Wednesday, 28 September 2016

This House Rejects the Idea of an Afterlife.

This evening I took part in a debate hosted by the Literary and Historical Society in University College Dublin. The motion was 'This House Rejects the Idea of an Afterlife' and I was speaking, unsurprisingly, for the proposition. The motion was defeated, also not unsurprisingly. What I took away from the debate was that people are happy to hold faith-based beliefs with no supportive evidence if that belief gives them hope and succour. For most people who spoke or asked questions, the afterlife was a very personal thing, in many cases separate from religion and they seemed to struggle to understand the harm that holding such beliefs could cause. 

This is the text of my contribution to the debate.

This House Rejects the Idea of an Afterlife:

Thank you for the invitation to debate with you here this evening.

As an atheist I reject the idea of an afterlife. I reject the idea that some part of us continues to exist after we have died. I simply see no evidence to support this claim.

Is it possible to be an atheist and still hold a belief in an afterlife? I do not think it is. Belief in an afterlife is usually closely connected to belief in a god type figure. I do not think that the belief in an afterlife is rational or in keeping with the best available evidence. The late, great Carl Sagan said that ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’. The idea of an afterlife is an extraordinary claim and I look forward to the extraordinary evidence that the opposition will be presenting this evening.

We have very little problem in accepting that no part of us existed before we existed, no one is debating the before-life. So why do we cling to the belief that some part of us will continue to exist when we stop existing. Why do practically all cultures and most religions believe in some form of afterlife with varying amounts of related and integrated dogma? We have, over the centuries and continents, tried to conceptualise the idea of an afterlife with reincarnation or being sent to a Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Limbo, Heofon, Shamayim, Tartarus, Anaon, Uffern, Asura, Peklo, Bagobo, Naraka, Tian, Swarga Loka, Narka Loka, Deva Loka, Mictlan, Sheol, Hades, Omeyocan, Kiko-Rangi, and so on and so on.

I think it is important to bear in mind that the idea of an afterlife is a faith-based belief. There is simply no robust evidence that can be tested to prove the existence of an afterlife. Faith is the word people use when they do not have enough evidence to justify holding a belief, but continue to hold the belief anyway. Faith is pretending to know things you don’t know.

Faith is different to hope. Faith is a claim, you are claiming to know something – for example claiming to know that there is an afterlife. Hope is not making a claim. One could hope there is an afterlife. One could hope that they will once again get to spend time with much missed loved ones. They could hope to exist in a state of suspended bliss, without pain or sadness. One could hope that a life lived under certain circumstances or by following certain rules would be rewarded after death. They could hope that those who have wronged them will suffer for those wrongs for all eternity. Hope can give comfort. Hope can give solace and alleviate distress. But no amount of hope makes something true. Faith, on the other hand is making claims about knowledge.

So what part of us is it that is supposed to continue to exist after we die. Is it our soul? Our spirit? Our consciousness? Our essence? Our energy? A vibration? A spark? The force? The soul is supposed to be incorporeal and immaterial and yet some religions will tell us that it is capable of being judged and, if found wanting, tortured for all eternity.

What about our 'energy'? I’ve often heard people, usually the "I'm spiritual but not religious" new age types who have turned away from religion but who still hold a belief in an afterlife, say something along the lines of “I believe that our energy lives on”. They will usually attempt to rationalise this belief by saying something like “energy cannot be destroyed, it simply changes form, it is this energy that lives on in an afterlife” or “if you blow out a candle the energy doesn’t disappear, it simply becomes something else”.

Professor Sean M. Carroll in his book “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe itself” has something to say on this.

He says:
The trick is to think of life as a ‘process’ rather than a substance. When a candle is burning there is a flame that clearly carries energy. When we put the candle out the energy doesn’t ‘go’ anywhere. The candle still contains energy in its atoms and molecules. What has happened instead is that the process of combustion has ceased. Life is like that: it’s not ‘stuff’, it’s a set of things happening. When that process stops, life ends”.

