A Post 8th Amendment world - Culture of Death


Fintan O’Toole’s piece was an appalling, nasty, arrogant put-down of those who voted to keep the 8th Amendment…all dressed up as some kind of plea for appeasement. He pretends that his description of “them” is historical and then goes on to convince himself and everyone else that it isn’t - that they haven’t gone away you know.

irishtimes.com/opinion/fint … -1.3511618
…There were middle-aged country men in shiny suits with Brylcreem-ed hair. There were women in elaborate frocks, some with rosary beads in their hands, some carrying pictures of embryos in lurid colours

We shouldn’t need there to be freaks in order to make the rest of us feel normal. The No voters must be allowed to be normal Irish too.

…There are diehards on the No side who will, like Japanese soldiers who were still being found in remote jungles in the 1970s, go on fighting the war. Let them.*


The only reason why I got re-involved is precisely because of all that patronizing misogynist shite from the usual parties. As always they are men and as always it is directed towards women. And it is patently obvious they have never been personally been involved in any of these very difficult situations and they have absolutely no direct involvement with any of the issues. So always purely a theoretical and hypothetical expressing of their personal opinions that are passed off as some sort of great moral principal. Which of course never ever stops them from expressing interminably their opinion about subject they know nothing about and that have zero consequences in their lives.

Which I think is the fundamental principal which is seems to totally beyond their comprehension. Pro choice is precisely that. Everyone is free to decide for themselves. No religious beliefs of one group are forced on those who do not hold them. Pro choice does not force people who might disagree with them to conform to their beliefs, no one who does not want one is being forced to have an abortion, but the anti-abortion people want to force everyone in the state to conform to their religious beliefs no matter what the consequences. Classic example of intrusive prescriptive morality. Which is the way it has been for 90 plus years. For 60 plus years everyone in the state had to conform absolutely to the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Every law that touched upon any subject which the Church claimed competence the law reflected the church view completely and totally. Even more completely than in Spain at the height of the Franco dictatorship.

Either Ireland is a civil state ruled by civil law or it is a theocracy ruled by the Catholic church. There is no in between. Although a large chunk of the Catholic theocratic legal apparatus has been dismantled over the the last 30 years as long as the 8’th Amendment remained the Irish legal and medical system was still little more than a slave to Catholic church dogma. Removing the 8’th just returned full sovereignty over its laws back to the state, to the parliament. Where it should have stayed in the first place.

Just because the Yes side won does not mean the war is won. Just another battle. There will be more. I did a quick check of the current RC Catechism and it is still remarkably like that was (literally) beaten into my generation back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Catholic Church is still fundamentally a totalitarian organization. Unlike all other Christan churches it claims both a complete monopoly of spiritual power and demands the subservience of civil power to its will. Its toleration of both democracy and popular sovereignty is very grudging at the best of times but fundamentally democracy and popular sovereignty are as much anathema to the RC Church as when the first encyclicals denouncing democracy were written in the 1860’s. The teaching of the Catholic church which were written into the law of the land for generations regarding divorce, birth control and abortion are still in there as uncompromising as ever. Plus all the other ones. Some real doozies in there.

This may come as surprise to all those a-la-cart Roman Catholics out there. Which now seem to be the majority. For a start you have no right to a personal conscience. To make up your own mind on any subject that church say is covered by its doctrines. You sign up for one, you sign up for them all. No optionals. Its in the terms and conditions. In black and white. Although given that almost none of them are RC 's by conscious choice, purely an accident of birth, its hardly surprising they never read the T&C’s carefully.

The next big battles will be due to the huge gulf between what the majority of RC’s in the ROI think their religion is and what the church says it actually is. Given that RC observance in Ireland was all about social conformity and tribal identity rather than actual strong religious beliefs I expect active RC observance in the ROI to fall to current CofE levels in the UK once the current generation of over 50’s start shuffling off their moral coil.

Which will solve the problem eventually one way or another.


Did you get a good formative education from the Catholic Church?


The formative education must’ve been very different in the sixties if they were churning out intolerant loud-mouth know-it-all bigots like jmc.


The problem with your analysis, as with all your analyses is that it’s hopelessly out of date. You made up your mind on pretty much everything around 1968 (supported by a childhood of religious bigotry and moral and cultural sense superiority no doubt). Every event that’s registered on your radar since 1968 has been a lifetime of confirmation bias. When your confirmation bias motivated predictions manifestly malfunctions (for instance you predicted that the UK civil service and establishment were naturally excellent at things like managing Brexit) you disappear from view. To reemerge later no doubt following some cock eyed rationalisation and amnesia to say whichever way it happened, you knew it was going to happen that way.

