Damian Thompson

Could Dublin’s preachy liberals save Ireland’s abortion ban?

Could Dublin's preachy liberals save Ireland's abortion ban?
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Could there be a Trump-style upset when the Irish vote next month on whether to repeal the country's ban on abortion? That's the question I discuss in the latest Holy Smoke podcast with my guest Tony Trowbridge, an Australian who became an Irish citizen when he was studying law at Trinity College, Dublin, in the 1970s.

He's watched the country's transformation from something close to a Catholic theocracy into a society dominated by strident-but-smug media-savvy liberals. Irish political correctness is, if anything, even more preachy and joyless than the American variety. In that respect it's reminiscent of Irish Catholicism, which paradoxically used to have an almost Calvinist feel to it. No wonder the Church's moral authority evaporated so quickly when the abuse scandals surfaced.

We had asked a pro-repeal feminist to join us, but she bailed at the last minute. No matter: this is anything but a one-sided discussion, focussing on details that both campaigns in the referendum would rather weren't mentioned. Listen to it here: