Meanwhile, In Smithfield


Jason writes:

Some Pro Choice public art I came across in Smithfield [Dublin] earlier today, thought it might be worth adding to your website?


Smithfield Pro-Choice


68 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In Smithfield

    1. Tadgh

      Well they’d be putting it on billboards if they had money coming in from the states; like Youth Defence.

        1. Tadgh

          Whether they do or not, they should have every right to. Money shouldn’t dictate forums of public expression.

      1. SiriusBrowne

        Prochoice movement is also being funded from the states. Check out the Irish Family Planning association, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Chuck Feeney etc.

        Please refrain from making stupid hypocritical remarks.

          1. SiriusBrowne

            Why is it not credible? Because you don’t agree with the point of view? The article contains specific facts and numbers relating to funding (which are publically sourced- you can fact check with ICCL annual reports for instance).

            It is a well known fact (that has been commented on and accepted by pro-choice commentators on this very site in fact) that Chuck Feeney among others funds heavily organisations promoting abortion in this country. The fact that your not aware of that is more a testament to your enormous ignorance on this topic.

            I would advise a silly illiterate woman like you to check your facts before you make snide remarks, lest you make an even bigger embarrassment of yourself than you already have. I pity someone who is as ignorant and ill informed as you.

          2. Tadgh

            “Feeney has also given more than €1,000,000 to the National Women’s Council of Ireland”

            “[Chuck Feeney] had given €1,500,000 to ensure a ‘Yes’ vote to a forthcoming referendum on children’s rights.”

            “George Soros, the New York based investor billionaire, gave €100 million to the self-styled rights organisation, Human Rights Watch”

            I also see mention of the ICCL, IFPA and IPP.

            None of the mentioned groups directly tackle the issue of Abortion as their primary concern. As opposed to Youth Defence who do.

            First of all you sorted a biased source, who does not declare their sources. The story has also been copy-pasta’d onto Youth Defences’ site. ( )

   who are arguable Ireland’s biggest Pro-Choice organisations boasts that they are non-funded. How about the “Life House” who have acted as a base for Coir, Youth Defence, the Life Institute, the Mother and Child Campaign, Truth TV, and the Pro-Life Alliance?

            “Life House Ireland is an American, tax-exempt organization. We were principally formed by people who have lived and worked in Ireland for many years. Observing the Irish pro-life model, and seeing its success, was the inspiration for Life House Ireland’s formation.” ( )

          3. SiriusBrowne

            A biaised source? Extending you logic would mean that we should disregard any information cited by ANY prolife group because its biaised against abortion…..oh wait yeah thats exactly what you want. Something biaised should be disregarded when YOU dont agree with it.

            Atlantic philanthropies has given over 7m euro in funding to the ICCL- this is according to the Atlantic philanthropies website. The ICCL and IFPA ARE both mentioned in the article- so I can only summise that like Kath- you just didnt bother to read it.

            Pointing out that there are pro-life organisations funded from abroad is a bit redundant at this stage. I never denied that- in fact I never said whether I even think thats a good or a bad thing- I merely pointed out the hypocrisy and biais of people like you who condemn one side for it while ignoring the fact that it happens on both.

            Both ICCL and IFPA vigorously campaign for abortion. To suggest otherwise is just a lie.

            Throughout this thread there NO ONE has been capable of answering this point. You just keep ignoring a fact in order to hide your own hypocrisy. Grow up and accept reality. Be as pro choice as you want- argue for it, hold your protest marches but don’t dare attempt to create some sort of fake moral superiority because if you do you are a bunch of flaming hypocrites.

          4. Tadgh

            I did read the article.

            I never said that those organisations didn’t support the pro-choice cause. I was pointing out that that’s not these organisations focus. These organisations are also Irish in roots. Which when speaking for the Irish people is imperative.

            Youth defence, whose soul purpose is opposing abortion, is American funded and American in roots. The Irish political and culture scope is no place for their influence.

