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  • The people fighting for referendum votes and the future of Ireland's abortion laws by Ciaran McCauley The war of words The Irish government announced the referendum date, 25 May, at the tail-end of March, signalling the start for campaigners — although many are no strangers to hitting the streets over abortion. This is the sixth time Ireland has gone to the polls over its abortion laws sincewhen the Eighth Amendment was added to the constitution.

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    Yes The Yes campaign launched under the title Together For Yes, and has been bolstered by healthy early polling numbers and support from actors including Saoirse Ronan and Cillian Murphy.

    While polling numbers initially suggested a healthy lead for Yes, No supporters have been boosted in recent polls showing that the gap is closing. With the referendum day drawing near, the fight for votes has intensified and both campaigns have come under intense scrutiny.

    Painted-over campaign murals, a Google ban on online advertisements and ongoing controversy over images depicted on posters has typified an increasingly tense referendum run-in. These are the people on both sides of the debate.

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    The artist Lucy Moore is a full-time artist based in Dublin. Her mural of a pro-choice Venus at a Dublin pub, the George Bernard Shaw, has become one of the striking images in the final weeks of the Yes campaign.

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    The repeal movement means a lot to me and I wanted to contribute something. The mural went up about three weeks ago - I was getting quite frustrated after watching a debate on televison.

    I guess this is my contribution to the campaign. I care a lot about the rights of women in Ireland. I would feel very happy and proud of Ireland if it was a Yes. If you take it back to the marriage equality referendum, that was such a great day.

    Last year, she was impeached as University College Dublin student union president after a row about information on abortion being published in a student magazine. She is due to graduate in September. My mum had a miscarriage and I was asked if I wanted to meet my week old brother. I got to hold him in my hand and look into his face. He had a fully-formed body with arms and legs, fingers and toes. He had a face with eyes, ears, nose and mouth.

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    He had tiny fingernails and even creases on his knuckles. I think it brought us a lot of healing, allowed us time to mourn and say goodbye.

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    I realised, in that moment, he and others like him deserved a right to life. Another thing that strengthened my view was that I felt I needed to know what I was talking about when I discussed abortion, so I watched one online. We need to be talking about financial support for mothers, better and more accessible care, perinatal hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions.

    Irish women deserve better, but abortion is not the answer. Young people know more than any other previous generation about the development of a child. If more people would look at the evidence and be honest with themselves about what an abortion does, then a lot more young people would be vocal about voting No.

    Everyone has the right to voice their concern. The parents InGaye and Gerry Edwards, first child Joshua was diagnosed with anencephaly, a condition in which a portion of the brain or skull of an embryo does not develop. Joshua was delivered at 22 weeks via induced labour in a hospital in Northern Ireland. Gaye and Gerry are both campaigning for a Yes vote. When the scan started, the midwife was very chatty.

    She showed us the heartbeat, the spine — then she moved up towards the head. She wasn't seeing all that she should. A consultant came and did the scan in complete silence.

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    She said the baby had anencephaly. It didn't dawn on me what it meant. I was still waiting for her to tell me how they were going to fix it. She told me the baby wasn't going to survive. I went home and got the computer out — I wanted to prove her wrong. I was overwhelmed, devastated. I had pictured our future, starting our family. It had been taken away from us. We had a consultation with a geneticist in Belfast and then were referred to an obstetrician in the city.

    He scanned us again and, for the first time, I was asked: Three days later, I was back for my appointment. I took two tablets and tried to get some sleep. The next day contractions started.

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    The nurses asked if I wanted to see him, but I had seen the scan and knew the condition was catastrophic. I didn't want that to be my memory of him. They took him, washed him, took his footprints. The hospital chaplain, a Catholic priest, came and gave a little service.

    Two weeks later we received a couriered delivery, a little box containing Joshua's ashes. In the hospitals in Dublin, there were no options given apart from continuing — and that felt like judgement. But the doctors and nurses in Belfast were reassuring that this was an awful, devastating thing to happen.

    In Dublin, I was only told what would happen, that I'd carry forward and have ante-natal appointments. But the thought of going into the waiting room and being with all those happy bumps at 30 weeks, 40, 42 weeks — I didn't see how I could carry on.

    This was around the time of the referendum. I shared my story and there was a flurry of activity. Then I fell away from it; I was bringing up babies and having a family. InI saw someone speaking on television about fatal foetal abnormalities.

    I was racked with guilt — if I had worked harder, had spoken up more, then maybe that wouldn't have happened to that other woman. So from then, I've been hard at work campaigning.

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    Irish people are starting to see in great detail the damage done by the Eighth. And I have great respect for people who choose to continue with pregnancy in a situation like mine. But whatever a person decides should be supported. If it does get changed, this will go back to being a private issue. For us, it was more than just private — it was secret to have had an abortion. Now, I'd like it to go back to just being private. She spoke during a break from going door-to-door in south Dublin.

    It's my second run campaigning for the Eighth Amendment.

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    The first time was in I was part of the campaign to put the Eighth into the constitution. Campaigning in For me, it's a matter of life and death. I believe the unborn child is precisely that — a child. I understand abortion to be the direct and intentional killing of an unborn child.

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    And I am a woman who has experienced a miscarriage and a number of my friends have had issues such as ectopic pregnancies. We were never in any doubt about the care we received. And there are unavoidable cases where the baby dies.

    But we never intended to kill the child and what we're looking at now is a procedure with that intention.

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    It comes down to one question for me — whether you believe that the life of an unborn child is just that, a human child. If you do, then this is a horrendous act that needs to be opposed. On the doors, people are genuinely wanting to engage.

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    They want to know both sides of this. I haven't had much contact with the Yes campaign, but I've engaged with any number of people on the doors and I haven't seen many people who are angry or rude. Most are quite polite. But I'm heartened by the sense that people see the unborn child as a child and they don't want to bring in unrestricted abortion. I'd be very sad if there was a Yes vote. Biographical sources[ edit ] Very little at all is known about Saint Nicholas's historical life. Cann and medievalist Charles W.

    Jones both consider Michael the Archimandrite's Life the only account of Saint Nicholas that is likely to contain any historical truth. English argues for a historical kernel to the legend, noting the story's early attestation as well as the fact that no similar stories were told about any other Christian saints. English notes that lists of the attendees at Nicaea vary considerably, with shorter lists only including roughly names, but longer lists including around Nicholas did not attend the Council of Nicaea, but someone at an early date was baffled that his name was not listed and so added him to the list.

    Greydanus concludes that, because of the story's late attestation, it "has no historical value. English notes that the story of the resurrection of the pickled children is a late medieval addition to the legendary biography of Saint Nicholas [36] and that it is not found in any of his earliest Lives.

    Nicholas invited the sailors to unload a part of the wheat to help in the time of need. The sailors at first disliked the request, because the wheat had to be weighed accurately and delivered to the Emperor.

    Only when Nicholas promised them that they would not suffer any loss for their consideration, the sailors agreed. When they arrived later in the capital, they made a surprising find: Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

    Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. March Gemile[ edit ] Ruins of the fourth-century church on the island of Gemile where Saint Nicholas is believed to have originally been entombed [60] Archaeological evidence cumulatively indicates that Saint Nicholas died and was originally entombed in a rock-cut church located at the highest point on the small Turkish island of Gemileonly twenty miles away from his birthplace of Patara.