Former Independent Dail candidate Emmett Corcoran has released the following statement today: “Roscommon-South Leitrim voters defeated the Marriage Equality referendum today and are the only ones to have done so in the country. The knee-jerk reaction to this is to say we are backwards. I don't think that's fair. People have a right to vote as they wish.”
The Roscommon man continued to say “However, I would feel that perhaps some people who voted no and who didn't vote at all may have voted / abstained against the government. The deep distrust which remains high in the minds of Roscommon people towards the government is fully warranted given the fact we've been lied to so often by the current administration. There was an element of misplaced anger in the result locally although it was by no means the deciding factor.” While not neglecting to acknowledge that the most visible political party on the ground in the county was indeed Fine Gael. Raising the question, did Fianna Fail canvas at all on the ground?
“I have gone on the record for supporting a Yes vote, nationally that has carried but here locally I feel we have a lot of work to do if we are going to progress as a community. It would have been very hard for me to campaign for equal opportunities for rural Ireland and not have supported equal rights for all Irish people, oblivious of our differences,” explained Corcoran.
“I know that many of the No voter in Roscommon are very supportive of Equal Rights for the LGBT community and for various reasons felt this referendum was not the best way to achieve it. I may not agree with them but they are entitled to have and express their opinions however they feel best,” said the Strokestown businessman.
Corcoran expressed some concerns “I am concerned for the well being of the very many LGBT people in our communities, their friends and their families. A result such as this can send the wrong message to those both young and old. It is imperative they don't feel isolated or unwelcome here in Roscommon. Passions will run high in the coming days as they have in the past number of weeks. In particular we must ensure young LGBT people don't feel like they can't be themselves in their own home county. I don't have the ultimate solution, but I know one needs to be found. Let the gay people in our community know this: You are loved, you are accepted & today you are equal in the eyes of the law, never feel that you are not.”
“The wounds of a very divisive referendum are still fresh. Let us as a nation and as a community heal quickly and work hard to put aside our differences and find the commonalities that unite us. As a people we are stronger together,” said Mr. Corcoran, adding “Equality has been achieved today, history has been made, it's time to move forward and tackle the next obstacle. The marriage referendum result testifies to a greater social and economic threat to rural Ireland. Too many people both young and old have left our green pastures for greener ones. Now, we need to bring back the 250,000 + people who have left Ireland and give them the freedom to have a good life in the homes they have been forced to leave. We've had #HomeToVote now let us have #HomeToStay.”
Corcoran concluded by saying “Both Roscommon & Leitrim have been disproportionately affected by emigration. We now need to build communities that will bring those people home and provide a safe, secure and inclusive future for all the children of Roscommon.”
Roscommon | Leitrim | Galway | #MarRef
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