Dublin’s 2015 March for Choice: in pictures.

Sometimes I feel like Ireland’s reputation is unfairly overshadowed by our history. Conservative, grey, under the thumb of the church. And yes, there is a truth to that. But there is also a truth to this. Yesterday’s 2015 March for Choice was huge. The sun shone. Women took to the stage and shared their stories.


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The history of pro-choice in Ireland has often been difficult. I remember a few short years ago: countless winter vigils for our dead. Standing huddled in the cold and the dark. We wouldn’t stop until Savita had something resembling justice. Seem times it feels like we’re always responding. Yet another tragedy. Yet another woman dead. Or locked up until her pregnancy is done. We’re always on the defensive. Continue reading “Dublin’s 2015 March for Choice: in pictures.”

Dublin’s 2015 March for Choice: in pictures.

Bi+ Ireland Upcoming Events

Hello, my lovely bisexual, pansexual and queer readers! If you’re in or around Ireland in the next week or two, Bi+ Ireland have been busy organising meetups in (literally) all four corners of the country. If you’re anywhere under the nonmonosexual/romantic umbrella and in this part of the world, we’d love to have you along. If you’re not, though? I’d appreciate it a ton if you could share the events and let people know about them.

And before I go, remember: Bi+ Ireland isn’t just our public page and events! We have a thriving worst-keptsecret FB discussion group as well- just send us a PM for an invite.

Here’s the details: Continue reading “Bi+ Ireland Upcoming Events”

Bi+ Ireland Upcoming Events

Pics from the Pro-choice Demo last night at Leinster House

A woman holds a placard saying “Why in the 21st Century are people still PISSING THEMSELVES over abortion on demand? What’s so scary about women being FULLY autonomous?”


Pics from the Pro-choice Demo last night at Leinster House

March for Choice roundup!

Here’s where I’m posting any links to blog posts, articles, video and pictures of the March for Choice last Saturday.

Articles and Posts

Rebecca, who I met in real life the day of the march, has a post up on her blog.

TheJournal.ie had a great article with a wee bit of context on the Irish situation, as well as tons of pics.

Broadsheet.ie have a photoset live from the march, as well as an article questioning varying reports of the numbers of people who showed up.

Forty Days for Choice’s writeup:

Yesterday in Dublin was a beautiful day: a 24-hour, sunshine-filled break from the rains which had been pouring down on us all the rest of the week. More importantly, it was a truly historic occasion; it was the first time people in their thousands had gathered together in our capital city to celebrate being pro-choice together, and to call for the provision of safe, legal and accessible abortion to be made available to people living on the island of Ireland in their own countries.

Here’s a photoset by Michael Stamp, and one from Paula Geraghty.

CorkFeminista have a press release on the march itself, as well as an interesting post on the history of abortion (lack of) rights in Ireland. Would be interesting for all you non-Irish people if you’d like to find out more about the background here.

Metro Herald’s  article.

Sophie from Lesbilicious was at work in O’Connell Street when she saw the march going past.

Campus.ie talk about the march, the impending report, and Ireland’s many abortion-related referenda.

And, of course, can’t leave out my own review over at Feminist Ire with my experiences and pics.


Choice Ireland spokesperson Sinead Ahern speaks for Generation X and gives a background on how Irish women have been successively failed by our state:

TD Clare Daly speaking after the march:

The march passing by Stephen’s Green.

My AMAZING BFF and bromiga extraordinaire Ariel speaking about the LGBTQ and pro-choice movements, how queer women need to speak up about abortion, and recognition of the fact that it ain’t just women who need abortions:

Mara Clarke, the “American who lives in London and helps women in Ireland and Northern Ireland get abortions”, talking about the Abortion Support Network.

Trade Union TV’s excellent report:

Anyone have anything I’ve missed? I’m updating this post as I find more, so do check back.

But before you go, and if you click on nothing else, go to the Abortion Support Network and do what you can to donate or let others know about them! What they do is so important and makes lifelong differences to Irish women.

March for Choice roundup!

Marching for Choice in Dublin

Marching for Choice in Dublin, my latest post on Feminist Ire, is a writeup of yesterday’s pro-choice march.

We were genuinely and collectively in awe at our numbers, here on O’Connell street. For the first time in my life, I felt that we might get somewhere with this. That we might really have some power to change things. Living in Ireland, it’s hard to truly explain what a truly big deal this is. How much of a revelation.