The problem with your analysis here is that the Catholic Bishops were as quiet as mice through the campaign and only now have said some barely audible, and not really in the realm of my understanding of Totalitarianism. The Church in Europe are well used to managing decline and secularisation. They don’t take losing bets.

amp.independent.ie/irish-news/a … 53052.html

Like King Lear on the Heath you rant and rave, but you’re not all mad. Growing up in the era you did you’d need to be fully mad not to see that Shame and Shaming was a big deal in Ireland. That’s gone now. And that’s another contributory to Yes. This isn’t an Ireland only phenomenon, shame is disappearing everywhere. And that’s good and bad. Of course what Croqette et al don’t grasp is that sexual shaming was almost always a female on female tactic and men who engage it are not really masculine at all. It suits the narrative to blame the patriarchy rather than fellow sisters

Another difference between the “native Irish” of your youth and the current generation is superstition, or as I prefer to say spirituality. Croqette may need to go to a JM Synge play to get any feel for this it’s so alien to her. But you were brought up here you must have heard of it. The superstition/spirituality about babies, spirits, karma coming to get you etc is all gone.

This thread is turning into the other thread. Pointless duplication. Merge all related threads.


Bruce Arnold: We have just voted God out of the Constitution (pay walled)
irishtimes.com/opinion/bruc … 0?mode=amp

Article is pay walled. But text is on reddit
reddit.com/r/ireland/commen … ut_of_the/

(I’m not convinced the redditors understood what he was saying. Their criticisms are basically name calling… )

Didn’t know who he was…


Delving into the mechanics a bit more it looks like the pill is the safest option up to about 9/10 weeks but between then and 12 weeks the surgical option is safer so for the maternity hospitals it will depend on the % needing to access the services in the 9-12 week period that will determine how much they need to provide for.

The 12 - 24 week abortions being much more restrictive so these numbers should be more predictable for service provision.


I’ll just leave this remark hang there.


Well one thing that has seen rapid attention since the vote is the adoptee rights bill. From my understanding the whole process in weighted in favour of the mother and an adoptee can face a blank of zero personal information, which is extremely unhelpful when trying to build a vital medical family history. In some countries adoptees receive their entire file when they turn 18 and it looks like the bill going forward will put it on the parent who gave up the child for adoption to opt out to retain secrecy.

There’s been a couple of stories on the matter in the last three days but most interesting was the one that talked of the government having faced extreme pressure to not allow adoptees their personal information. I can only guess that it was the religious orders, like St Patricks guild, that handled these adoptions that were applying this pressure. I can see the government buoyed by Fridays results pushing the adoptees rights bill now, especially now that St Patricks guild are in the criminal spotlight for falsing registering adopting parents as biological parents.


Did they hijack it or were they the pilots? I honestly don’t know.


Well without them I see no reason why some form of compromise couldn’t have been reached long ago. And I’d say they definitely made it more difficult for more reasonable people to identify as No. Maybe monopolized is better than hijacked ?

Not that compromise will ever satisfy the hardline elements on the other side either of course…given their belief system orbits itself around the pursuit and exercise of power above all else.

Further, into the future I would suggest that the many who view themselves as broadly liberal around these parts begin to take note of what many of these activist allies actually and stand for and believe in (beyond mobilizing around specific single issues). Because history tells us that once they finish with one group of opponents they quickly move on to another.


It’s amazing after all we’ve been through that there are still people in Ireland so ignorant of the way politics works. If you want representation you either find someone willing to promote your point of view or you do it yourself. After ten years of this shit since the GFC I’m inclined to think it’s not ignorance, but laziness and lack of backbone.

Any Yes voter now wringing their hands about what’s coming down the tracks and claiming “the religious loonies made me do it” is an idiot, and a culpable idiot. The referendum debate was not a negotiation about the eventual legislation, it was a Yes or No. They knew what they were voting for.

This is pathetic. Everyone loves to think of themselves as a moderate. If you only wanted “a little bit of abortion” it was your responsibility to put forward a cogent philosophical justification for it (it’s harder than you think). Don’t hide behind the baying Irish mob with their anachronistic panties in a twist about “church oppression”.

Yeah, 'cos it’s very useful to watch what the horses do after you’ve unbolted the stable door. :unamused:


That’s fair comment.

Again. This is fair and I’ve stated as much. However, in terms of the effecting the result, claiming that rape victims should be forced to carry a child to full term simply isn’t going to get you any votes.

I’m a realist. And what’s realistic today is that we no longer live in a world where questions are decided by men or women debating issues such as morality in a rational manner. Rationality itself is under attack. Science is under attack. Principles such as the presumption of innocence are under attack. And they are under attack from people who believe that debate itself is a form of oppression because it privileges one party to the debate over another. A large part of why Repeal won is because they branded the campaign and sold it to people as if it was a high street fashion item. In essence you’re dealing with people who will not engage (and are Incapable on engaging) on your terms. I know you’ll find this type of approach abhorrent but some concession around the hard cases from the outset could have seen a much more restrictive regime introduced. I know you’ll scoff but that would have been a realistic stance ie it would have allowed the voting public feel (because ‘feelings’ are very important these days) that they were helping women whilst not killing too many babies. There’s very little philosophy involved I’m afraid.

And about the ‘church oppression’ stuff, I personally think it’s quite clearly overkill. I’d suggest that overall the Catholic Church impacted the lives of more Irish people in a positive manner than in a negative one. In terms of education none of our parents or grandparents would have been able to read or write without the church. It coordinated networks for emigrants and provided relief for the poor when no such assistance came from the State or the wealthy. However, the crimes of some of its members and especially the attempts to cover them up by the hierarchy have tarnished the institution in the public eye meaning that it has lost any moral authority it had as a result. Therefore, in the current climate me, anyone deemed to be somehow representative of or associated with the Church Is quite clearly a vote loser.