Let’s go back a bit. Earlier I talked about how belief in an afterlife is a faith-based believe, that is a belief one holds without evidence. And I differentiated between a faith-based belief and a hope. It could be asked, what difference does it make to me what people believe, even if it is a faith-based belief with no evidence to support it, if it gives them hope. The short answer is none, it makes no difference to me. People are free to believe whatever they want. That is the essence of freedom of religion and belief.

The long answer is it makes every difference. The belief in an afterlife is not always a neutral belief. The belief in an afterlife is often tried to a dogma and a set of rules as to how one must behave in this life in order to pass a post-death judgement and receive a favourable outcome in the afterlife. A belief in the afterlife is probably one of religion’s most dangerous ideas. Gaining access to a favourable afterlife has led people to carry out the most awful acts of barbarity. Those who claim to have ‘insider knowledge’ into how the supernatural realm works and on how we can gain ‘eternal salvation' have motivated others to carry out atrocities on their behalf. Con-men and women use this ‘insider information’ to make millions, leaving havoc in their wake. Parents have been convinced not to give their children life-saving medication and have watched them die out of fear of questioning their god. False messiahs and prophets destroy lives with promises of salvation and a promised afterlife. Men and women blow themselves and others up for martyrdom and salvation.

So in the beginning I asked, why do so many cultures and religions have a belief in an afterlife? Simply because we fear death. We fear of our own mortality. An afterlife promises us release from this fear. But religions use this fear against us, it uses fear to control us. Religions have created these complex and convoluted supernatural realms and then placed themselves as the gatekeepers. To gain access you must have unquestioning faith, you must believe, you must obey, you must follow their rules or risk damnation forever.

Those against the proposition will try to convince you that a belief in an afterlife will encourage people to live good lives. That fear will 'keep them in line'. Again, there is simply no evidence for this. In fact the evidence suggests the opposite, for example atheists who make up an estimated 3.1% of the population of the US account for only 0.1% of the prison population. Research consistently shows that the countries with the lowest crime rates and highest levels of happiness are the least religious.

Rejecting the belief in an afterlife isn’t always easy. It means facing our own mortality head on. It means facing the reality that those we love who have died are gone. But it is also freeing. Many atheists will say that accepting there is no afterlife gave then a new appreciation for the one life they have here and now and for the time they spend with those loved ones.

Thank you.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

How did your TDs vote on Mick's Bill?

The following list shows how TDs voted on Mick's Bill; the Fatal Foetal Abnormalities Bill to amend the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act in order to allow abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities, brought by independent TD Mick Wallace. The Bill was defeated today by 95 to 45 votes. 

The Bill was a duplicate to the one brought by independent TD Clare Daly in 2015 which was defeated by 20 to 104 votes.

Seventeen TDs were absent or deliberately abstained from the vote. 

In 2015 Anne Ferris was the only Labour TD to break ranks and vote against the government however, this time all seven Labour TDs deliberately abstained from voting. 

The TD's in italics were identified by The Life Institute as being 'pro-life' candidates in the run up to GE16. The TDs in bold signed the National Women's Council's 'Breakthrough Manifesto for Women' where they pledged to support reproductive rights and to repeal the 8th Amendment.

Kate O'Connell (FG), Josepha Madigan (FG), Maria Bailey (FG) and Katherine Zappone (Ind), voted against the Bill despite all having pledged in the 'Breakthrough Manifesto for Women': 
"If elected, I will…support reproductive rights and repeal of the 8th Amendment by delivering a Referendum to remove the 8th Amendment from our Constitution and bring Ireland in line with International Human Rights Standards."

