Trinity College Students’ Union (TCDSU) are conducting a widespread canvass of Dublin today, with 16 stalls set up in the city centre staffed by students to urge the public to vote in favour of a repeal of the Eighth Amendment. The canvassing effort takes place ten days before the polls open on May 25.
Speaking about the canvassing campaign in a statement, TCDSU President Kevin Keane said: “For decades, the student movement has led the charge for reproductive rights in Ireland. With 10 days to go until we go to the polls, we are placing huge emphasis on conversations with voters.” Keane referred to the previous canvassing efforts of TCDSU at College Green which took place over the the previous 3 weeks and described the public response as “incredible”.
Keane continued: “As we have seen time and time again, from the Citizens’ Assembly and the Joint Oireachtas Committee, to towns and houses across the country, when people are given the full dispassionate facts about the Eighth Amendment and abortion, they are overwhelmingly likely to emerge pro-choice.”
The student campaign teams aim to hand out 15,000 leaflets before the end of the campaign and have targeted central locations like Talbot street, South William street and Grafton street. A number of public transport locations, Conolly station, Heuston station and Tara Street station, have also been included.
TCDSU Education Officer Alice MacPherson outlined the importance of TCDSU’s canvassing effort in a statement as polling day approaches. “With the referendum just around the corner, many people have yet to decide which way they will be voting on May 25th. TCDSU want to speak to as many undecided voters as possible. For many people, the last few weeks of campaigning have created more questions than answers. With passion on both sides, this will only intensify as voting day gets closer.”
MacPherson referenced the growing disinformation that has developed in recent days about what repealing the Eighth Amendment will entail. “It is vital that we have conversations about what repeal means, bust any myths or mistruths and make sure people have the chance to make an informed vote. We are here to listen as well as talk, right up until polls close on the 25th of May. ”
TCDSU are also targeting commuters at the end of the working day with a banner drop at House 6 at 6pm. Dropped from the top floor, the banner will read “Vote Yes, For Care, Compassion & Change”.
The super canvass follows on from previous campaigns organised by TCDSU including a voter’s registration drive and a #Ringthelads campaign to encourage men to vote in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment.