From Panti Gate to SU Elections

Elaine McCahill


The last few weeks have been pretty incredible. I remember when we heard that Panti was going to appear on the Saturday Night Show and we all thought that it was so encouraging that RTE had decided to have Rory perform and be interviewed afterwards. To his credit, Rory has been incredibly successful as Panti Bliss, from opening an eponymous trendy bar in the middle of town, to touring Australia with his show ‘All Stitched Up.’ However, while Rory is not known for mincing his words, I don’t think anyone could really have expected such a furore and a scandal of international proportions to break out over an interview with Brendan O’Connor. But quite the scandal did erupt and we at Trinity News have been right there with it the whole time.

We were the first to report on the fact that part of Rory’s interview had been edited out and taken offline and we were one of the few media outlets that Rory agreed to conduct an interview with. Conducted by our incredible online editor, Matthew Mulligan, it’s an incredibly insightful piece that gives a small glimpse into the anguish and joy that the last few weeks have held for Rory. Initially, it was nothing but bad press, with many thinking that he must have said something defamatory to cause such an outrage and spark a quick and hefty settlement from RTE. As has come to light, that is not the full story and Rory really got to put his side across through his ‘Noble Call’ speech at the Abbey Theatre that has now gone viral internationally and sparked responses from Graham Norton, Stephen Fry and Madonna to name but a few. The story is far from over however, and while the inertia behind it might be slowing a little this week, the incident has done nothing but give a large push to the gay marriage campaign and one can’t help but feel that this story will rumble on until a referendum is held next year.

On a slightly different matter, but one that also pertains to equal rights, a referendum on abortion is being held alongside the Leadership Race elections. As with the gay marriage debate, this referendum is all about equal rights, in this case the right for a woman to choose. Again, this was another issue that was brought to the forefront by a national scandal, that of the death of Savita Hallapanavar.

The simple fact is that no one wants that to happen again but legislation needs to go further than just merely protecting the life of the mother, it needs to be extended to a woman’s right to choose, whether it be for medical reasons or not. It is an issue that has been neglected in government for too long and I urge all of you to vote ‘yes’ in this referendum and mandate your SU to campaign for your rights, the rights of your mothers, your sisters, your friends. Both of these campaigns are about equal rights, and our SU should be out there protesting for them.  As campaigning draws to a close this week, it has once again been brought to light that the policies of those running are becoming depoliticised and we have seen a reluctance from candidates to take a stance on a number of different issues, from abortion to the Frat. One can only hope that those who are elected will have structured views once elected. Regardless of impressions, or stunts or manifestos, I encourage all of you to read our interviews with the candidates and please go out and vote. it is such a pity that such a small proportion of our community votes when these officers are paid to work for you all year.