In light of RTÉ’s perceived neglect in sufficiently covering the Strike 4 Repeal, and the subsequent call-to-arms for Repeal protestors to picket outside RTÉ studios to call attention to this silence on what is arguably the biggest protest in recent years, I’ve decided to use my one and only editorial to ensure The Express offices remain picket-free.
International Women’s Day saw thousands march against the 8th Amendment across the country, and the week saw many related feminist movements in UCC , including the Bus4Repeal rally on campus on March 7th , a Strike4Repeal protest on the 8th, and Ireland’s first Women in Law Forum on the 10th. Turnout for all three events was overwhelming.
Every day, an estimated average of 12 women leave Ireland to access abortion services in the UK and farther abroad. For those thousands striking for the right to bodily autonomy on the 8th of March, these startling figures aren’t half as surprising as the seemingly deliberate decision of a national, state-funded broadcaster to disregard the event. Their valiant efforts obtained international coverage, but were largely swept under the carpet at home. Presumably RTÉ will attempt to explain the absence of coverage away in the name of balance, but it just isn’t good enough. The people of Ireland want a referendum, and these recent passionate protests show they are not willing to be ignored anymore.
Under a deal set by the government, the earliest a referendum on the 8th Amendment can be expected is 2018, but an unstable government means that timeframe may stretch on indefinitely. The 8th amendment was voted in over 30 years ago, meaning there are hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens who never had a say in the matter. This uncertainty and blatant reluctance to allow the people of Ireland a chance to choose flies in the face of our Constitutional rights. It’s time to call a Referenda, Enda.