            These are two massively different things. It’s not the issue of funding, its an issue of what the organisation does. That money could have been donated with the intent of, in the case of the ICCL, setting up the Garda Ombudsman. When people donate to Youth Defence, they are directly donating to a moral issue. Which should be a decision that we, as a nation, ourselves solely should be involved in.

            Also please don’t assume that I didn’t read your post, it’s condescending.

  1. Dan

    I saw John Hurt in Fresh, Smithfield on Tuesday. He had a walking stick and a hat and he looked very old.

    1. Cark

      That is vile behaviour. If I see any of those erected in my Community I will personally remove them myself.

      1. cyclecrunk

        Good man Cark you show your community you will not tolerate people disagreeing with your opinions. Keep up the good work of Jesus.

        1. Bangalore

          There is a big difference between disagreeing with someone and tollerating miss leading, graphic, illegal and disturbing posters outside creches.

          come on now

          1. Kath

            Agreed. Certainly what I’m about to type doesn’t apply to the whole anti-choice movement but I do find their abortion porn fetishists to be vulgar along the lines of the anti-choicers who set up shop outside health clinics in the States and sing Christmas Carols to empty cribs. This type of strategy has never changed my pro-choice stance or that of anyone I know but the fact that there are people who enjoy doing this is really disturbing.

          1. escapee1

            These few past few weeks have brought out the anti-democratic bitch in me. As someone whos had an abortion, balding men shoving pro-life flyers in my face led to themm being showered in flyer confetti. They have their way and thanks to years of this kind of propoganda it still brings out a raw emotional response.

      2. AdamSmyth

        I have reported them to Dublin City Council. I will be persuing this personally and will esnure the people behind this are hit with the heaviest fine possible.

        1. CLARE

          Adam why have you such a problem with these posters? Why do you feel the people who put them up deserve to be hit with the heaviest fine possible?

  2. AhFFS

    Ah yes pointing out that women virtually have a silent voice in this country is vile. Get a grip troll.

  3. sickofallthisbs

    How is that art or ‘public art’? I would call those posters. Is everything on the street art now? Fricking banksey and his can of paint. ffs

  4. Aram

    Am I suppose to think ‘wow, we’re more backward than those backward places’?
    Just because these countries are less ‘developed’ doesn’t mean they’re muck savages rolling around, throwing shit at each other while worshiping idols.

    1. Jess

      Who said they were backward places? I can see New Zealand in the bottom corner and I’d hardly call them less developed than Ireland. Argentina too.

      That we somehow manage to be more backward than the US on the matter of women’s rights should really give one pause, tbh.

  5. kerryman

    Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, and Eritrea : All bastions of women’s and indeed general human rights.

  6. Holden Magroin

    Sometimes I think if a woman is raped shouldn’t she be able to abort that baby because she was raped.

    Then I think she could have the baby and give it up for adoption. Because if abortion kills a baby she isn’t guilty of murder then. But then there is a baby alone in the world.

    But when does a baby really become alive?
    Is it at the point of conception or at some later developmental point when the baby has a heartbeat or brainwaves.
    And if an abortion occurs before this point is it OK then because the baby wasn’t alive yet.

    Does anyone know the answer to that question?

    When I think of that poor lady who died recently and consider that if they knew that poor baby was already dead and they had the smallest fear the mother was in danger shouldn’t they remove it to save her. They are Doctors that’s their job. Its a no-brainer.

    Sometimes people mention that women should have the right to do with their own body as they see fit. I am not sure I agree. I sense that this is a controversial statement but if a baby is alive shouldn’t someone protect it? I know the baby is the mothers and the fathers but why should she alone get to decide something that may well be an act of murder.

    The topic of abortion is so complex and very personal I imagine legislating for it is extremely difficult. That doesn’t mean we should shy away from it. We should probably take a long time to decide what we want to do. Some would say we have taken too long already.