1. Bobby Aylward (FF) - No
2. Patrick Deering (FG) - No
3. Kathleen Funchion (SF) -  Yes
4. John McGuinness (FF) - No
5. John Paul Phelan (FG) - No

6. Heather Humphreys (FG) - No
7. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (SF) - Yes
8. Brendan Smith (FF) - No
9. Niamh Symth (FF) - No

10. Pat Breen (FG) - No
11. Joe Carey (FG) - No
12. Timmy Dooley (FF) - Yes
13. Michael Harty (Ind) - No

Cork East:
14. Pat Buckley (SF) - Yes
15. Kevin O'Keeffe (FF) - No
16. Sean Sherlock (Labour) - Absent/Abstention
17. David Stanton (FG) - No

Cork North-Central:
18. Mick Barry (AAA) - Yes
19. Billy Kelleher (FF) - Absent/Abstention
20. Dara Murphy (FG) - Absent/Abstention
21. Johnathon O'Brien (SF) - Yes

Cork North-West:
22. Michael Creed (FG) - No
23. Michael Moynihan (FF) - No
24. Aindrias Moynihan (FF) - No

Cork South-Central:
25. Simon Coveney (FG) - No
26. Micheál Martin (FF) - No
27. Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (SF) - Yes

Cork South-West:
28. Michael Collins (Ind) - No
29. Jim Daly (FG) - No
30. Margaret Murphy O'Mahony (FF) - No

31. Pearse Doherty (SF) - Yes
32. Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher (FF) - No
33. Charlie McConalogue (FF) - No
34. Joe McHugh (FG)  - No
35. Thomas Pringle (Ind) - Yes

Dublin Bay North:
36. Tommy Broughan (Ind for Change) - Yes
37. Richard Bruton (FG) - No
38. Sean Haughey (FF) - No
39. Finian McGrath (Ind) - Yes
40. Denise Mitchell (SF) - Yes

Dublin Bay South:
41. Eoghan Murphy (FG) - No
42. Jim O'Callaghan (FF) - No
43. Kate O'Connell (FG) - No*
44. Eamon Ryan (Green) - Absent/Abstention

Dublin Central:
45. Paschal Donohoe (FG) - No
46. Mary Lou McDonald (SF) - Yes
47. Maureen O'Sullivan (Ind) - Yes

Dublin Fingal:
48. Clare Daly (Ind) - Yes
49. Alan Farrell (FG) - No
50. Darragh O'Brien (FF) - No
51. Louise O'Reilly (SF) - Yes
52. Brendan Ryan (Lab) - Absent/Abstention

Dublin Mid-West:
53. John Curran (FF) - No
54. Frances Fitzgerald (FG) - Absent/Abstention
55. Gino Kenny (AAA/PBP) - Absent/Abstention
56. Eoin Ó' Broin (SF) - Yes

Dublin North-West:
57. Dessie Ellis (SF) - Yes
58. Noel Rock (FG) - No
59. Róisín Shortall (SD) - Yes

Dublin Rathdown:
60. Josepha Madigan (FG) - No*
61. Catherine Martin (Green) - Yes
62. Shane Ross (Ind) - Yes

Dublin South-Central:
63. Catherine Byrne (FG) - No
64. Joan Collins (Independents for Change) - Yes
65. Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF) - Yes
66. Bríd Smith (AAA/PBP) - Yes

Dublin South-West:
67. Colm Brophy (FG) - No
68. Sean Crowe (SF)Absent/Abstention
69. John Lahart (FF) - No
70. Paul Murphy (AAA/PBP)  - Yes
71. Katherine Zappone (Ind) - No*

Dublin West:
72. Joan Burton (Labour) Absent/Abstention
73. Jack Chambers (FF) - No
74. Ruth Coppinger (AAA/PBP) - Yes
75. Leo Varadkar (FG) - No

76. Maria Bailey (FG) - No*
77. Sean Barrett (FG)  - No
78. Richard Boyd Barrett (AAA/PBP) - Yes
79. Mary Mitchell O'Connor (FG) - No

Galway East:
80. Seán Canney (Ind) - No
81. Ciaran Cannon (FG) - Absent/Abstention
82. Anne Rabbitte (FG) - No

