as mass attendees mostly elderly these days just following tradition, but pot, kettle, black! Crucifixes in our hospitals?

"When we go to vote on 8th it will be in state-funded schools, surrounded by religious iconography, that we'll be forced to do it."
Another man said: "What's wrong with a Repeal T-shirt? Surely it is Okay to call for legislation that denies women a fundamental human right to be changed?"

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