    I’m sorry I don’t think we should have “abortion on demand” (not a great phrase as it implies flippancy like watching a movie on your TV). But who gets to decide when an abortion should take place on medical grounds as opposed to a choice being made by a potential mother-to-be.

    If a baby is dead and can harm the mother it should be aborted. It is terribly sad but nothing can be done to save the baby.

    But how do you legislate for medical abortion reasons vs. choice reasons? Should you have to fill in a form and be appraised by Dr.s and Psychiatrists?

    These are my honest thoughts. Perhaps they show my ignorance I don’t know. Don’t be mean if they are please.

    P.S. I have a willy not a vagina. So take it out of that.

    1. S

      The death of Savita Halappanavar was a tragedy and was worse if it was a tragedy that could have been avoided by medical intervention – including medical intervention that would have inevitably caused the death of her unborn child.
      How do we get from that to an argument for abortion on demand?

      It is wrong to kill a new born baby because the mother does not want it. I think that this is a safe place to start from a logical point of view. I don’t think that it is a huge extension to say that it is wrong to kill a baby just before it is born.
      Now how far back does that logic stretch? It seems to me that it is too much of a leap to say that it applies to a protoplasm seconds after conception.

      Having said that if the line is drawn anywhere after conception at all, then it becomes a matter of opinion where that line should be. In other countries, as I understand it, legislators try to draw a line where a foetus would be independently viable but that raises some real problems. What if the line is drawn too early in pregnancy? Abort a foetus on the day before the line: medical procedure, the day after the line: murder. What if it is drawn too late? Legal killing of what should in law be recognised as a person. Also medical advances continually move the line at which a foetus is independently viable.

      There are serious emotive arguments made by those who believe that direct abortion is murder. In some cases the tactics used are reprehensible in my opinion. However, if the arguments stem from a sincerely held belief that after conception (and even before viability of a foetus) an unborn baby is a person, then the people who hold that belief must by extension believe that direct abortion is murder. And if they sincerely believe that it is murder we should not be surprised that they will vehemently oppose abortion.

      There are also some seriously emotive arguments made by those who believe that direct abortion of a non-viable foetus (or some other definition) is not killing of a human but is truly just the removal of non-conscious proto-human tissue. People of this opinion are outraged by others who seek to prohibit them from having a medical procedure to remove unwanted biological tissue from their bodies. This outrage is quite reasonable and not at all surprising given their beliefs.

      In Ireland, the outrage of the second group burns even more strongly because one of the main parties putting forward the belief that direct abortion is murder is the Catholic Church. In their minds, this organisation is reprehensible for a myriad of reasons: the child abuse scandals, the fact that the clergy are required to be male and celibate (and still seem to want to control women’s bodies), and the fact that the church probably had a huge impact on the holding of, and results of the 1983 referendum.

      The government has dragged its feet on legislating for C. It is a difficult thing to do – particularly for the largest party of government, which has a largely conservative voter base. It is hard to do because of a real fear that allowing abortion in the case of threatened suicide will effectively mean abortion on demand (in fact abortion on demand with no limit to term). It is genuinely difficult for some of our legislators to see a way out of this.

      The nature of this debate on Broadsheet is really often quite shrill. In my opinion, trying to really understand the nature of the issues from both points of view would be helpful. It is not as simple as either (extreme) side wants to paint it to be. And unfortunately I include Broadsheet itself as one of those sides. It is entirely up to the Broadsheet team to decide what they want to do with their own website but in my opinion the value of the site goes down when one side of what is a genuinely tricky debate is favoured over the other.

        1. S

          I think the meaning of this is that you don’t believe that you need to read on because you know what I am going to say and won’t agree with it … so you stopped reading. I think that the additional message for me is that my point of view is cliched and worthless which is kind of mildly hurtful to be honest.

          The fact that you decided to comment at all, however, makes it hard to believe that you really stopped at that point. If you did, I am disappointed that you still believe that where you supposedly stopped was in fact representative of what I had to say. I hoped that I could communicate that actually I think that this is a very difficult question and that if I could hear calmer debate from both sides I might even know my own mind on the subject.