Galway West:
83. Catherine Connolly (Ind) - Yes
84. Noel Grealish (Ind) - No
85. Seán Kyne (FG) - No
86. Hildegarde Naughton (FG) - No
87. Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) - No

88. John Brassil (FF) - No
89. Martin Ferris (SF) - Yes
90. Brendan Griffin (FG) - No
91. Danny Healy Rae (Ind) - No
92. Michael Healy Rae (Ind) - No

Kildare North:
93. Bernard Durkin (FG) - No
94. James Lawless (FF) - No
95. Catherine Murphy (SD) - Yes
96. Frank O'Rourke (FF) - No

Kildare South:
97. Martin Heydon (FG)- No
98. Fiona O'Loughlin (FF) - Yes

99. Charles Flanagan (FG) - No
100. Sean Fleming (FF) - No
101. Brian Stanley (SF) - Yes

Limerick City:
102. Michael Noonan (FG) - No
103. Willie O'Dea (FF) - No
104. Jan O'Sullivan (Labour) Absent/Abstention
105. Maurice Quinlivan (SF) - Yes

Limerick County:
106. Niall Collins (FF) - Yes
107. Tom Neville (FG) - No
108. Patrick O'Donovan (FG) - No

109. Peter Burke (FG) - No
110. Kevin Boxer Moran (Ind) - No
111. Willie Penrose (Labour) - Absent/Abstention
112. Robert Troy (FF) - Yes

113. Gerry Adams (SF) - Yes
114. Declan Breathnach (FF) - No
115. Peter Fitzpatrick (FF) - No
116. Imelda Munster (SF) - Yes
117. Fergus O'Dowd (FG) - No

118. Dara Calleary (FF) - No
119. Lisa Chambers (FF) - Yes
120. Enda Kenny (FG) - No
121. Michael Ring (FG) - No

Meath East:
122. Thomas Byrne (FF) - No
123. Regina Doherty (FG) - No
124. Helen McEntee (FG)- No

Meath West:
125. Shane Cassells (FF) - No
126. Damien English (FG) - No
127. Peadar Tóibín (SF) - Absent/Abstention

128. Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (FG) - No
129. Barry Cowen (FF) - No
130. Carol Nolan (SF) - Absent/Abstention

131. Michael Fitzmaurice (Ind) - No
132. Eugene Murphy (FF) - No
133. Denis Naughten (Ind) - No

134. Martin Kenny (SF) - Yes
135. Marc MacSharry (FF) - Absent/Abstention
136. Tony McLoughlin (FG) - No
137. Eamon Scanlon (FF) - No

138. Jackie Cahill (FF) - No
139. Seamus Healy (Workers & Unemployed Action Group) - Yes
140. Alan Kelly (Labour) - Absent/Abstention
141. Michael Lowery (Ind) - No
142. Mattie McGrath (Ind) - No

143. Mary Butler (FF) - No
144. David Cullinane (SF) - Yes
145. John Deasy (FG) - No
146. John Halligan (Ind) - Yes

147. James Browne (FF) - No
148. Michael D'Arcy (FG) - No
149. Brendan Howlin (Labour) - Absent/Abstention
150. Paul Kehoe (FG) - No
151. Mick Wallace (Independents for Change) - Yes

152. John Brady (SF) - Yes
153. Pat Casey (FF) - No
154. Stephen Donnelly (SD) - Yes
155. Andrew Doyle (FG) - No
156. Simon Harris (FG) - No

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Do we need to understand religion to have an understanding of the world?

My discussion on 'do we need to have an understanding of religion to understand the world?' with Prof John Brewer from QUB on the Sunday Sequence on BBC Radio Ulster 12 of June 2016.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Would that be Atheist Ireland or Pegida? (or the LBJ approach to getting ahead)

Following on from my last blog, where I pointed out a pattern emerging where Atheist Ireland was increasingly being associated a violent rhetoric, it was pointed out to me that it was not Atheist Ireland who were the instigators of the violence in these tweets, but Pegida and that Atheist Ireland were the uninterested/uncaring bystanders to this violence (as if this makes this better somehow).

