Alan Lambert writes about the Yes Equality Dublin Bay North Campaign Launch in Clontarf Castle – a very positive affair!
With issues such as water charges, overcrowding in hospitals and proposals from various unions to hold strike action it’s rare to get representatives from five political parties plus Independents to agree on an issue. However, that is what happened on Friday night when YesEquality Dublin Bay North (“DBN”) held its campaign launch for the upcoming referendum in the stunning Clontarf Castle.
Independent Cllr Cian O’Callaghan and DBN Committee members opened the evening, and with speeches from Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, Minister for Equality Aodhán Ó’Ríordáin, Senator Averil Power, Independent TD, Finian McGrath, Sinn Féin Cllr Mícheál MacDonncha and David Leahy from the Green Party, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a Dáil debate.
However, every speech was positive, there was no political spin, and the only repetitive message was not to be complacent and assume that because the Yes side is in the majority that you don’t need to get out and vote. Senator Power talked about the power of talking to people, while Minister Ó’Ríordáin reminded us that according to the Irish Constitution, “All citizens in Ireland shall be held equal before the law” and a Yes vote will ensure this happens.
Former Fianna Fail TD, Pat Carey, spoke next about his experience of coming out in February and re-iterating that we need to talk to the soft Yesses and No voters because they can be convinced.
Tiernan Brady of GLEN spoke of the historic nature of this vote, that it’s something that children will learn about in history books in years to come.
The final and most powerful speech came from Sabina Brennan. Unlike the previous speakers, Sabina is not affiliated with a political party or an LGBT group. Sabina is a mother, she has two sons, one straight and one gay. Her passion for obtaining equality for her boys shone through as only a parent’s can.
“I have two sons, I love them both equally. Both are Irish citizens, both are Northsiders (possibly the biggest cheer of the night came after that statement), one can marry and the other cannot. That’s inequality!”
Sabina then proudly introduced her son Gavin, who sang a beautiful rendition of Rude by Magic with a marriage equality twist. Check him out on YouTube – Username Gav4Sax.
We were then treated to comedy from John Moynes who told us about the causes he likes to support and the dress code in Vladimir Putin’s office, followed by BeRnzy Mac who belted out a few tunes, Saorla Duggan wrapped up the entertainment for the evening with some familiar songs.
With approximately 200 people from all generations and backgrounds in attendance, including a man who dropped in from the wedding upstairs to voice his support for the campaign, the night was a resounding success and gave a real boost to everyone about to hit the campaign trail.