Ireland voted by an overwhelming majority to legalise same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the world to do so by popular vote. This decision, hailed as a social revolution, marks an important diminution of the authority of the Catholic Church over private morality. Arguably, it makes the Ireland of 2016 unrecognisable as the country disparaged in living memory as an arch-conservative ‘priest-ridden bog’. An alternative view suggests that the reality is rather different, and that Ireland is replacing one kind of conservatism with another, with disdain for the church and religion threatening to silence those who are slow to embrace change. Is Ireland becoming the tyranny of a liberal, cultural elite?
The speakers in this engaging debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas are: Angela Nagle, cultural critic, co-editor, Ireland Under Austerity; Cliodhna Ni Ghadhra, paralegal, Arthur Cox; Jon O’Brien, president, Catholics for Choice; John Waters, Irish newspaper columnist, author, Jiving at the Crossroads and Was It For This? Why Ireland Lost the Plot. The chair is Rossa Minogue, online media producer, Institute of Ideas.