But that analysis will only stand if a distinction is being made between Atheist Ireland and Pegida. Is it? 

Is it heck as like.

Let me leave you with a story that most of you will already have heard. 

"“This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson’s early campaigns in Texas.
“The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumour campaign about his opponent's life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows.
“Christ, we can’t get away with calling him a pig-f****r,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”
“I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofab****h deny it.”

Friday, 10 June 2016

The new level of violent rhetoric that is now being associated with Atheist Ireland.

I hadn't planned to write anything about the latest defamatory smears that are being levelled at Atheist Ireland as an organisation at at specific members of the organisation. I even went so far, for personal reasons, to request from Peter Ferguson that I be untagged from any further tweets which he had agreed to do, and I want to thank him for that. I had planned not to comment any further on this, it was just becoming too exhausting. But last night I made the mistake of putting 'Atheist Ireland' into a search on Twitter. Damn my curiosity.

As I read though the tweets I noticed a pattern emerging. A level of violence in the tweets that I had not previously noticed. Or was it that I had become so de-sensitised that I had stopped noticing.

Michael Nugent has written about this latest round of defamatory smears and John Hamill has written on the very damage these smears can cause. But when did it become acceptable to link Atheist Ireland and a individual member of Atheist Ireland with such violence? 

The tweets in order by date:

So, are we all ok with this? I really hope not. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Did the anti-choice vote turn out for #GE16?

With Fianna Fáil making a comeback and Independents doing well, where did that leave the pro-choice vote and the campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment? Did the anti-choice vote turn out for #GE16?

According to the Life Institute the following 120 candidates have declared themselves 'pro-life/support keeping the 8th Amendment'. So how did they fare? 

