Saturday 26 May 2018

A Great Day for Women

The Repeal the Eighth Amendment referendum [above: interim results 1530 on Count Day] was all over before the count began because two exit polls published late last night showed a decisive win for - almost the mirror image of the numbers in 1983 when the Eighth Amendment was referendumed into the Constitution. Blob backstory:
TodayMay18 - May18 - May18Mar18 - Dec17 - Oct17 - Jun17 I'll shut-up for while now!

In 1803, at the very beginning of the 19thC, impossibly romantic Robert Emmet was executed after failing to achieve Independence for Ireland. His speech from the dock goes on a bit but finishes thus:
"I have but one request to ask at my departure from this world — it is the charity of its silence! Let no man write my epitaph: for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them. let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times, and other men, can do justice to my character; when my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done." [one of many sources].

A case could be made that, with the result of the referendum, Ireland has ceased being a 19thC theocracy. With women now another step forward towards being treated as autonomous independent adults, someone more poetic than me might be in a position to write Emmet's epitaph. It might bring in the sad sad story of Sarah Curran, Emmet's fiancée who was disowned by her father, lost her lover, lost her first born after marrying another man and finally died of tuberculosis at the age of 26. She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps. We have, with respect both to the status of women and the effectiveness of healthcare, come a long way since 1808.  We might don rubber-gloves, take up some tongs, dust off and recolour Fianna Fáil's 2002 election slogan:
A lot done. More to do.
Sound byte from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar "it is the same country that it was last week, just a little bit more kinder, a little bit more tolerant and a little bit more open."
Thank you from Together For Yes head office after polls closed but before the result. M'daughters, who have worked the streets and pounded the pavements of Dublin and Cork for this . . . well, they are delilah! I am so proud of them for finding belief and backbone and grit in themselves . . . I've been a little teary all morning. They on the other hand have fought A War with a wildly diverse demographic, the kind of people whom they'd never meet normally. They are, this weekend, 10 feet tall.
Chapeau! and, like Bonnets!

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