I have been crying all morning as I watch the twitter feed #hometovote and #gettheboattovote
I grew up in an Ireland where many jobs closed to women upon marriage and contraception was unavailable to the majority. 'Mixed marriages' (marriages between Protestant and Catholic) were frowned upon and children in the state/church system were systematically tormented and abused. This was the way it was and we were told to accept it. Women were second class citizens and gay people didn't even get a mention. A young man, son of a neighbouring family, came home from England engaged to a Black woman. It was the talk of the town. Equality was a word we never heard. It simply didn't apply to us.
Our world was narrow and mean. And those of us who did not qualify as 'normal' whatever the reason, lived lives of terror and endless pain. Women had trouble with their 'nerves' and were put away in asylums and men drowned or hung themselves for no apparent reason..or a least none that we were allowed to talk about.
This is the Ireland that I do not love.
This is the Ireland that makes me ashamed to be Irish.
This is the Ireland that I do not want for my children.
So today I cry because I am hearing that I am not alone in wanting change.
I was such a painfully lonely child in a sea of children just like me though I did not know that then.
Today I am crying for the child I was and crying because I would give anything so that my children would never know the pain of inequality.
I don't want to go to any more funerals of young people so battered, bruised and forsaken that they see no way out but to kill themselves.
Make no mistake, a YES vote today will save lives.
So for the love of children please please #voteYES