Generation 8th: Two exceptional Irish grandparents reveal why they're voting Yes this Friday 2 years ago

Generation 8th: Two exceptional Irish grandparents reveal why they're voting Yes this Friday

Sheila Donohue and Frank Crummey make two compelling cases for a Yes vote this Friday.

At a Grandparents for Repeal event in Bray recently, JOE caught up with two people - Sheila Donohue and Frank Crummy - seeking to disprove any notion that people of a certain generation want to see the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution retained.

Sheila Donohue's daughter Siobhan was one of thousands of Irish women unable to access the care she needed when she found out her baby would be born with a condition called Anencephaly, a serious birth defect which sees a baby born without certain parts of the brain and skull.

It took a journey to Liverpool for Siobhan to avoid months of carrying a baby that she knew would not survive birth.

"Here she was when she needed her country to look after her, and to be cared for, over this huge thing in her life, and she was deported," Sheila told JOE.

"There are these people who try to make out that everything is either black or white, good or bad, no - it's all grey."

Frank Crummey, born in Kimmage in Dublin in 1936, has always been considered ahead of his time in terms of his attitude to the rights of women and children, while he has campaigned for years on issues as diverse as corporal punishment and the imposition of the Irish language on an unwilling people.

Frank is calling for a Yes vote this Friday.

"I plead with every other man who has any dignity in himself, and who has any children or grandchildren, daughters or granddaughters, who have suffered and may continue to suffer if the 8th Amendment is not repealed now," he said.

He also explained a chance meeting with an older gentleman, and the bond formed over Frank's choice of clothing while he was tending to his garden.

"I was doing the gardening and I was wearing my Repeal jacket," he revealed, "and my badges. An old man walking past with his dog came into the garden, and he gave me a hug, and said 'congratulations, that's wonderful'. I brought him in for a cup of coffee and I've got to know him since."