The Irish state needs to face up to its responsibility for the many thousands of women who have travelled overseas for abortions. It has a long-standing habit of brushing inconvenient women under the carpet- years ago to be incarcerated in Magdalene laundries, now on Ryanair flights to Britain. At yesterday’s march we came together to say that we are no longer going to accept this. We’re sick of being silenced and of our choices villified and shamed. We’re not going to accept being caricatured as heartless murderers anymore. We care deeply for the rights and well-being of all of us, for everyone in this country’s right to self-determination. And we’re not going to be quiet anymore.

For more, and for tons of pics from the march, head over to Feminist Ire!


March for Marriage!

I wrote on Saturday about a few concerns I have regarding the marriage equality campaign. The day after I wrote that post, I attended LGBT Noise‘s annual March for Marriage.

I’ve got to say, I was impressed. Not just by the number of people who marched- though there were thousands. Or the palpable enthusiasm and optimism throughout the day. Or by the absolutely lovely support from passers-by. Not that all of those things weren’t impressive.

I was, aside from all those things, impressed by how Noise addressed the very things I had been worrying about. Marriage equality is a campaign with a huge momentum- where better to highlight voices like anti-homophobic bullying group the Butterfly Project? How about this wonderful speech from TENI‘s Leslie Sherlock on trans marriage rights?

What she said.

But enough about that serious malarkey. Today is Monday, and Monday is not for seriousness. So have some pics instead, starting with your loyal blogstress:










And remember:


And finally, highlights of the march from LGBT Noise. We give good march!

March for Marriage!

Adventuring: Awkward Teenage Diaries

On Wednesday, the always-badass Ariel dragged me (kicking and screaming) away from my sofa and stacks of cheese toasties (OMG I love cheese toasties..) to listen to people read the most embarrassing excerpts from their most awkward teenage diaries. In public.

It was brilliant. Unfortunately, all of my most cringeworthy teenage angst is in a drawer in a different county, so I was unable to contribute anything myself. Which is a pity, really, since I have stacks and stacks of the things that have gone unread for the past decade and it’d be fun to check them out. Also mortifying. But mostly fun.

Awkward Teenage Diaries included one person’s fourteen-year-old plans to sneak off to Ibiza while pretending to be at Irish college, before finding Jesus overnight. A six-page letter to someone entirely forgotten, about something entirely forgotten, but involving some of the best duck metaphors I’ve had the privilege of encountering. A song about inappropriate behaviour regarding horses. Some of the most pretentious faux-philosophy ever heard in two languages at once. (Protip: It sounds way less cringeworthy when you can only understand half the words). And that’s just for starters.

Have some fuzzy, fuzzy pics of what you missed:








Oh, and just in case you don’t believe me about Ariel’s badassery, here she is melting a floppy disk with the power of her Eyebrow Of Skepticism alone. Badass.


Thanks to everyone in RAG for putting this together. You lot did goooood! And Sin E was a lovely venue for it- really cosy. And if you decide to have a repeat, I promise I’ll fish out my own drawer of cringeworthiness and share it. Even the bits with the coloured markers and the stuck-on bits of magazines. Even that!

Adventuring: Awkward Teenage Diaries

Demonstrations and intimidations: a few reflections on the abortion demo.

Me and another demonstrator at the pro-choice demo. We're both blowing bubbles. I'm holding a sign saying "One body, one choice. Against abortion? Don't have one!"

This is not about how I feel about abortion and the rights of people to choose whether to become/remain pregnant.

This is about tactics, about intimidation, about honesty.

I went to a demonstration last Saturday. That’s me in the picture above, up on the left. We were a pro-choice counter-demonstration to the Rally for Life. There were about 300 of us, about 5,000 of them, as far as I’m aware.

So far, so good, right? We had signs, they had signs. They marched, we lined the path in the middle of the road. Everyone got a bit shouty. We blew bubbles!

Like I said: so far, so good. I disagree with their opinion, but if I have the right to march and demonstrate then so should they. But this is not about how I feel about abortion. This is about hatred. This is about dishonesty. This is about violence.

Last Saturday I was called a murderer. I had parents with their children shouting at the tops of their voices that if I had my way, their children wouldn’t exist. Those children likely believe now that I feel they should never have been born. I was called a Nazi. I was told that I hate children, that I hate babies, that I hate life. I had people getting up in my face, screaming “LIFE LIFE LIFE LIFE,” before being told to move on by Gardaí.

