GoldenPlec doesn't normally get involved in politics but the upcoming referendum on the 8th Amendment is just too important to ignore so we set about talking to Irish musicians about the referendum and their hopes and fears for the campaign and beyond.
Nigel Kenny, 34 from Dunmore, Co.Galway is the drummer with one of Ireland's finest rock outfits Bitch Falcon. Kenny shared his opinions on the upcoming referendum to repeal the 8th amendment with us. While he is is hoping for a fair and balanced campaign, he fears what will follow will be anything but.
What way are you voting and why?
I will be voting to repeal. It is the only rational and fair decision.
Have you been on a personal journey to come to this decision?
No, it's very simple for me. If some people's human rights are not respected then all of ours are at risk. My choices should not be any more or less valuable because of my race, gender or sexuality. As rights disappear for one, they disappear for all eventually.
Have you had difficult conversations about this issue? If so what advice would you give people who are hesitant to have these conversations?
Everyone I know shares my view (I'm a musician living in Dublin in fairness) so I haven't had to have a difficult conversation yet if I had though, I would try to keep in mind a few things; Firstly, there is massive investment in this issue from overseas by far-right, religious (mostly American) entities who are misinforming the public.
They will confuse the electorate in much the same way they did with the gay marriage vote, so have compassion and understanding when you get some wild shit thrown back at you about abortion on demand etc. Tactics employed in the recent American election and Brexit will be in full force until this referendum is seen through to it's end. As a result, be patient, calm and well-informed when delivering your message.
Do not vilify the church or religion. Find common ground between you and the person who has a different opinion to you and use that common ground to alter their opinion. Ask questions. Deliver facts. Most importantly, listen. Everything you need to know about the person you are talking to will be discovered by asking questions and listening fully to their answers.
Research and use reputable sources of information and most importantly, research the arguments to retain the 8th and mount your own information campaign against them. There is no reason why the 8th should be retained. It makes no sense, so all you have to do is calmly and rationally propose the facts as to why it shouldn't and this is how we will make this a better country for everyone.
You won't change everyone's mind but retain your dignity (and the dignity of all of us wishing for Repeal) and maintain composure when you are faced with people who are not open to changing their opinion.
Is there anything you’d like to say to undecided voters?
Do not rely on your Facebook timeline for information. Do not rely solely on your friends opinions. We should always challenge our own bias and listen to others who have a different opinion to us, but ultimately, your decision is determined by facts.
It is okay to be wrong sometimes and it takes great strength to say: "You know what, i believed this but now upon reviewing the facts, i feel differently". It should never be embarrassing, but It is never okay to proceed as if you are right without confronting facts just because they are contrary to your own opinion.
Facts V Opinion has only one winner ultimately. Refer to http://www.refcom.ie/ for impartial, fact based information. If anyone is undecided and is open and wants to talk about it, I am available to chat without judgement!