Dear Granny


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Lisa writes:

The online buzz around the Marriage Referendum is almost deafening. And that’s great, the diversity of voices is imperative to the campaign.

However, there are some sections of society who are removed from this. Who don’t see the witty Tweets, don’t comment on the powerful stories you share on Facebook, or watch the moving videos as they go viral.

My Gran is one of them. A strong and independent 75, I learned a few weeks ago that she opposed the referendum, and this broke my heart.

I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t challenge her on her points, but rather than cause a scene at the dinner table, I chose to engage her privately and send her a simple card, explaining that this referendum meant a lot to me and why, in the hopes she may reconsider her position now that I’ve given her a personal reason to.

I had so much to say and so little space, but it’s better than not having said anything at all I suppose.I would encourage everyone to speak to the people around them. Don’t take it for granted how they’ll vote unless you can be sure. Let’s make history.

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86 thoughts on “Dear Granny

  1. Bertie Blenkinsop

    I think it’s a good thing taking the time to write to your Grandmother like that but then feeling the need to go public with it just baffles me.

    Maybe I’m just of a different generation.

    1. spud1

      I hope Lisa decides to post up Granny’s letter in response to why she’s believes she’s right to vote no….
      for balance like…

    2. Lisa D

      Hi Bertie,

      Following a conversation with a friend recently who’s in a similar position with a relative, I chose to send this in in the hopes it might encourage others to do the same.

      I have no way of knowing if it will read or well received when it’s delivered, but if it starts someone else’s conversation then that’s still a positive outcome.

      1. bertie blenkinsop

        Hi Lisa,

        Fair play to you for responding. On reflection, I was probably a bit harsh lumping you in with the “look at me” set. I hope you get the response you’re hoping for.


        1. Gers

          But then she wouldnt be able to post it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Broadsheet, younameit…. Anyway, Go Granny!!!

        2. brytothey

          Fair play, Lisa.

          I sent an email to my parents because every conversation ended up in us talking over each other in a “no it doesn’t”, “yes it does” type discussion that was more heated than pantomime, but just as pointless.

          I got no response, so have no idea if either the quashing of each issue or the scenario about future gay grandchildren had any impact, but writing was far easier and made me feel far more content that at least my side was explained fully.

          1. Lisa D

            Thanks brytothey,
            I’m far better in writing than I am in a spoken debate. I don’t think on my feet. And like you said, it’s nice to make your point and leave it with them rather than causing an argument that just frustrates all involved.

            Gers, it must be a sad life you lead if you think everything everyone does is for the approval of others. I couldn’t talk to her, so I wrote a note, and I shared it in the hopes it might encourage more people to do the same and open up lines of conversation that may otherwise be cut off.

      2. lemoneadi


        You’ve given me the push to write one to my granny. Thank you for this.

        Also I may steal some of what you so eloquently wrote!

        1. Lisa D

          Lemoneadi – I’m so glad! You made my day saying that :)

          That’s all I hoped for when I sent this in, that someone else might start a conversation before it’s too late.

          Steal away!

  2. Mikeyfex

    “the diversity of voices is imperative to the campaign”

    H’ya. The diverse voices get on well here alright.

    Then closes with “Don’t take it for granted how they’ll vote unless you can be sure”. Does that mean they can be diverse, but not stay diverse?

    1. newsjustin

      Any sign of a No vote or a doubtful Yes must be crushed. It’s for love after all!

  3. ZeligIsJaded

    I’d have gone for a bigger card – looks a bit cramped.

    Lovely sentiment, but would have benefited from a feint-rule.

  4. scottser

    lisa the eternal optimist thinking she can change a granny’s mind.
    yeh, good luck with that.

  5. Joe835

    I’ve considered writing to a family member who I think will vote No, but like a lot of No voters she’s not confirming one way or another to avoid debate. I blame that on the brow-beating way some of the Yes side have gone about making their point. It hasn’t been healthy at all and the arrogance of many on the Yes side, who have assumed everyone will fall into line, has seen their support to slip from 70+ to below 60% right now.

    It annoys me because the No side, regardless of the Yes side’s arrogance, have been so much worse and could have been left to it. They should have been exposed at every turn, not given ammo like removing their posters. Or indeed allowing their posters to cover swathes of the country unopposed, giving the impression of a much bigger movement.

    I still think it will pass – mainly because of the holy trifecta of Daniel O’Donnell, Mary McAleese and Mrs Brown getting behind the Yes side. Sums us up, really.

