Just before Christmas I had a letter published in the Galway Independent outlining my pro-life beliefs and that I would be standing in the general election having this as one of my core principles.
I posted a scan of the published letter on my election Facebook page. The post was shared 29 times and according to Facebook statistics was viewed over 11,000 times. It provoked a plethora of mostly negative comments, some of them quite insulting. Broadsheet.ie even reposted the letter under the heading ‘Repelling’. What is it about abortion that provokes such a reaction?
I recently held my election campaign launch in a local pub beside me here in Salthill. Some of my friends who canvassed for me in the last local elections said they wouldn’t be able to canvass for me this time because of my pro-life views. I told them I respected their views but I would still like to see them at my launch as a show of support. None of this group of friends showed up. What is it about abortion that even some of my friends don’t want to attend my election campaign launch because of my pro-life views?
We need to discuss the issue of abortion in this country and make up our minds what kind of country we want for ourselves. Ireland has followed so many fads from other countries as if we are incapable of making up our own minds on certain topics.
Like my recent experiences of dealing with people on this topic have shown, we go from one extreme to the next. We either share our thoughts on the subject, sometimes in an abusive fashion on social media, or we ignore the subject in reality.
As a nation we need to cop ourselves on as regards the subject of abortion and have a proper grown up conversation on the topic. We can no longer sweep it under the proverbial carpet.
Independent candidate Galway West/South Mayo