Why Saturday’s National Life Canvass Day shows we will win this referendum

Last Saturday, along with hundreds of other people across the country, I joined the Life Canvass going door to door in the winter sunshine to save the 8th.

It was the second National Life Canvass  Day and everywhere there were more teams, more canvassers, new volunteers and more people reached with the pro-life message.

Just under 50 teams brought out almost 600 volunteers to reach 16,000 people for the second massive, national canvassing blitz – an extraordinary display of people power which is building to be the largest grassroots endeavour seen in this country in recent times.

Much like every constituency, I imagine, we were a diverse bunch in our Dún Laoghaire canvassing team: mams juggling the normal Saturday chaos, dads who had just finished coaching kids at GAA, students, young professionals, carers, grandparents, seasoned activists, and newbies to the cause. 00

As we spanned out across St Fintan’s Park in Deansgrange, Mick, a regular on the Life Canvass, told me that in 1983 he had been barely old enough to vote, but that he had actually campaigned against the 8th amendment.

Now he was out every week going door to door asking people to retain the 8th, because he believes Ireland can do better than abortion, and wants to support women and protect children.

It reminded me that – before anyone goes to the ballot box – this referendum will firstly be decided in the human heart, and that there is no substitute for going to the doors to talk to people and having those vitally important conversations about retaining our constitutional protection for the right to life of both mother and baby.

It was extraordinary to see some constituencies, like Wicklow, Tipperary and Mayo field two or three canvass teams on Saturday, and the growth of local canvass teams has been a significant and positive development in the past six months especially.

All credit to the Life Canvass leaders: they’ve gathered, trained and empowered teams of committed and informed canvassers who are doing an incredible job talking to people at the doors and in the public square.

They’ve also unified pro-life activists behind one united, cohesive and focused canvassing effort which is reaping huge dividends. As we move into the last 7 months in the run up to the referendum, long may that continue.

If we double our efforts and our canvass numbers in the sort of unified and impressively well-organised outreach we saw on Saturday, we will defeat this abortion referendum, and Save the 8th.

Take a minute to look at the colourful photos on social media, or here on this page, of the Life Canvass –  the enthusiasm and energy literally jumps out at you, and no amount of funding from George Soros can buy that genuine desire to protect both vulnerable women and babies.

I have to say that I always find that the Canvass brings its own rewards, and it’s a genuine privilege to meet so many kind and decent people at the doors, like the woman who told me about her nephew who doctors were sure would not survive, but who is thriving and gorgeous and who deserved that chance at life.

Or the man who said that taking a human life was never the answer, and took a bumper sticker for his car, one of several who did so in that small corner of our constituency.

Amongst the feedback nationally was someone so impressed with the Life Canvass booklet that they asked for a whole box to share with students in Donegal. And with every National Canvass new people join the initiative to Save the 8th because pro-life visibility brings more people to the campaign and to the cause.

A huge thanks to everyone who canvassed all week, and who continue, despite the cold and the dark, to bring the pro-life message to the people so that we can have a real, meaningful conversation about abortion.

If you are not part of the Life Canvas yet, please sign up here . Because it’s always, always better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.



See more on the National Life Canvass Day HERE including Memes posted on the day