    1. newsjustin

      Pat Carey has also played a blinder. He’s won more people over to the Yes side that almost anyone else imho.

      1. Mani

        Don’t do yourself a disservice, I think you’ve done more for a Yes vote on this site than anyone else.

    2. scottser

      so what you’re saying is lisa should threaten to put her granny into a home if she doesn’t vote yes? ya know, just to be consistent like.

  6. Bazzamatta

    I’m bloody sick of people being bamboozled when others decide to vote NO. It doesn’t bloody matter which way people vote! Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Even that 75 year old granno. Fair play to her, I say.

    1. Nially

      It absolutely does matter, you numpty. People are entitled to their opinion, but not entitled to have it go unchallenged or debated.

  7. Clampers Outside!

    It says ‘(cont on back)’….

    That’s a bleedin’ cliffhanger… How does it finish! …will Granny vote ‘no’ and break Lisa’s heart or will Granny vote ‘yes’ …was the bit on the back worth reading?

    Tune in next referendum, same batsh*t debates, same batsh*t religious head the balls!

  8. andydufresne2011

    The point of putting up the card is to show others that it’s ok to ask an older family members to reconsider their opinion. And to try to gently persuade using love and a few simple facts. There’s nothing wrong with that. If only all debate was like that. She’s making her sentiments known and that’s a good thing. It may sway Granny. It may not.

    Whatever way you look at it, giving a certain section of society the same rights as everyone else can only be a good thing to most right thinking empathetic people. Everything else is quite literally beside the point.

    1. Paolo

      How would she feel if she got a note unexpectedly from her granny telling her to vote No?

      I’d say she be pretty peeved that her Granny felt she was incapable of deciding for herself and I would imagine that it would reinforce Lisa’s decision to vote Yes.

      1. wearnicehats

        I doubt she’d plaster it all over social meeja under the the hashtag #my granny’sabigot anyway. Wouldn’t sit well. 99.9% of everything on this interminable referendum is done to make the poster look hip and cool and right-on


    2. Lisa D

      Andy – you hit the nail on the head. I’m glad you saw it that way. I’m just letting her know how I feel, because up to now I hadn’t.

      Also, I think it’s easy to disregard something if you’ve no personal connection to it, so that’s what I wanted to bring to the discussion. By showing her how it was personal to me, might hopefully make it personal for her.

      I can’t demand anyone Vote Yes, no matter how much I’d like them to. But I can present them with my view, and ask them to consider it in their own decision making. That’s the best I can do. I can’t hope to sway anyone’s vote, but I can do my part on behalf of the wider community.

    1. Randy Ewing

      A majority of the Country will sadly Vote No.

      It is a Big Deal !

      Some will never get over it.

      1. Paolo

        I really really doubt that. It will be a landslide Yes and then, thankfully, we won’t have to look at all of the tedious posts facebook and broadsheet.

        1. Randy Ewing

          I hope youre right.

          I feel the Yes vote is very soft and more likely not to turn up and vote.

          The No’s won’t be stopped, sure the bishops told them too.

  9. Corky Duke

    this is the kind of drivil the YES campaign are all about…..the “X-Factor sob stories”. This is one reason im voting No believe it or not. Im fed up with these poor me stories and the approach they are trying to sell the yes vote.

    1. Casey

      Your powers of persuasion have moved me….
      Your passionate argument has given me pause for thought….
      Your eloquence has inspired me …..
      Your thought out well reasoned syntax is helping me change my mind….

      …. will say no-one ever after reading your piteous diatribe above.

      Another day, possibly the same Iona intern with his pitiful “Vote NO cos WAAHHHH butthurt” pious poopery.

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      I may be a Yesser but you’re 100% spot on about the “X-Factor sob stories”!!
      Can’t cope with any more luvvy duvvy.

  10. Murtles

    Ahh strong arming Grannies to change their lifelong beliefs in the sunset of their years. Yes Granny, screw your beliefs and opinions and accept that you’ve been wrong all your life because I say so. Now just vote Yes and accept that you’ve wasted your time here on this planet.

    The older demographic are predominantly No and the younger predominantly Yes (supposedly). What should matter is to get a high percentage turn out to vote. If we get less than 50% (I would say even less than 60%) turn out, it doesn’t matter what side wins as the country has not had its say. Voter apathy needs to be kicked to touch.

