Sunday 24 June 2018

Nell McCafferty: Much done, more to do - now let's show the same compassion to homeless

MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE: Nell McCafferty, second from left, with women on the platform of Connolly Station, Dublin, in 1971 prior to boarding the Belfast train to buy contraceptives, which were then illegal in the Republic Pic: Irish Times
MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE: Nell McCafferty, second from left, with women on the platform of Connolly Station, Dublin, in 1971 prior to boarding the Belfast train to buy contraceptives, which were then illegal in the Republic Pic: Irish Times

Nell McCafferty

After voting Yes in Ranelagh, I glumly took up my usual position at the outdoor cafe in the Triangle. A homeless young man of my acquaintance was sitting on an empty plastic crate, his back against the tree. I was glum because the campaign to legalise abortion had not sufficiently joined the logical dots between contraception and homelessness.

This young man had been meeting his young homeless girlfriend under the tree for the past week. The progress of their flourishing romance had been lovely to watch. After kissing her fellow goodbye and walking away she suddenly turned as the traffic lights changed to green, ran back and flung her arms round his neck. When was the last time you saw a delighted homeless couple passionately embrace? Or even embrace at all? My gloom lifted.

After 30 minutes - she had left the area - I noticed him put his empty coffee cup into the wastepaper bin.

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