With the same sex marriage referendum literally on the door step, the main No groups held a final united press conference this afternoon in Dublin.
Spear-headed by Mothers and Fathers Matter, TD Mattie McGrath was joined by Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, Gerry Fahey from First Fathers First and David Quinn of the Iona Institute.
Paddy Manning, an openly gay man, spoke about how his life has completely changed over the course of the campaign. He went into personal detail as to how he knows “he cannot have a child with anyone and believes this referendum is only giving a right to cut a biological parent away from a child.”
He went on further to say this referendum was a “gross mis-service to gay people”.
David Quinn of the Iona Institute cited various Vox Pops where people were actually afraid to even be seen on television because they were voting No.
“A lot of people have been silenced, that’s not the democracy we want or the democracy we built”, he said.
He went on to say “There’s a tremendous consensus for the Yes side, it was the same thing that happened with the boom, they all said the property bubble would come to a soft, and look what happened there.”
“That’s why many people are afraid to say they’re voting No publicly. It has been defeated several times, including with a free political vote in Australia.”
Fidelma Healy Eames stated that “It’s a proposed change to Article 41 – that is the Article that deals with family. It’s Article 40 that actually deals with equality and personal rights”.
No canvassers across the country, particularly in rural and regional towns, are now reporting a consistent positive response to their canvass. They believe, if people come out to vote, despite political and media pressure that “the tide has turned” for the No side and that they now expect a win on Friday in the very very early 50’s.
An example of what the No side are saying is one regional town, 75 miles from Dublin, in a canvass on Monday night. Out of tally of 200 people canvassed, 107 said they would be voting No and would definitely be voting on Friday. The main objection was about the rights of children. This is the “silent No” vote that has been widely reported throughout this referendum.