Of course what nobody seems to have ever sought to point out is that the political ideologies espoused by many of those on the Repeal side who spent so much of their time screaming about church abuse etc, have been themslwves responsible for the slaughter of over a hundred million people during the course of the 20th century ie the Irish Catholic Church was a very very benign institution in comparison to any leftist regime in history that I can think of. Yet this is what these people espouse and what they want for Ireland.


PtG, that is a very reasonable response, probably more than my strident post deserved. I agree with most of what you say, except where you suggest that one should engage in marketing to promote a good outcome with irrational people. That is coercion and dishonesty. I accept that “you can’t reason someone out of a position that they weren’t reasoned into in the first place”. But regardless of outcome I would prefer to see a tiny number of people who still have a notion of classical reasoning than an entire population operating on their emotions. A meme can reproduce and take hold. An emotion will always be a reed bending in the wind.


Certainly the Far Left were a big part in the push.
In terms of Savita, she either did or didn’t die because she wasn’t granted the abortion she asked for depending on who you listen to. But her use and then reuse as a martyr for abortion on demand had more than a little bit of Pavlik Morozov about it.


There are two false narratives in the post-referendum debate.

On the “Yes” side there is the claim that the scale of their success is a game-changer and should lead to full liberalisation.

On the “No” side, there are claims that the poll was rigged.

A comparison of this referendum with the same-sex marriage vote would refute both claims.

Firstly, the Yes vote was highly predictable once you accept that (a) almost no-one who said Yes to same-sex marriage would vote No to repealing the Eight Amendment and (b) turn-out must be higher.

There is no logical reason why someone who voted Yes in 2015 couldn’t switch to No this time (or vice-versa): there is no longer any link between marriage and child-bearing in Ireland so the voter could regard these two referendums are logically independent. In reality, however, we all know those who voted Yes in 2015 voted overwhelmingly Yes this time (and vice-versa). In terms of turnout, it was also predictable that an issue which had been a battleground for 35 years would generate a higher turnout. In that sense, the increased turnout was modest: 64.13% compared to 60.52% in 2015.

Bear in mind that if the only Yes voters this time were those who voted Yes in 2015, there would still have been a majority of 62.2% assuming the No vote just held up. So the “surprise” Yes victory boils down to an additional 4.2% percentage points and this can be explained in one word, demographics.

Paradoxically, our voters are getting older: the numbers of over-65s have increased from 610.3K to 649.9K since 2015 i.e. almost 40K more in that age bracket. At the same time, the number of young people is stagnating; 276.3K of 20 to 24 year-olds now which is only 1.2K extra since 2015.

Why then did the “liberal youth” prevail over the growing numbers of older voters?

Because the voters who were aged 61 to 64 in 2015 didn’t switch their vote simply because they joined the over-65s while the youngest voters reflected the Yes predisposition of their peers who had voted in 2015. The problem for “No” can be put brutally, they are dying out. Of 68,133 deaths in the past three years, 65,265 were over 65.

An additional 145,875 voters are on the register compared to 2015 which is consistent with the current, historically low, numbers of young people reaching voting age and a delay in removing the most recently deceased (a few of whom may nonetheless have voted!)

Of course, not all the new voters went to the polls and voted Yes but, unlike in ordinary elections, young voters seem to participate at least as much as the population in general and exit polls indicate they were heavily “Yes”. I would estimate that out of the 146K new voters on the register, there were at least 90K additional Yes voters casting their ballots for the first time out. Higher turnout accounts for 135K additional Yes votes (i.e. 4% of the 3,367K electorate) and you have 225K more Yes votes, without persuading any “No” voters to switch.

There were 1,429,981 Yes votes this time, which is 228K more than for same-sex marriage. My estimates based on two factors (young voters and higher turnout) explain practically all of this additional Yes vote.

The other side of the ledger is even more remarkable and I don’t think anyone has highlighted it. Despite the higher turnout and the nationwide organisation of the pro-life campaign, there were fewer No votes this time than in 2015 i.e. this time there were 723632 No votes, and this is 10,688 fewer than in 2015. I don’t believe this decline is due to “switching”. I think it is mortality - the true Catholics amongst us are a dying breed.

So, the Yes side can’t claim an extraordinary victory: they simply got out the youth vote. On the other side, the No claims of voting rigging don’t wash unless you think the 2015 vote was also rigged (in which case, your tin foil hat needs further adjustment). The youth vote is powerful but I think when it comes to the many issues that might create a generational divide (pensions, housing, health), the older voters will protect their interests.


Who is making these claims, I seem to have missed it


Brothers who moved to Ireland to live in a country without abortion claim referendum was ‘rigged’
independent.ie/irish-news/a … 49437.html


And this kind of thing:

Or a more sophisticated version from Mattie McGrath

rte.ie/news/eighth-amendmen … -politics/


This is becoming quite a tiresome obsession with you.