Videos


'Making a Holy Show of Myself', a sketch on abortion (or the lack of it) on the island of Ireland. It is to the island of Ireland's shame that in the 21st century it continues to abandon half its population to a reliance on crossing the Irish Sea to Britain and elsewhere to have an abortion. It is to Ireland's shame that not only is the exercise of women's reproductive rights denied them on their own turf, but that a culture of silence is rigorously enforced under pressure from church, state, family and society at large. Irish women's abortions on foreign soil thus become the dark secret of the individual woman engendering a deep sense of shame and a fear of retribution. How to break this silence has been a major preoccupation of Irish feminists at home and abroad. I've been an outspoken pro-choice activist for half a century after my experience of a back-street abortion in London before the British 1967 Abortion Act became law. Along with many others I've been a member of the Irish Women's Abortion Support Group (IWASG) and volunteer in it successor, the Abortion Support Network (ASN) based in London, both groups helping Irish abortion seekers coming to Britain. With so many others I've pounded the pavements picketing and demonstrating, composed countless letters and petitions to people in high places, written journal essays and articles and given talks in colleges and to women's groups and political organisations, all to no avail. Northern Ireland and the Republic are still abortion-free zones! As my years progress and my impatience deepens I've resorted, not only to recounting the story of my own back-street abortion on radio and TV, but to including it in my book, 'Ireland's Hidden Diaspora: the abortion trail and the making of a London-Irish underground, 1980-2000'. More recently I hit on the idea of doing a comedy sketch on the silences surround abortion in Ireland. 'Making a Holy Show of Myself: an Abortion Monologue' is the result of my efforts.
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