    1. Don Pidgeoni

      Except she hasn’t strong-armed her, she has explain why she hasn’t felt able to discuss it with her and why she thinks the reasons the No side put up are wrong and why Gran should consider voting yes. The crying is a bit emotive I’ll grant you but it is an emotive issue and she clearly feels passionately about it.

    2. Rob_G

      If your granny thought that black people and white people shouldn’t be allowed to eat in the same restaurants, would you just say ‘Ah sure, didn’t she live through the Emergency’ and just let her get on with it?

  11. rotide

    You appear to live with your granny or at least live nearby. I’m confused as to why you didn’t just take her aside or bring her out and spend time talking to her where you could answer questions or address whatever concerns she has.

  12. (name)

    I asked my mother at the weekend how is she going to vote. She replied “Oh I don’t know, I’ll read the papers” (Irish Independent & Daily Mail). Considering she met my boyfriend for the first time 2 months ago I thought it was was a sure thing. Apparently not.

  13. (name)

    Mother is still getting used to the fact of me having a boyfriend. I can tell she is not comfortable talking about it. It’s grand, I still have a few days to sort her out.

    1. Don Pidgeoni

      Good point. Well I hope she comes around. Tell her she is only cutting off her nose to spite her face – no big day out for her either! :)

    1. St. John Smythe

      think her Gran is a Broadsheet reader?

      If so, maybe her name is Agnes Betty Marie

  14. mike

    What if the granny send a card to the OP, saying that she was crying about all the homosexuals that will go to hell because of the gay. Would the OP change to be a no voter. Doubt it. I think it would have been better for the OP and her granny to just agree that their votes will cancel on another out and leave it.

    1. McKay

      Maybe it would. On a similar issue I was talking to a friend earlier, upset that his sister had informed him that unless his in-laws (Father & Mother in-law) changed their vote to Yes, there’d be no further contact between him and her. He was incredibly upset – he and his wife are voting Yes anyway. How can he win in this scenario? Is the dogma on both sides that entrenched? Does anyone else have similar stories?

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Ya, my cousin (a Mick McCarthy fan) and I haven’t spoken since May 2002.

      2. Mikeyfex

        A woman will cease contact with her brother if the parents of the woman the brother married don’t vote yes? She seems nice.

        1. McKay

          Yep, that’s it in a nutshell. Apparently there’s no room for negotiation on this issue as far as she’s concerned. She tends to be quite militant on gay issues and sees this as a slight on her as a person. Over the past couple of weeks she’s encountered some hostility going door-to-door so I’m thinking it’s her venting spleen…

  15. Neevis Beavis

    I don’t see this as strong arming or emotional blackmail. The granny made her feelings clear to everyone and Lisa has just done the same.

    I recently sat down with someone I love and said “tell me your concerns and I’ll do my best to see if I have any answers for you”. She had a great many concerns, she had consulted the referendum website and felt some of her concerns were not addressed so we went through them one by one and had a grand chat about it.

    Her biggest issue was that that she didn’t know the difference between marriage and civil partnership. She kept hearing “constitutional protection” but had no understanding of what that phrase even meant until I explained it to her. My biggest worry now is how many more there are like her who just see “constitutional protection” as some sort of buzz words with no real tangible meaning behind them.

    We chatted away for a while and I think we both walked away feeling better for it. I didn’t ask if her mind had been changed. Her vote is private and totally up to her. I suspect she’ll still vote no but that’s not something I’ll ever know. She can vote whatever way she chooses to but at least now she’s voting with a better understanding of what she’s voting on.

    1. rotide

      Your approach was roughly one thousand times better and more useful than the ‘catch tear drops on a card and send it to granny approach’

  16. Weldoninhio

    I can’t wait until Saturday. The amount of militant straight people i’ve come across in the past few weeks is amazing. “Look at me, Look at me, I love the gays, I’m so liberal.” I’ve seen friends on FB telling anyone thats voting no to unfriend them. I even seen one person tell someone who said that they were voting no, that they were thinking of buying a property from his family, but aren’t now. These aren’t teenagers, this was a full grown woman telling a full grown man that because of his opinion she wouldn’t deal with his parents.

    I’ve deleted so many people from FB over this militant nonsense. People demanding equal rights for all, well, except for freedom of though and expression from those who disagree with them.

    Each and every person i’ve deleted has been straight. Not one of my many gay FB friends have been militant, shouty, abusive towards the other side. They talk about hope, and their dreams for the future if this referendum goes in their favour.

    Saturday can’t some soon enough.

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