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 Guardian6 min readSociety
'Shout Queer!' The Museums Bringing LGBT Artefacts Out Of The Closet
From Michelangelo’s suggestive David to a gender-fluid Hindu deity, cultural institutions are digging into their vaults to display once-hidden objects of same-sex desire and gender nonconformity
The Guardian15 min read
How Britain Can Help You Get Away With Stealing Millions: A Five-step Guide
Dirty money needs laundering if it’s to be of any use – and the UK is the best place in the world to do it. By Oliver Bullough
The Guardian3 min readPsychology
How Do You Make Your Soul Grow? Embrace Your Everyday Creativity – No Matter How Aimless | Charlotte Church
The idea that people are creative or not is rubbish. And the risk of not engaging in creative action is far higher than that of making a fool of yourself