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Marriage Equality vote on a knife edge says McKiernan - News - Young Fine Gael

Marriage Equality vote on a knife edge says McKiernan

"Decisions are made by those who turn up" writes former Cavan Council
Chair and YFG member Seán McKiernan

Former Fine Gael County Councillor and Chairman Seán McKiernan has
urged Cavan/Monaghan voters to vote Yes in the Marriage Equality
Referendum this Friday 22nd May. "Decisions are made by those who turn
up" the Bailieborough man said. "I am concerned there is a dormant,
un-canvassed and untapped Yes vote in Cavan/Monaghan that needs to
make its voice heard."

In a blog for he writes of a journey travelled:

Like many people in Ireland I have have travelled a journey in recent
years on this issue. As we enter the final days of this campaign it is
clear to me that this will be a very tight vote nationally, with
potentially a strong urban/rural divide. I have been generally very
slow, indeed shy, to make public comment since losing my seat in last
year's Local Elections, and my role as a Fine Gael National Executive
member a few weeks later too.  However, I believe that this vote is of
such national and generational importance and impact that I want to
advocate a Yes vote to the people of Cavan/Monaghan. It transcends
person, party or dogma. It is about love and it is about freedom.


100 years ago over 600 young Cavan men died for the freedom of
Belgium, Ireland and small nations in World War 1. Many of these young
men were initially attracted to war by the freedom a wage and travel
would bring to their young lives.  Freedom is one of the strongest
motivational forces in human history and psychology, no more so than
in Ireland. Having listened carefully to the debate, and in particular
to the experiences of young gay people and their parents, both public
figures and people known to me personally, especially in rural
Ireland, I am convinced that a Yes vote is a powerful and much needed
statement of equality and human freedom in the best spirit of our
Proclamation and Ireland's founding fathers and mothers.  A Yes vote
is also an extension of the innate decency and live and let live
attitude of Irish people who have fought many hardships and much
discrimination at home and abroad in our collective history.

Mental Health

As a long time member of Bailieborough Mental Health Association, and
a former Development Officer with Mental Health Ireland in the North
Eastern counties and North Co. Dublin for 11 years I am also concerned
that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are twice as likely to commit
suicide, have a 1.5 times higher risk of depression and are 1.5 times
more likely to suffer from alcohol or substance abuse. Many young gay
people in rural Ireland find it incredibly difficult to come out, and
retreat into negative and destructive coping strategies, self harm and
even suicide. A Yes vote is a powerful symbol of hope and acceptance
to those suffering silent mental anguish, especially in rural areas.

Presidential election age

Separately and briefly, on the Referendum for the Presidential
nomination age from 35 to 21 I am also voting Yes.  As a long time
admirer of Michael Collins it is worth noting he was only 32 when he
died as Chairman of the Provisional Government, Commander in Chief of
the Army and a successful Minister of Finance.  He would be ineligible
to become President today.  Other great patriots such as Robert Emmet
and Padraig Pearse would have only barely qualified.  Youth deserves
its chance, and ultimately the people will decide on a person's
suitability in a Presidential election anyway.

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