Wednesday 17 January 2018

What'll we talk about after the referendum?

What will we all talk about when same-sex marriage referendum is over?
What will we all talk about when same-sex marriage referendum is over?

Eilis O'Hanlon

The big question of the coming week isn't: Will the country vote Yes or No to same sex marriage in the referendum?

It's: What will we all talk about when it's over?

Of course, there'll be the inevitable post-counting post mortem first. There always is. That should keep us going for a while. But after that? Sorry to break it to you, Ireland, but soon this political parrot will have ceased to be. It will be an ex-campaign.

A short while after Friday's vote, conversations at dinner parties across the greater Dublin region are going to start grinding to an awkward halt. Radio stations will fall silent, except for the occasional burst of static. People on Twitter will, well, carry on being as annoying as ever probably, but, hey, that's social media for you.

In a way, the SSM referendum has been the Jobstown protest for the liberal middle classes. These people wouldn't dream of throwing bricks or blockading roads. That would just harm property prices. But never let it be said they were found wanting in the Battle of the Hashtags. Whatever the result, they can head off to Tuscany for the summer, happy in the knowledge that they Did Their Bit.

In the meantime, Enda Kenny needs to seriously consider calling an early election, because there's no way we're going to be able to wait until next year before having another divisive, bad-tempered ideological bun-fight. This one has been way too much fun.

Sunday Independent

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