Fanfare For The Roscommon Man



The Marriage referendum electoral map of the Republic of Ireland

‘No’-voting Roscommon/South Leitrim.

The Heart of Darkness?

Or something else entirely?

There have been quite a few sneering and cruel remarks about the people of Roscommon/South Leitrim that voted ‘No’ by a narrow margin (51.48%) in #MarRef.

That was surely a disappointment for the 17,615 constituents who voted ‘Yes’ but more soul destroying for that county and a half was the attitude of many social commenters who took the opportunity to belittle and demonise the entire population there.

Screwed over by government on issues like healthcare access, job creation and clean drinking water, these are not people who deserve that treatment. These are people who are mostly used to being forgotten about and not noticed.

Several other constituencies had incredibly tight votes – Donegal West was Yes by .05% or 33 votes – it was a very closely contested referendum in other rural areas. It’s a shame there were any constituencies that voted ‘No’ but to be the only one is unfortunate.

These are counties ravaged by emigration and the flow of younger inhabitants to urban centres and jobs. Sligo, Dublin, Letterkenny and Galway are typically the places where they live and vote. Ros/South Leitrim doesn’t have an urban centre larger than Roscommon Town (12,500). The younger voter is evidently a Yes.

Having canvassed voters’ opinions in the area in the run up to Friday, I noticed there was a disconnect with the Yes campaign and message that I hadn’t encountered in Dublin. Many rural people felt talked down to and alienated. They felt shouted at. They got left behind by the Yes campaign which is worth reflecting on…..(cont at link below)

In defence of Roscommon/South Leitrim (Paddy McKenna)

Thanks John Gallen

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61 thoughts on “Fanfare For The Roscommon Man

    1. Delacaravanio

      The rest of the country managed to vote yes despite not having streets paved with gold. The fact that the strongest yes vote came from working class urban estates where anti-government parties are strongest and anti-water protests most militant puts a lie to this nonsense about how Roscommon is somehow unique in getting a bum deal from a government that turned its back on the disadvantaged. How is Roscommon more disadvantaged than, say, inner-city Limerick, or ghost estates in Kerry that don’t even have paved roads? This article is nothing more than the brain farts of someone who can’t face up to the simple fact that Roscommon is a backwards place.

      1. Caroline

        The special pleading is bollox but so is the notion that they’re just an extra bit more backwards. It’s a quirk of demographics. Big deal.

  1. Jackdaw

    They elected Ming Flanagan a few years ago so the result yesterday was hardly surprising.

  2. smiffy

    Maybe it’s just because nobody would want to go #hometovote if it meant they had to go to Leitrim.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly

      It’s lovely. Sure why would there be a song about it if it weren’t?

  3. Digs

    Nobody is dissing Roscommon here. Roscommon and Leitrim are amazing places. The people who live in them are amazing ly backward and inward looking, that’s all.

    1. Odis

      The probable reasons are
      1) They don’t like being patronised (see comments on here and Broadsheet. ie)
      2) A lot of the young, yes vote demographic, are abroad working.

  4. Mick Flavin

    My own county was saved from a similar fate by being in a constituency with Westmeath. 75 more people voted No than Yes in Longford. My vote is in Dublin.
    Roscommon will be tarred with a reputation it doesn’t really warrant. Young people as a rule voted Yes, and unfortunately there will always be a flight of young people from depressed rural areas (I know a fair few Rossies who voted in Dublin).

      1. Mick Flavin

        The bane of my life; having to clarify that that particular banger is one of Nerney’s…

          1. Mick Flavin

            Eh…a rejoinder based on another song title of “mine”…

            I’m afraid I got nothin’, Joe…

        1. Mani

          I love you like a gay man loves Pernod and quiche
          Come dance with me, Mary, in the marquee of drumlish.

          1. Mick Flavin

            Your father’s a Reilly, your mother’s a Lowry,
            I’ll marry you Mary if that bullock’s your dowry.

