Monday, May 25, 2015

Up the Republic! (And Happy Memorial Day.)

On holidays, I usually have a post about the particular holiday, and Memorial Day has been no exception.

My first post, Decoration Day, was written in 2007. (Which means I started posting in 2006. Now that I have something to shoot for, I guess I’ll keep Pink Slip alive at least until I hit the big 1-0 in 2016.)

Last year, I had a sad Memorial Day post, as I’d lost both my husband and oldest friend in the preceding moths.

This year, while I will keep up the tradition of thinking about veterans in general, and my dead loved ones in particular, my shout out this Memorial Day goes to The Republic of Ireland, which last Friday became the first country to approve gay marriage by popular vote. And that popular vote wasn’t close at all: 62.1% voted a resounding YES!

I must note that the one and only voting constituency (out of 43 in the country) that voted NO (narrowly) was Roscommon, from whence cometh the Rogers family. My other ancestral precincts (Mayo an Louth) were with the majority.

One area of Donegal which, like Roscommon is rural and remote, narrowly voted YES – by 33 votes.

Many years ago, my husband and I spent a weekend in Donegal Town (population 2,600), and on Saturday went into a pub for a traditional session. We were struck by the number of seemingly gay men who were there. Now I’m not sure that these lads, who were mostly older, were actually out, but they sure seemed gay. And they were having a great time singing along with the session musicians, and busting a few moves. We had a great time, too. As the Irish might say, it was a good bit of the old craic.

I thought of these fellows when I read about that small margin that carried YES in Donegal.

I like to think that at least some of the Town’s voters went to the polls and voted YES because they knew some of those lads who Jim and I had run into in what was, at least for that Saturday night when we were there, Donegal’s gay bar, and said, ‘Fair play to them.’

YES, indeed.

Imagine that: poor, backward, priest-ridden Ireland…

Anyway, this being Memorial Day, I will be heading out tomorrow with my cousin Barbara to put geraniums on family graves, including those of our great-grandparents John (Co. Roscommon) and Margaret Joyce (Co. Mayo) Rogers, and Matthew and Bridget Trainor (both from County Louth).

Up the Republic!

And Happy Memorial Day to all.

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