      1. Rob

        Great comments, you’ve put in words my own thoughts on this impossible problem. Its disappointing how little effort either ‘side’ of this debate are putting into seeing it from the others’ side. I could not be any less religious than I am, seriously, and if anything this whole debate is making me more and more anti-abortion than I may have been. As was said above…how and where do you draw the line…The thought of a non-sentient bundle of cells being destroyed doesn’t particularly bother me…it happens in 25% of pregnancies as far as I know… The thought of a roughly human shaped creatures deliberate violent demise does at the very least bother me and is it really hard to see how some people could be very bothered by it?. It seems pretty difficult to say where on the graduated scale between these two points its more of one than the other. Maybe this is a problem with no solution though..

        1. len

          I know it’s a heated debate, but if one side is fighting for rights to decide over their own fate and another side is adamant that babies are being killed, you’re going to have war.

          That shouldn’t stop you from caring, though. Anyway it’s much easier to understand it from a practical and real life point of view.

          Laws and legislation can be a dangerous thing. How could you really legislate for partial access to abortion? How can you determine when a pregnant person’s life is at risk exactly? Complications can turn fatal within a matter of minutes or hours – do we really want doctors to have to spend time debating this issue while someone might be dying? It’s just not enforceable in any real way.

          There are instances when women need abortions to save their lives that would be hard to determine: suicide may be easy enough to determine – but what about domestic violence? A woman’s life is at risk when she’s in a violent relationship (a lot of domestic violence starts when a woman gets pregnant). Having an abortion could be her only ticket out. How can we determine this accurately?

          Also, there’s the issue that everyone leaves out which is quality of life. If we legislate only when a woman’s life is at risk, we don’t care if a woman will be left physically scarred or disabled by the pregnancy. If they have mental health problems – say schizophrenia – and are forced off their medication for the duration of their pregnancies (imagine!!!). We force women to carry to term pregnancies with fatal abnormalities. This is an act of torture.

          What about economics? Can we be so flippant about that? Having a baby can and does throw women into a life of poverty. It can damage their career and educational prospects – and this isn’t something you can shrug your shoulders about. Poverty is a serious detriment to a person’s life and health.

          The thing we have to remember is that laws do not fix everything. We cannot put our trust in laws when it comes to an issue so complicated and personal as this one.

          What DOES make sense, however, is giving the person who is directly affected by pregnancy the freedom to make those difficult decisions (with support and advice from medical professionals whose job it is to understand these things). They alone are the only ones who truly understand the situation – and they are also the only ones directly affected. Why – when it is their responsibility – do we take away their ability to make their own decisions on the matter?

          Taking away a person’s ability to decide sends the clear message that we don’t trust them to make the right decision. We don’t trust women to understand the complexities, we don’t trust them to respect life (or potential life). If we have to legally force women not to “kill babies” then why do we entrust them with the care of children at all?

          Another aspect of this is trust and understanding. People seem to worry that the system will be abused somehow if we allow full access to abortion. Anyone who understands pregnancy and abortion knows this is a stupid thing to worry about. Abortion is an invasive, expensive and often times painful procedure, never mind the emotional toll it might take on a person. It’s not an easy decision to make, and it’s not an easy thing to have to do.

          We could all just accept that thousands of women have abortions every year – they will continue to do so no matter what the law says, as they have been doing since the dawn of time. And remember these are women with families, these are women who are facing poverty, these are women too old or sick to have another child, these are women who are not in a good place mentally, physically or financially to have a child, these are young women, single women, women and children who have been raped, mothers and daughters and sisters…

          It’s not too hard to understand that they should have this right to choose. Is it?

          I understand that people believe abortion is murder – but since it’s not something that can be proven (yet), it is a belief and nothing more. People are entitled to their beliefs, but not entitled to force them on others. Or use their beliefs as an excuse to terrorize people (which organisations like Youth Defence like to do).

