Bantry author's book tells story of abortion referendum

November 24th, 2019 11:52 AM

By Southern Star Team

Bantry's Alison O'Connor, second from right, with Gráinne Griffin Ailbhe Smyth and Orla O'Connor, at the book launch. (Photo: Marc O'Sullivan)

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The inside story of the successful campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment is the focus of a new book by Bantry-born journalist Alison O’Connor. 

It’s a Yes!  How Together for Yes Repealed the Eighth and Transformed Irish Society shares the insights of the co-directors of Together for Yes, the national civil society campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution. 

Together for Yes was led by Gráinne Griffin from the Abortion Rights Campaign; Orla O’Connor, director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland; and Ailbhe Smyth, convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.  

For their book, the three co-directors teamed up with journalist Alison to tell the story of the campaign which culminated in the public vote in May 2018. 

 The book was launched by journalist Olivia O’Leary who said the book provides an authoritative account of a movement that changed Irish society forever. ‘Gráinne, Orla and Ailbhe are feminists from different generations, who came together to establish a grassroots, women-led social referendum campaign, bringing together a platform of over 200 organisations from every sector of Irish society and from every county in the country,’ she said. ‘Against a background of misinformation, misunderstanding, Church-dominated thinking and numerous political scandals involving women’s health, the campaign maintained a remarkable unity of message to deliver the monumental vote. The achievements of the Together for Yes campaign were profound. It was the doggedness of veteran campaigners, and the courage and hopefulness of young people, that repealed the Eighth. This book gives a gripping insight into how the campaign came together, and how the referendum vote was won.’

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