          2. Mani

            We’ll while out our days eating bacon and cabbage
            You’ll be my prone and I’ll be your savage.

  5. Bingo

    It’s a non-story.
    The fact is that 62% of the population voted ‘Yes’.
    Some of those votes came from Roscommon too you know….so give the Rossies a break.

    1. Digs

      Yes they did, but they will soon be run out of the territory by the elders! Once word gets back to chief Murphy, they will be looking for the gay sympathisers and there will be lynchings! Roscommons darkest day has not yet dawned.

  6. David Higgins

    Wrong map. Above is the new boundaries which don’t take effect until 2016. The old boundaries still apply

  7. Eoghany

    Being annoyed over bad drinking water and a lack of employment in the area is a really poor reason to want to deny gay people the opportunity to marry. I think if this is the case, it makes them look worse.

    1. All the good ones fly south for winter

      Unless gay people were coming out of the taps saying you’re fired buddy!

  8. Eliot Rosewater

    I think the Yes campaign organised a brilliant, effective campaign (the figures obviously back this up) but there were definitely elements that left a sour taste in my mouth. I would love to see a breakdown of how different age groups, nationalities, etc voted, but what we were subjected to in the run up to the vote was assumptions about how the elderly, rural, minorities (particularly eastern Europeans), and working class people were going to vote. Because of course, these people couldn’t be as progressive and enlightened as ourselves. And then add on top of that the idea that anybody voting no was a homophobic bigot. Sure, a lot were, but not all of them.

    Anyway, hoping that the positives of this referendum (and it is overwhelmingly positive) will carry on to future elections and referendums (particularly the youth vote and increased turnout).

    1. All the good ones fly south for winter

      “[b]ut there were definitely elements that left a sour taste in my mouth…”

      Maybe you got a little bit too involved.

      1. Eliot Rosewater

        @All The Good Ones: I knew when writing that I should re-phrase. But I’m a lazy, lazy man.

        1. All the good ones fly south for winter

          Who is your buddy? Never said no to a barrel full of fish.

  9. Formerly known as

    It is not like 90% of Roscommon/South Leitrim voted No. Give them a break.

    1. newsjustin


      Far more fruitful to hate the 37% of the nationwide voters who voted No. Inclusive hatred like.

      (The lunacy of complaining about a constituency that narrowly voted no and ignoring others who only narrowly voted yes is hilarious)

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly

        I’m the only one in my family who voted yes. I hate them all now. It’s just easier this way.

  10. Gaybo.

    The rest people of Ireland will come to realise that those who voted no in Roscommon South Leitrim were wise indeed.

  11. Lorcan Nagle

    What’s interesting is that at the last couple of anti-water charges marches, they speicifically talked about supporting the marraige equality referendum, and not to spike it to try and get at the government. Also, there were “Stick it to Enda, vote no!” posters stuck up around Liberty Hall during the May Day march. So there does seem to have been a movement linked to the current grassroots political movements that was opposed to the referendum for one reason or another.

  12. Wolfe tone

    Ironically all those who voted for equality thought a sizeable chunk of the population shouldn’t have a chance at being president until they reached a certain age. Ageism???

  13. Sharon's Boyfriend

    Way back in the day, when I was living in Rathmines, I had a girlfriend once who was from Roscommon…A trainee-nurse.
    Her surname was Horan, but anytime she got anything in the post she’d be up before anyone else and she’d change ‘Horan’ to ‘Moran’ before going back to bed, leaving the post for someone to pick up.
    She admitted all this to me later, arguing that it was better to be be a Moran than for people to assume she was a Whoran.

    She was a moron.

    Just sayin’…

  14. jeremy kyle

    About 17,000 voted No in Roscommon/South Leitrim.

    There was 750,000 no votes in Ireland all together.

    But, yeah single out the backward spud farmers.

  15. ExpatsCare

    51.48%… It was close, but yes won. The desire to now turn on one group or county is destructive and not helping. So close… Remember, 49% voted yes.

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