          1. S

            Thanks Ien, very interesting and well made points.

            On your last paragraph… you say that it cannot be “proven (yet)”. I wonder whether it can ever be proven. If it can never be proven one way or the other then it is a matter of belief / philosophy / faith / conscience / what the bishops say which means the two sides will remain entrenched in their positions.

            Also, and I don’t want to sound flippant about this,but when you say “If we have to legally force women not to “kill babies” then why do we entrust them with the care of children at all?” is this not a counterproductive argument from your point of view?…. we don’t allow women to kill babies out of the womb either, i.e. we don’t trust them enough to allow them to kill babies after they are born. IF you are of the opinion that unborn foetuses have the same status as born humans then this line of argument is too easily answered and does not help you to make pro choice case in my opinion.

            I think your points about the complex reality for some women are the really strong arguments.

          2. len

            Thanks S!

            I actually agree with you that my argument about forcing women not to kill babies is a weak one. I probably didn’t think it through very well. But what I meant is that the difference between not allowing women to kill children once born and not allowing women to terminate their pregnancies is that women terminate their pregnancies all the time. They do it so often that in order to stop them, we have to control and restrict their freedom of movement and their human rights to bodily integrity. If we really have to force them not to have abortions (ie. not to “murder”), then I don’t see how we could trust these women to look after children at all.

            It just doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t make sense to me that abortion is seen as murder but people still don’t want to send women to jail. If it’s murder, it’s murder – right? And if they don’t want to send these women to prison – why is that? Because they know it’s different.

            Anyway, there are more technical arguments to take into account about rights to bodily integrity on top of all the rest. Even if a woman destroys a life or potential life when having an abortion, the simple fact is that her right to bodily integrity SHOULD trump all else. In law, it is not legal to force someone to donate a kidney, give blood etc in order to save another person’s life. Because a human being has a right to bodily integrity and a right to have a say what happens to their own bodies because they own their body. A pregnant person is donating their body in order to sustain a life – or potential life even. The moment that person does not want to be pregnant, they are being forced to donate their body to their pregnancy.

            Now, most women who get pregnant happily donate their bodies – that’s what makes the world go round. But those who don’t – for whatever reason – no longer have any rights over what happens to their body. This question then becomes: whose rights do we value more, the woman’s or the potential person growing inside her? Personally, since women are fully grown adults capable of rational thought and have already established human rights, I think I value the woman’s rights. Especially when unless it is later in the pregnancy, we have no evidence to suggest that that potential life is anything more than cells growing.

            And being forced to stay pregnant against your will is traumatic. Your body changes beyond recognition, you suffer pains, and risk life-long injuries, as well as going through the emotional turmoil, the stress, the worry and the sickening feeling that you do not own your own body. Women can and do suffer from PTSD after childbirth, on top of any physical injuries. I’d imagine you’re more at risk to all of this if you are pregnant against your will. Because of all this, I firmly believe that if we are a compassionate and understanding society that treats women equally, we cannot try to control their reproductive organs.

            When you think about it that way, it becomes more and more obvious that pro-life arguments cannot be supported by a society that believes women are fully grown, autonomous individuals with rights over their body and over their own lives.

          3. S

            Very interesting and I shall certainly be stealing a lot of this and including in my own line of thinking.

            What about the question of drawing a line on when during a pregnancy an abortion should be allowed though? What if a woman is close to full term and changes her mind about wanting a baby? Does her right to bodily integrity still trump that of the viable foetus / human / baby / collection of tissue inside her? Perhaps the answer is that it depends on all the other factors but that is not really consistent with her right to bodily integrity. Does that imply that there comes a time when the woman’s bodily integrity is no longer paramount?

            On re-reading that it sounds like a rhetorical question… it is not meant to, it is just intended to go deeper into the logic of your argument.

          4. len

            Glad I’m making sense ^_^ It’s refreshing to actually just have a civilised discussion about this issue!

