Saturday 20 October 2018

Yes won, so why this awful desire to shut down all opposition?

Those who voted No to abortion are part of what we are as a nation, too, and must not now be expected to shut up, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

'Those who voted No to abortion are part of what we are as a nation, too, and must not now be expected to shut up.' Photo: Fergal Phillips
'Those who voted No to abortion are part of what we are as a nation, too, and must not now be expected to shut up.' Photo: Fergal Phillips

Eilis O'Hanlon

'Not impressed I am with the people of Donegal," declared Ivan Yates on his Newstalk show last week as he mulled over the result of the abortion referendum, mangling grammar in the manner of Yoda from Star Wars in his determination to show maximum indignation at Ireland's most remote and northernmost constituency for voting No.

It was as if Donegal was on the naughty step and had to explain itself to the rest of the country. The campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment carried the day. Why this need to still try and whip everyone who voted No into line?

Sadly, many Yes supporters took up the challenge to explain Donegal's No vote in a way that would pacify those determined to take offence that they couldn't carry the whole country for Yes. All the young people have moved away to Dublin and other more enlightened urban places, some pointed out. The county had suffered disproportionately from the downturn, others chipped in. They meant well, but in defending the good people of Donegal who voted Yes, or who weren't back home to do so, they reinforced the idea that the ones left behind who did vote No were, ipso facto, bad.

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