A Snapshot of Ireland’s Changing Culture

A snapshot of Ireland's changing culture: same-sex marriage, euthanasia, abortion, gender Talking About FamilyWhat does the future hold for the island formerly known as the Isle of Saints and Scholars?

Last month saw Ireland become the first country in the world to vote in favour of same-sex marriage. 62% of voters supported a constitutional amendment  to introduce same-sex marriage. This was a wake-up call to many people, home and abroad, who still viewed Ireland as a Catholic country. There have been many factors that have contributed to this change in identity and culture in Ireland. The aim of this post, however, is not to examine why a supposedly Catholic country voted definitively in favour of same-sex marriage.

This post is a snapshot of Ireland’s changing culture. It outlines six other items in the news in the last month which didn’t gain as much attention as the marriage referendum, and may have even passed some people by. Yet, they point to a radical cultural shift which is transforming the island and impact the family.

FacebookCustomGenderSelector1 May: Irish Facebook users can choose from 71 gender identities on Facebook (The Irish Times)

Users can now choose up to 10 of the 71 terms to accurately describe their gender identity. Gender theory is the denial of biology and promotes the idea that gender that this is infinitely fluid and malleable.

21 May: The Ashers Bakery Ruling (The Belfast Telegraph)

In Northern Ireland, Ashers Bakery, owned by Christian couple Daniel and Amy McArthur, were asked to make a cake for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The customer (a volunteer member of the LGBT advocacy group Queer Space) wanted the cake have a picture of Bert and Ernie (the Sesame Street friends who have been hijacked by the gay community who portray them as a homosexual couple) and the words “Support Gay Marriage”. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Northern Ireland. As same-sex marriage is against their beliefs, the owners declined the order. On 21st May, a judge ruled that “this is direct discrimination for which there can be no justification”. This is not direct discrimination, but now raises major concerns about religious freedom in Ireland.

marref results22 May: Marriage Referendum

Ireland voted in favour of amending the constitution to include “marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”.

24 May: “Dr Death” holds a euthanasia workshop in Dublin (The Independent and Newstalk)

Dr Philip Nitschke held a workshop in Dublin on “end of life options”. He is famously known in his native Australia as Dr Death, and claims to be the first doctor in the world to administer a legal, voluntary, lethal injection. He successfully campaigned to legalise euthanasia in Australia and helped four people die, before the ruling was overturned.

The following day, Dr Philip Nitschke was on national radio station, Newstalk, sharing his chilling ideas with Pat Kenny. The podcast of the interview is available online.

25 May: Labour party promise abortion referendum (Newstalk)

The Monday morning after Friday’s marriage referendum, Minister for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin appeared on Newstalk and promised a referendum on the 8th amendment if Labour are elected in the next general election.

caitlyn2 June: Bruce Jenner becomes Caitlyn Jenner (The Irish Times)

The unveiling of Caitlyn Jenner to the world brought the issues affecting Irish transgender individuals to the news headlines

3 June: Gender recognition bill (The Irish Times)

The Gender Recognition Bill was first published in 2014. It came to my attention this week when the Bill was changed. Under the 2014 Bill, a person who changed gender would have to divorce their spouse, if married. The 2015 Bill has dropped the “forced divorce” clause. Furthermore, the Bill adopts a “self-declaration” approach to affirming gender identity, as individuals will no longer have to have a supporting statement from a psychiatrist or endocrinologist.

This short video paints a bigger picture of the question of gender identity and the issues surrounding it in Ireland.


7QTs: Discoveries

7qt discoveries

Happy Friday! I am linking up with Kelly from This Aint the Lyceum again, for seven quick takes on the past week. This week has been a week of discovery on many fronts so, here we go……

WP_20150505_0011. Seedlings: This week-end was a bank holiday weekend in Ireland. We went away for a few days and when we got back, I was shocked to discover that the seeds I had sown in an early-morning gardening episode one morning have actually sprung up! A lovely welcome home!

ssm posters2. No posters: These were another surprise that greeted me on my return! I’ve mentioned we’re having a referendum on the redefinition of marriage in Ireland on 22nd May. I hadn’t seen many ‘no’ posters on my travels, but on my return, they were all over town.

3. Novena: On the subject of the referendum, a novena has been organised to pray for the cause of marriage and family. It will begin on 13th May and finish the day before the referendum. Please pray!

4. Toddler hacks: I was feeling a bit under the weather this week, and serendipitously, an email arrived in my inbox: 40 ways to entertain your toddler while lying down. Perfect!

5. Bloglovin: I finally discovered it. Its great! How ever did I follow blogs without it?

focus-banner-for-web6: Catholic Answers Focus: 
love Catholic Answers, a daily apologetics radio show hosted by Patrick Madrid, and often listen to podcasts when I am on the go. This week I finally subscribed and what a goldmine of podcasts I discovered! Definitely worth a look.

7: Thriftin’ again: Last week I was thrilled with a few books that I picked up in my local charity shop. I headed back this week, with an upcycling project in mind. I bought a kitchen chair for €15. Hopefully, I’ll have it upcycled by next week. Watch this space!

For more 7QTs, head on over to This Aint the Lyceum

7QTs: Early Mornings, Journaling and a 1st Birthday

7qts talking about family

Another week has flown by! I’m linking up again with Kelly from This Aint the Lyceum for 7 quick takes on the week that was!

  1. Marriage Referendum – Next month, there will be a referendum in Ireland to redefine marriage. If the ‘yes’ side win, then Ireland will become the first country to introduce same sex marriage following a referendum. Last Friday saw the launch of the ‘no’ campaign. Its going to be an interesting few weeks.
  2. Sleeping Baby T

    I can’t believe this little girl is one!

    1st Birthday My baby is now a toddler! We had a lovely day, a walk to see some deer, a small family lunch, presents, coffee cake (homemade!). I was worried the excitement would be too much, but even though she’s only one, I think baby T had a lovely day!

  3. Early Mornings As baby is only napping once a day at the moment, I’m trying to find more time in the day to get things on my wishlist (things I would like to do but aren’t important enough to make the to do list) done. Husband suggested I get up an hour earlier… now, this seems like an obvious, fair suggestion but since becoming a mum, I have learned that I take the sleep where I can, so this was a painful suggestion. Anyway, Tuesday and Friday mornings I woke up an hour early, bright eyed and bushy tailed and crossed off a few things on my to do list and my wishlist, which gave me a great start to the day. I might try and make a habit of it!
  4. Spiritual Journal I used to keep a spiritual, or a prayer journal, and I found it really helped my faith develop. Somewhere along the way, the practice ceased, until this Lent, when I started journaling again in the Blessed Is She Lenten Journal. I vowed I would continue but there was a slight delay between finishing the old one and starting the new. I am glad to say before the delay became prolonged, I have started journaling again!
  5. Toddler Book On the subject of journaling, poor baby’s baby book has gaping holes in it and the idea of going back to fill in the gaps is, at the moment, a daunting prospect. So, while I was shopping for a spiritual journal, I also bought a toddler book, to mark the start of a new era!
  6. sewing seedsGardening Lots of seeds to be sown in April, and time is running out! I planted tomatoes and beetroot in seed trays, and put some rocket and garlic in containers.
  7. Studying and blogging Did I ever mention I am doing a part-time distance learning MA in Applied Theology? I’m currently doing a module in the socio-political context of the family. It’s incredibly interesting and challenging, and there is a lot of reading and information to take on board. I have decided a good way to process my thoughts would be to write some short blog posts about key aspects of the subject. Watch this space!

Thank you Kelly for hosting! For more quick takes, visit This Aint the Lyceum!