Tag Archives: Catholic

Moore Street, partition demographics and abortion updates

Last October I wrote about efforts to block the redevelopment of Dublin’s historic Moore Street, scene of the rebels last stand in the 1916 Rising.

Happy to report that not only are the buildings being saved, but they will be repaired and conserved, the Irish Independent reports.

*** 

In May I wrote about the “People’s Referendum” that showed support for ending partition and noted a Facebook page for “Protestants for a United Ireland.”

Gerry Moriarty of The Irish Times filed this very interesting piece about “The Catholic unionists.”

Many nationalists – and quite a number of unionists – dismiss the notion of Catholic unionists. “They are like unicorns,” is an often-repeated line. “They don’t exist.” But though they are small in number, they are not mythical creatures, and they could have a role in determining the constitutional future of Northern Ireland.

***

I’ve written about Ireland’s abortion bill several times over the summer, most recently this July 11 post that compared and contrasted legislative debates in Ireland and Texas.

Nine days after I posted the blog, columnist Roth Douthat filed this column in The New York Times. I am not accusing him of copying me, only pointing out that somebody else was drawn by the coincidence.

Pro-life supporters rally in Dublin, Washington, D.C.

Pro-life campaigners rallied over the weekend in Dublin and Washington, D.C. against the Irish government’s proposal to change the nation’s restrictive abortion law.

Estimates of the Merrion Square crowd range from at least 20,000 to more than 40,000. About two-dozen people gathered outside the Irish embassy in the U.S. capitol.

In Ireland, spokesperson Caroline Simmons of the Pro Life Campaign said:

The turnout today shows that the middle ground of Irish opinion is increasingly concerned about the Government’s abortion legislation. There are people here who never attended a pro-life event before. The message is getting through that this legislation is not restrictive or about saving women and children’s lives, despite the repeated claims by the Taoiseach and his Government.

picture of crowd vigil(1)

June 9 rally in Dublin. Image from Pro Life Campaign

At the core of the debate is when to allow exceptions to Ireland’s restrictive abortion law to save the life of the mother. The issue flared last fall when a woman having a miscarriage died for lack of the procedure. The government’s bill is perhaps most controversial because it allows for abortion when the woman says she is suicidal.

The government’s vote is expected later this month or July. Prime minister Enda Kenny has said he will not allow ministers of his Fine Gael government a “free vote” outside the party voting block, putting him further at odds with Catholic church leaders.