herald

Friday 2 December 2016

Editorial: Take your chance to make history

Tánaiste Joan Burton canvassing with Kevin Humphries TD and a dog Oscar, at the Docklands Festival Grand Canal as the Marriage Equality campaign enters its final week and encouraging people to vote Yes.
Tánaiste Joan Burton canvassing with Kevin Humphries TD and a dog Oscar, at the Docklands Festival Grand Canal as the Marriage Equality campaign enters its final week and encouraging people to vote Yes.

AFTER a long and sometimes divisive debate, the Irish people go to the polls tomorrow with a chance to create history.

As the first country to put same-sex marriage to a public vote, the eyes of the world will be upon us.

However, this shouldn't be about how we're viewed by the outside world - this is about how we treat a large number of our own citizens who are not currently equal in the eyes of the law.

We've heard the arguments and the personal stories, many of which have been difficult and emotional, such as that of TV3 reporter Ursula Halligan.

Indeed, most of us will have nothing to gain from a 'Yes' vote. Life will continue as it always has.

However, what we can do is make a choice that will have a huge impact, not only for gay and lesbian people in this country, but for our children and our children's children.

We've come a long way in a short time in this country, but giving gay people the equal opportunity to marry will be the massive final step towards acceptance and equality.

 

Poignant Royal visit

IRELAND and Britain have reached a new level of understanding. Prince Charles' poignant visit to the site of his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten's murder was a huge step for Anglo-Irish relations.

From an historic handshake with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, to recognition of the pain of the Irish people in the Troubles, the visit has brought a level of closure to a painful period in our history.

Charles paid tribute to the grandfather he never had but said that through the "anguish" of the tragic killing of Lord Mountbatten, he learned to understand the agony of the Irish people.

As Charles himself put it, our islands are slowly becoming the subjects of our history and not its prisoners.

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