At the End of the Rainbow: ‘Yes Equality’ Come Again No More

Oireachtas Retort



Reflections on the Irish same-sex marriage referendum of May last are as charming as the hoary old one about the Holy Roman Empire in that almost none have actually been reflective. Except, of course, as a parody of what a reflective piece might look like.

Barely a wet twelve hours after polls closed we were invited not to look back in anger, or deploy any of our critical faculties. An admittedly umbrella campaign led by assorted Birgitte Nyborgs (such that it was occasionally given pep talks by a puppet from RTE’s 1980s children’s programming), Yes Equality, had already elevated John Lennon lyrics to political praxis with expressions that we enjoin the scum of the far right in a renewed brotherhood of man. But it was scarcely the first time in the campaign that heterosexuals had ventriloquised us either; and more of that anon.

Sooner than interrogate…

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CW: Write Or Die

Incredibly brave piece by a woman I have the privilege of calling a friend.
On the post traumatic stress of living with childhood sexual abuse.

The violence of silence has done too much damage to this country and us the people who live within the twisted state and social psyche which allows this silence to continue have had enough. I’ll hand it over…


People who make tastleless jokes are often testing boundaries. For some, it’s to see how far they can go before others take offence. The people who make jokes about rape aren’t all rapists. The ones who make racist jokes don’t always mean to be racist. The idiot who jibes that a woman should make him a sandwich isn’t actually expecting a sandwich. Not everyone who jokes is joking. Some people are deadly serious. Some people are waiting to see whether they can get away with something worse.

The person who made a joke about child sex abuse today definitely wasn’t a paedophile. I know this for a fact. That person knew, however, that I was abused as a child. They knew because I told them, many times. The very last time I confronted them with this fact, the paedophile who abused me was standing there in the same room and…

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Recovery in a sick society

Society has a way of preparing you for what’s to come, and socially I was being prepared to guard my own sense of identity – both from the drug and from the standard Irish tough-love model of shame and guilt. Respect and dignity were two things I was going to find myself piecing back together.

No more armchair citizenry.

Analyzing our surroundings and understanding how economic, social and political power works is something we all have a right and a responsibility to do as citizens. Sorry to be the one to break it to the Fintan O’Toole and the ‘dignity of labour’ brigade but it is in no way restricted to the chattering class, that’s kinda the point of democracy.