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Thread: The divorce referendum

  1. #1

    Default The divorce referendum

    I was still quite young and apathetic when the divorce referendum went through. Personally, advocacy for the continued prohibition of divorce seems so far out there that I cannot wrap my head around it. Is there anyone here that took that position at the time? Does anyone have any election literature from that time?

    I am just trying to find the arguments given by those trying to defend the ban at the time.

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    Which one? The 1995 referendum or the 1986 referendum?

    Google 'Ireland divorce turkeys Christmas' for more information.

  3. #3

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    Information on either would do, as I'm sure the arguments were similar. Thanks for the tip-off, it seems interesting

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    Default Supporters and Opponents of Divorce

    Quote Originally Posted by Concerned Irishman View Post
    I was still quite young and apathetic when the divorce referendum went through. Personally, advocacy for the continued prohibition of divorce seems so far out there that I cannot wrap my head around it. Is there anyone here that took that position at the time? Does anyone have any election literature from that time?

    I am just trying to find the arguments given by those trying to defend the ban at the time.
    You may wish to look at the article "Conor Cruise O'Brien and Compassion"
    CONOR CRUISE O'BRIEN AND "COMPASSION" (November 1995)
    which quotes some of the arguments used by supporters and opponents of divorce in 1995. They include Minister for Finance Ruairi Quinn calling Professor William Binchy a "fascist" because the latter opposed divorce. After Quinn apologised, Conor Cruise O'Brien went on to describe Binchy as a Nazi!

    Minister for Social Welfare, Proinsias de Rossa also called the Archbishop of Cashel a liar for saying that second marriages were more likely to end in divorce than first ones. (I think the Cruiser supported that comment as well.)

    Indeed this was a triumph of liberalism over reaction.

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    You and your ilk lost. Get over it.

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    I was involved in the 1995 campaign, those against the introduction of divorce argued on multiple grounds although nearly always the grounds they argued on were thinly veiled fronts for the basic argument that as a Catholic country we shouldn't be divorcing at all at all.

    The argument that it would split up farms was perhaps the most persuasive in rural ireland.

    Other arguments that it would leave women in poverty etc that took hold in 1986 didn't win much support in 1995

    I canvassed hard for a yes vote, not via a party, but via the ICTU through my own union at the time, the CPSU.

    The union executive voted to campaign but a far percentage of members were very unhappy with getting involved in social issues.

    I'm still amazed at the number of very intelligent people like William Binchy who argued so strongly against it.

    It was a bloody close vote and it really could have gone the other way.
    "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor", Desmond Tutu

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    Quote Originally Posted by marmurr1916 View Post
    You and your ilk lost. Get over it.
    What makes you think I am an opponent of divorce or that I am not divorced myself? Government Ministers should not be calling people fascists and liars simply because they hold different views. The thuggery on our streets does bear some relation to the use of thuggish language by our political elite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Verhofstadt View Post
    It was a bloody close vote and it really could have gone the other way.
    Incredibly close. There were about 9,000 votes in it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by marmurr1916 View Post
    Incredibly close. There were about 9,000 votes in it!
    some the major "successes" for liberal Ireland were far from sure things at the time.. the elected of Mary Robinson and the legalisation of divorce being two major ones that I recall.

    The scandals surrounding the church, including the fall from grace of the likes of Eamon Casey and Michael Cleary helped. The difference in attitudes towards the church between 1986 and 1995 was a decisive factor.

    Still a lot more battles to win mind you.

    Ireland is still a very conservative country.
    "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor", Desmond Tutu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Verhofstadt View Post
    The difference in attitudes towards the church between 1986 and 1995 was a decisive factor.
    Definitely. My parents both voted 'No' in 1986.

    By 1995, they had both become more personally liberal and wary of the Catholic Church.

    Quote Originally Posted by Verhofstadt View Post
    Still a lot more battles to win mind you.

    Ireland is still a very conservative country.
    The next battle is over control of the education system.

    It's the key battle.

    'Give me the boy until the age of seven and I will give you the man'.

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