The Guardian

Abortion question divides rural Ireland as referendum looms

Roscommon was only constituency to vote against same-sex marriage – and may buck the trend again
Pro-choice protesters at a rally in Dublin, Ireland. Photograph: Alamy

There are far more than three billboards outside Roscommon, and their opposing messages indicate an intensifying battle for undecided voters in the historic referendum on abortion this month.

On the roads into this quiet town in the middle of rural Ireland, it is impossible to miss the laminated placards fixed to lamp-posts. Some have one from each camp, vying for the attention of passersby in a polarised campaign in which voters have to make a binary choice between yes and no.

A few hoardings have been torn down in the night, in a sign of strongly held beliefs. But mostly, the people of Roscommon are holding their views close, unwilling to discuss with each other – let alone a stranger – where they will

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian3 min read
Google Whistleblower Launches Project To Keep Tech Ethical
Jack Poulson’s non-profit group Tech Inquiry aims to make it easier for coders to speak out
The Guardian3 min read
Asleep At The Wheel: Japanese Rental Cars Used For Anything But Driving
Car rental companies in Japan have figured out why some customers are returning their vehicles with barely a mile on the clock. Rather than travel from from A to B, as many as one in eight “drivers” are using their rental cars to grab forty winks, ca
The Guardian5 min read
Descendants Of Jews Who Fled Nazis Unite To Fight For German Citizenship
A group of more than 100 descendants of Jewish refugees who fled the Nazi regime are challenging the German government’s rejection of their applications to restore their citizenship. Anyone who was deprived of their German citizenship during the 12 y