The word “No” in huge white letters could be seen on the side of the iconic Ben Bulben in County Sligo on May 17, days out from Ireland’s referendum on the Eighth Amendment to its Constitution.
The sign was erected by anti-abortion rights activists in Sligo. One of the activists, Tommy Banks, spoke to Ocean FM and identified himself as a member of the Sligo For Life campaign. He said that he was joined by “men of all ages and women getting ready tea and sandwiches.”
When asked for the reason behind the action, the group pointed to bias in the media, the refusal of newspapers to take editorials, and the tearing down of posters advocating a no vote.
A spokeswoman for the Sligo Pro-Life Campaign had the same concerns about anti-abortion voices being silenced but told Storyful that the people who put up the sign were not acting for the official Sligo Pro-Life Campaign.
Ben Bulben, famously associated with WB Yeats, is a designated Special Area of Conservation. The National Parks and Wildlife Service commented on the sign, saying: “The insinuation of alien materials such as this onto a special area of conservation is insensitive to its conservation status and incompatible with the habitat. The owners should procure its immediate removal so that Ben Bulben is returned undamaged to its natural and beloved state.”
On May 25, Ireland will vote in a referendum on whether to remove or retain the Eighth Amendment to its Constitution. The amendment grants the mother and unborn child an equal right to life, making abortion illegal in the country except in circumstances where the mother’s life is at risk.
A yes vote would allow for legal abortions in a wider range of circumstances. Credit: Ocean FM via Storyful