I have never been to a march that was so aggressive, so vitriolic. At the time I didn’t mind. I had my sign, I had my bubbles, I had the company of a few hundred like-minded people, and I had some serious-looking guards between myself and them.

Later that day, I minded. When I was walking around town, seeing people still carrying their signs? I minded then. I hoped that they didn’t recognise me, because now it was just me and my mother, doing our shopping, not a guard in sight. That evening, I minded. When I got home and remembered the level of hate in their faces, their voices.

I don’t mind differing opinions. I mind dishonesty. I mind mischaracterising those who disagree with you.  I mind hatred. I mind being villified.

Picture from the pro-life demonstration. Picture is taken of the top of an open-topped bus, focusing on an angry-looking priest.

Demonstrations and intimidations: a few reflections on the abortion demo.

Representation by… attempted murder? Not. In. My. Name.

It’s a lovely morning today. I woke up at nine, popped on the kettle, pottered about the house watering the plants. Sat myself down with a cup of tea and my brand-new ukulele for a while, before firing up the laptop to get some work done. After a quick Twitter and glance over the news, of course.

Good. This morning, I found out that someone has been trying to bomb my city. Thre devices were made safe by the bomb disposal team last night.  This morning, Connolly Station- a major train station for local and national services- and Amiens St have been closed off and evacuated. Word on the street is that this is the work of what are politely called dissident republicans around these parts. For those of you who aren’t up-to-date on the details of Irish politics, ‘republicans’ here refers to those who are in favour of a 32-county Irish republic encompassing the entire island of Ireland. Republicanism, in the political sense, is a perfectly respectable kind of viewpoint to have, even if it’s seen as a tad idealistic and unrealistic by some, myself included. But hey, healthy disagreement is what having a democracy’s all about, right?

Dissident republicans are a whole different thing. They’re the ones who have decided to ignore the painstaking, painful years of work that went into the Northern Ireland peace process. To ignore the overwhelming desire of people all over this complicated, contested little island to just quit killing each other, to compromise, to figure out some way to share this space and not live in fear. These people are angry to the point of attempting senseless, indiscriminate murders by the Queen’s upcoming visit to Ireland.

I’m not sure who these people claim to be representing, but it isn’t me. It isn’t anybody I know, or anybody I’ve met. They claim that the elected governments of the North and the Republic are illegitimate- but what the fuck kind of legitimacy do they claim? Representing us by trying to murder us? And if they represent us, then what about those of us who disagree with her visit and who express their disagreement peacefully? Or those of us who see her visit as a wonderful (if expensive, in These Economic Times) symbol of how far we’ve come?

You know, when I look back on my childhood, one of the things that I always marvel at is how accustomed I was to hearing about terrorism, about attacks, murders, bombings. It seemed absolutely normal. It didn’t faze me, because I knew nothing else. I grew up with the peace process, with that oh-so-slow inching towards a place where people weren’t scared to walk down the street in the middle of the day. Or to get in their car, or open their doors. Or to simply disagree, and to voice that disagreement.

What’s happened since then is that those who advocate violence have lost. They don’t have popular support. The rest of us want a chance for all of us to grow old and cranky, to loudly disagree and to never be afraid to shout our disagreements from the streets. People have devoted decades of their lives to this, and they have won. They may not have gotten there quite yet, but they’ve won the support of the overwhelming majority in this country who are sick to death of burying people before their time.

Those who advocate killing have lost. We don’t want them. They don’t represent us. If they feel that duly elected representatives of institutions that were created through referenda passed by the votes of an overwhelming majority in both the North and the Republic aren’t legitimate? Then they have no chance. They have lost, they do not speak for us. Not only do they destroy the respectability of their cause, they harm any hopes that peaceful citizens sharing their republican views have of having their voices listened to.

They might not realise this, but the rest of us? We live in a republic. We vote, we campaign, we lobby, we protest, we demonstrate. We write letters and articles, we argue in the media, in our houses of government, in cafes, pubs and over dinner tables. We do all of this, and every single one of us loses out sometimes. We lose out, we shake hands with the people who won, we lick our wounds, go back to the drawing board, and we argue some more. Sometimes, we even change our minds.

These are the things we do.

We do not kill.

Edited to add: I’ve just found out that a fourth IED, this one in Amiens St has been made safe this morning, as I was writing this post. Sigh.

Representation by… attempted murder? Not. In. My. Name.