I was involved with Dún Laoghaire Repeal the 8th which subsequently became Dún Laoghaire together for yes.
We first met in a local pro-choice pub in September 2016. I knew no one! But I was hooked. These whip smart, funny, challenging women had the most amazing energy. I could feel it in the air. I bounced home. And I never looked back.
Our covenor was the indomitable Melisa Halpin (from people before profit). Truly one of the most inspirational women I’ve ever met. Nothing phased her, nothing ruffled her. She would take calls from constituents whilst managing 200 people on a canvas. She wouldn’t break a sweat!
I feel the most incredible pride when I think of those months. We started knocking on doors in January and as the weather got warmer and momentum built we grew from 16 people to well over 200. We knocked on 50,000 doors.
My favourite memory was the week before the referendum we gathered on the crossover bridge on the N11. Just beside Foxrock church. We held homemade signs and banners over the bridge. The beeps and cheers from the cars were loud enough to lift you off your feet. We all started crying. I will never forget the intensity of it I still get goosebumps when I think of it. I knew that night, that we would win.
I am not exaggerating when I say being part of Repeal changed my life. I feel so proud that I helped make Ireland a kinder place. A better place. My kids know that people power is real.
I have never had a crisis pregnancy. I’ve never even had a pregnancy scare. I live a life of huge privilege and so do my kids. I dont know why the 8th affected me to the extent that I willingly neglected my family and my work for months. It was worth it though. Every single second, every tear, every roar of abuse, every second of fear. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
It was the ordinary women of Ireland, mums, sisters, aunts, nieces. We are the women that repealed the 8th.