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A bit of understanding goes a long way




There’s a lot of negativity floating about at the minute. The upcoming referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment has been hugely contentious so far and we’re still a full month out from the vote. A whole bunch of people feel very strongly about it on both sides and, as a result, debates get very heated very quickly. I would never discourage someone from being passionate about something, especially when it comes to an issue as important as abortion, but if we really want to have a conversation, a bit of understanding could go a long way.

Personally, I’m pro-choice. I think the current legislation is dangerous and equating the life of a foetus to the life of a woman is, to my mind, unreasonable. I also believe that women should have the freedom to decide what’s right for their own bodies, and it’s sad that they have to ask for our permission in the first place. A lot of you might feel as though abortion should remain illegal but, as entitled as you are to your opinion, I fundamentally disagree. I suppose that’s why we’re having a referendum.

When people differ on a subject this emotive, tensions often flare and friendly chats turn argumentative in the blink of an eye. But what does that actually achieve? Maybe it might make you feel a bit better about yourself. You might leave the interaction thinking, “Jeez, I made a right fool out of that fella on Facebook,” or, “I wasn’t long quietening her,” but is your goal to convince or to ridicule? Taking the piss out of someone on the other side or denigrating their beliefs isn’t going to change their mind. If anything, slating the other campaign is more likely to fortify it than break it down.

The only way of reaching someone is by having an actual conversation with them, and to do that you have to make a genuine effort to understand where they’re coming from.

Why does something that seems so inherently right to me, seem inherently wrong to someone, say, 25 years older than me? (I don’t want to generalise but the rift in this particular instance does appear to be largely generational.) I think about this quite a bit. In 25 years’ time, will a new law be proposed that we whole-heartedly oppose, but our future children insist must be passed in the name of progress?

It’s a scary enough thought – especially as we’re part of a generation who consider ourselves to be very liberal and open-minded - but it’s entirely possible. And it opens your eyes to the fact that we think the way we do for a reason. We are, to a large extent, products of our environment. When it comes down to it, I feel the way I do about abortion because of factors like my upbringing, the people around me and the cultural influences I’ve been exposed to. The same is true for those on the other side of this debate. We’re basically the same. For whatever reason, we just ended up on different sides of this specific divide.

When you look at it from that perspective, you can talk to someone and say, “Right, I completely understand where you’re coming from but this is where I’m coming from…” With this kind of approach, maybe you’ll be able to change a mind or two before May 25 - regardless of whether you’re voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

And even if it doesn’t work, it’s a lot better than slagging each other off on Twitter for the next four weeks.



Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]




The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.


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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]




The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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