This week, the good people of Twitter gave their thoughts on RTÉ’s revamp of the Angelus, listened to Liam Neeson narrate an ad about abortion, and navigated a train-less Ireland for three hours while Irish Rail took industrial action. They also welcomed the Abortion Pill Bus to all of the country’s major cities, and talked about Back to the Future (a lot).
Amnesty continue their campaign to decriminalise abortion in Ireland #repealthe8th #NotACriminal
On Monday, Amnesty International Ireland released a video featuring writer Graham Linehan and his wife Helen. The piece featured the two speaking about their heartbreaking experience of discovering that fatal foetal abnormality meant their baby of just 12 weeks would not survive birth. At the time, the couple were living in London, and were able to safely and legally access the UK’s abortion services.
In the video, Graham expresses his shame concerning Ireland’s archaic abortion laws, and states that if he and Helen had have been living in the country at the time, he would have feared for her safety. Helen also praises the UK’s health care system, acknowledging that “It’s different in other places (…) I would have had to have gone full term knowing (…) that this baby’s not going to survive. All I wanted to do was get over that hurdle of what had happened to us, and try again.”
Graham also states that Ireland cannot become a mature country until this emergency is dealt with.
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Our story https://t.co/BGIrQpYowa
— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) October 20, 2015
Soon afterwards, the Linehans and Amnesty released another campaign film called ‘Chains.’ The film – which is narrated by Liam Neeson – speaks of the cruel ghost that haunts Ireland, that “brings suffering – even death – to the women whose lives it touches.”
The film was heavily criticised for being “anti-Catholic,” due to its use of religious imagery juxtaposed with the notion that Ireland is chained to its past. Some people even launched a petition against the film – and Neeson himself – claiming that it was in poor taste, and offensive to the Catholic Church.
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Others also condemned Amnesty’s use of celebrities to endorse their drive for reproductive rights – an objection that can only be based on the fact that the pro-choice campaign has been gaining more and more traction with each week that passes.
Amnesty, Graham and Helen Linehan, and hundreds of others took to Twitter to promote the film, justify its use of religious imagery, and to finally lay this ghost to rest.
Who was to blame for the Magdalen laundries? The mass grave at Tuam? The X Case?
— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) October 21, 2015
Myself, I think the nuns and priests behind those outrages are as far from Christian as you can get. #repealthe8th
— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) October 22, 2015
— David O'Doherty (@phlaimeaux) October 20, 2015
— Amnesty Ireland (@AmnestyIreland) October 20, 2015
Days like today are tough. Full of a mix of upset, outrage – even fury – but also of hope. We are better than this. We must be #repealthe8th
— Colm O'Gorman (@Colmogorman) October 19, 2015
The Angelus gets a makeover #StickItInTheAngelus
In an attempt to revamp the station’s “most controversial” religious broadcast, RTÉ have released some new films to go in the Angelus. These professional one minute shots will be accompanied by ‘the people’s Angelus’ – short submissions from the public that will also be broadcast before the news.
RTÉ began requesting submissions back in May, asking for anything from art, to photography, to animation. However, Twitter had some other ideas about what would be best suited in this new and improved Angelus.
A bottle of 7-Up being opened and left to sit until flat, so as to heal the sick of our nation. #StickItInTheAngelus
— Paddy Duffy (@PaddyDuffy) October 20, 2015
— Eire Nua (@IrelandNua32) October 20, 2015
Nursing a hangover at 6pm. Hear the holy dong. Stare blankly into the air and question what you did the night before. #StickItInTheAngelus
— Sarah Ní Mhuirí (@sarahnimhuiri) October 20, 2015
#StickItInTheAngelus Niall Horan
— kerrie⚡️ (@emeraIdashton) October 20, 2015
— Jonathan (@sneezeonthebeat) October 20, 2015
— Daryl Gerrard (@DarylGerr) October 20, 2015
#AbortionPillBus sets off on its journey across the country
Yesterday, ROSA (Reproductive Rights against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity) and WomenOnWeb teamed up to finally give Irish women suffering with crisis pregnancies the care and support they need. For the entirety of yesterday and today, they will drive an Abortion Pill Bus around Ireland, making stops in the country’s major cities to promote reproductive rights, rally support to repeal the Eighth Amendment, and provide abortion pills to any woman who they have already consulted.
Although all of the women on board risk imprisonment for procuring illegal pills, ROSA’s Laura Fitzgerald says that it is a necessary risk to ensure that women’s bodies are no longer policed. She stated that the pills – which can be safely used to terminate a pregnancy of up to 9 weeks – are “extremely important to women who may not be able to travel for the procedure for financial reasons, or because of their immigration status.”
Today, the Abortion Pill Bus will arrive in Cork and Dublin.
— Rita Harrold (@Rita702) October 23, 2015
— Dylan (@KillinDylan_) October 23, 2015
The #AbortionPillBus is a good thing. I'm glad *someone* is trying to provide women the help that the government is afraid to give.
— Ciarán O'Brien (@Sarklor) October 23, 2015
— Repeal the 8th Sligo (@Repeal8thSligo) October 23, 2015
— TheJournal.ie (@thejournal_ie) October 23, 2015
#IrishRail‘s three hour strike ruffles a few feathers
Irish Rail trended for a bit yesterday as hundreds of frustrated commuters blamed the service for making them late for work. Between 6am and 9am, drivers took industrial action when their claims for compensation were not agreed upon by SIPTU, the NBRU, and their management. The strike caused significant delays all over the city, as buses were overflowing, car crashed, and the Port Tunnel closed down.
Irish Rail are offering full refunds to customers who carry prepaid tickets, and have stated that if the dispute is not resolved another strike will go ahead on November 6th.
Damn you Irish Rail and your strike. May as well be sitting in carpark for an hour than trying to drive 30 mins across the city
— Colin Griffin (@colingriffin) October 23, 2015
Irish rail being on strike was a sign for me to not go in
— denisa iepure (@DenisaIepure) October 23, 2015
— Rónán McLaughlin (@romclaughlin) October 23, 2015
— John Quinn (@jquinn) October 23, 2015
Twitter celebrates #BackToTheFuture day!
Wednesday October 21st 2015 is the date that Marty and Doc Brown travel to in Back to the Future Part II. Coincidentally, it is also the date of last Wednesday. People on Twitter celebrated this fact by complaining about not having hoverboards.
Michael J Fox spent the day launching the world’s first ever self-lacing runners – all the proceeds of which will go to his Parkinson’s disease fund. He also made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel as Marty McFly alongside Christopher Lloyd, and they took their very first selfie. It was great.
Now, thanks to existence of time, Back to the Future is now in the past. Some people on the internet had a hard time processing this fact, while others simply did not care at all. Those people are no fun.
according to back to the future we should've had hoverboards uh yesterday but nope all we got is corny viners on those cheap plastic segways
— nasty boy wes (@WeslehW) October 22, 2015
Yet another thing Back to the Future got right: Biff taking over the world pic.twitter.com/Kwqd1DhPPJ
— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonFL) October 23, 2015
Happy Back to the Future Day, @RealMikeFox! Ever think about the fact that we live in the future we dreamed of then? That's heavy, man.
— President Obama (@POTUS44) October 21, 2015
not even Back to the Future II could have predicted the future to be this weird pic.twitter.com/fh05L89dYL
— paperwash© (@PaperWash) October 22, 2015
Featured image via Teri Pengilley