            The thing about drawing a line on when a pregnancy should be terminated is trust once again. I think most people are fine with having a cut-off point of some description, because there is a stage when a foetus is most definitely alive and can even survive outside the womb. It’s not something that necessarily has to be legislated for in any crazy fashion because logistically, a woman will find out she’s pregnant very early on. It won’t take her too much time to decide what to do, and since pregnancy is such a dramatic change, there would be next to no cases of women going through with months and months of pregnancy only to change their mind. I mean, could you imagine that ever happening? And we have quite a lot of stats to help us prove this. Sorry, I have no time to look up the exact percentage, but roughly 89% or abortions happen within the first 9 weeks of pregnancy.

            The main reasons a woman would change her mind is if a woman is further along in her pregnancy and her health starts deteriorating in a serious way, or her baby has fatal abnormalities. In cases such as these, I think it’s wisest to allow doctors and their patients work out what’s best to do – with the patient having the ultimate say in the matter. I find it impossible to believe that a woman would in that circumstance be flippant about her decision. Most likely, she really wants to have the child, and there are plenty of women who risk their lives and health for their baby, more power to them.

            So yes, I believe we should stick to our guns and agree that a woman keeps her bodily integrity and her rights at all stages of pregnancy. That is my argument, but it would not be too great a concession to make a cut-off point when it comes to certain abortions – IF we provide easy and quick access to clinics and provide abortions very cheaply so women don’t need to waste time finding the money to have one.

            Decisions to have abortions after the cut-off point would involve the opinion of a qualified professional (or more than one), who I would happily trust to help the woman make the right decision. We don’t really need lawmakers to be involved, nor any of the general public either for that matter. It’s a private affair.

            There may be some difficult cases though, and I’m not going to pretend this could never happen. I’m not sure what would be the best option there, and I haven’t seen any examples really. But the reason I would stress that the woman has the final say is simply because I can easily imagine foul play and some doctors might veto the woman’s decision. We’ve seen this before, when women tried to get access to contraception and doctors refused on the grounds that they thought the woman should have more children. Or more recently with doctors refusing to give women the morning after pill (this has happened to a friend of mine, it’s horrible).

            Then again, perhaps the woman could request a different opinion, and perhaps there should be a way to contest decisions in a court of law when all else fails. Will have to research this further but in any case, these instances would be minuscule.

            And the best way to prevent abortions is to give young people proper sex education and relationship advice (many young girls and women are pressured into having unprotected sex and they might not know how to stand up for themselves), and make contraception either free or heavily subsidised so people are safer and more informed. Personally I think pregnancy tests should be cheaper too! And it’s telling to see how anti-choice groups tend to ignore any of these strategies, or sometimes fight against them!

    1. Holden Magroin

      Isn’t there more than one proc choice group? How can you be certain where other pro choice groups funding is coming from?

      1. Sharrow

        Cos they are all grass roots groups struggling to get a national campaign up and running.

        Why do you have a list of those who think are getting funding from somewhere?

        1. Holden Magroin

          No, I was just wondering if you were referring to a single group in your initial comment. You wrote “The newly forming pro choice campaign”. Is this a single group or several?

          If it is several how do you know that none of them is getting funding from abroad?

          1. Choice

            A point to add is there are many individuals, who are not part of any new or old pro-choice group (but may share views on issues) that are creating posters like these, you do not need funding to make a poster, just some creativity and a few quid to print them, grassroots groups do it all the time with practically no budget …

            Until a group or individual claims responsibility over this activity its pointless debating where “funding” came from, when none might of been needed in the first place. Its not a billboard campaign!!

  7. AJB

    Maybe the people who want to report this to the Guards could mention that these exact same construction-hoardings have, in the last few weeks, been covered with idiotic and vile white-supremacist graffiti. As someone who lives in Smithfield I find that far more objectionable than the pro-choice posters (which, even if you disagree with their aim, are at least based on a rational view of politics, community and social change).

    Strange that people get so riled about these posters but not about the racist graffiti…

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