The Irish abortion referendum one year on

Posted on: 06 Jun 2019 SMK Event sponsored by JRRT: The Irish Abortion Referendum – One Year On.

Inspiring, engaging, high energy – and extremely useful: just some of the responses to the SMK Change Network event, sponsored by JRRT, on 23 May 2019.

The event, at The Foundry, London, focused on the fight for abortion rights in Ireland and welcomed Irish campaigners who secured an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote in last year’s referendum on abortion. In May 2018, the Irish electorate voted by over 66% to remove the 8th Amendment from the Constitution which banned abortion in almost all circumstances.

Keynote speakers were Deidre Duffy (campaign manager for Together for Yes, pictured above), Dr Claire Brophy (co-convenor of the Abortion Rights Campaign, photo left) and Rachel Lavin (data journalist and Who Targets Me?). Nike Jonah (creative producer for Counterpoint Arts) also joined the panel for a series of provocations to the audience of around 40 UK campaigners.

This event was one of a series for SMK’s Change Network, which brings campaigners together to explore and learn from key instances of social change.

SMK described the occasion as “our best Change Network to date – constructive, emotional and inspiring”.

The speakers were all excellent, engaging and shared their huge knowledge and expertise very generously. It was a very positive event, combining big picture strategy with nitty-gritty, ‘on the doorstep’ game-changing detail. Many of the attendees said that they felt the learnings could be applied in many ways to improve campaigning and make it more effective.

The group discussion also resulted in stimulating and high quality input.

Chloe Hardy, Director of Policy & Communications at the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, blogged about the event and a podcast will be available soon – which no doubt will be well worth a listen!