Galway East:
1. Sean Canney (Ind) - Elected
2. Michael Fahy (Ind) - Excluded
3. Colm Keaveney (FF) - Excluded
4. Anne Rabbitte (FF) - Elected
Galway West:
5. Fidelma Healy Eames (Ind) - Excluded
6. John Connolly (FF) - Excluded
7. Nicola Daveron (Renua) - Excluded
8. Noel Graelish (Ind) - Elected
9. Mary Horde (FF) - Excluded
10. Eamon O’Cuiv (FF) - Elected
11. Tommy Roddy (Ind) - Excluded
12. Dara Calleary (FF) - Elected
13. Michael Farrington (Renua) - Excluded
14. Peter Jordan (Ind) - Excluded
15. Gerry O’Boyle (Ind) - Excluded
16. George O’Malley (Ind) - Excluded
17. Michael Fitzmaurice (Ind) - Elected
18. Eugene Murphy (FF) - Elected
19. Denis Naughten (Ind) – Elected
20. Bernie O’Hara (Ind) - Excluded
21. Des Guckian (Ind) - Excluded
22. Finbar Filan (Renua) - Excluded
23. Marc MacSharry (FF) - Elected
24. Paddy O’Rourke (FF) - Excluded
Dublin Bay North:
25. Paul Clarke (Ind) - Excluded
26. Terence Flanagan (Renua) - Excluded
27. Sean Haughey (FF) - Elected
28. Deirdre Heney (FF) - Excluded
29. Proinsias Ó Conaráin (Ind) - Excluded
Dublin Bay South:
30. Lucinda Creighton (Renua) - Excluded
Dublin Central:
31. Jacqui Gilbourne (Renua) - Excluded
32. Mary Fitzpatrick (FF) - Excluded
Dublin Fingal:
33. Darragh O’Brien (FF) - Elected
Dublin Mid-West:
34. John Curran (FF) - Elected
Dublin North-West:
35. Paul McAuliffe (FF) - Excluded
Dublin Rathdown:
36. Peter Matthews (Ind) - Excluded
Dublin South Central:
37. Neville Bradley (DDI) - Excluded
Dublin South West:
38. Kieran Adam-Quigley (Ind) - Excluded
39. Ronan McMahon (Renua) - Excluded
40. Declan Burke (Ind) - Excluded
41. Peter Fitzpatrick (Ind) - Excluded
42. John Lahart (FF) - Elected
Dublin West:
43. Jack Chambers (FF) - Elected
44. Jo O’Brien (Renua) - Excluded
Dun Laoghaire:
45. Cormac Devlin (FF) - Excluded
46. Mary Hanafin (FF) - Excluded
47. Raymond Whitehead (DDI) - Excluded
48. Paddy Manning (Ind) - Excluded
49. John McGuinness (FF) - Elected
Kildare North:
50. Michael Bernie (Ind) - Excluded
51. James Lawless (FF) - Elected
52. Frank O’Rourke (FF) - Elected
Kildare South:
53. Sean O Fearghail (FF) - Elected
54. Sean Fleming (FF) - Elected
55. Sinead Moore (GP) - Excluded
56. Noel McKervey (Catholic Democrat) - Excluded
57. James Miller (Ind) - Excluded
58. Peter Burke (FG) - Elected
59. Connie Gerety-Quinn (FF) - Excluded
60. Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran (Ind) - Elected
61. James Morgan (Ind) - Excluded
62. David Bradley (Ind) - Excluded
63. Declan Breathnach (FF) - Elected
64. Michael O’Dowd (Renua) - Excluded
Meath East:
65. Thomas Byrne (FF) - Elected
66. Ben Gilroy (DDI) - Excluded
67. Sharon Keogan (Ind) - Excluded
Meath West:
68. Shane Cassels (FF) - Elected
69. John Malone (Ind) - Excluded
70. Peadar Toibín (SF) - Elected
71. Kate Bopp (Ind) - Excluded
72. Eddie Fitzpatrick (FF) - Excluded
73. John Leahy (Renua) - Excluded
74. James Browne (FF) - Elected
75. Ger Carthy (Ind) - Excluded
76. Malcolm Byrne (FF) - Excluded
77. Billy Timmins (Renua) - Excluded
78. Joe Behan (Ind) - Excluded
79. Pat Casey (FF) - Elected
80. Charlie Keddy (Ind) - Excluded
81. Michael McDonagh (FF) - Excluded
Cork East:
82. Barbara Ahern (FF) - Excluded
83. Paul Bradford (Renua) - Excluded
84. Kevin O’Keeffe (FF) - Elected
Cork North-Central:
85. Ger Keohane (Ind) - Excluded
86. Paddy O’Leary (Renua) - Excluded
Cork North-West:
87. Aindrias Moynihan (FF) - Elected
88. Michael Moynihan (FF) - Elected
89. Jason Fitzgerald (Renua) - Excluded
90. John Paul O’Shea (Ind) - Excluded
91. Diarmuid O’Flynn (Ind) - Excluded
Cork South-Central:
92. Michael McGrath (FF) - Elected
93. Joe Harris (Ind) - Excluded
94. Elizabeth Hourihane (Ind) - Excluded
Cork South West:
95. Theresa Heaney (Catholic Democrats) - Excluded
96. Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony (FF) - Elected
97. Michael Collins (Ind) - Elected
98. John Brassil (FF) - Elected
99. Mary Fitzgibbon (Ind) - Excluded
100. Henry Gaynor (Ind) - Excluded
101. Michael Healy-Rae (Ind) - Elected
102. Danny Healy-Rae (Ind) - Elected
Limerick City:
103. Nora Bennis (Catholic Democrats) - Excluded
104. Willie O’Dea (FF) - Elected
Limerick County:
105. Emmett O’Brien (Ind) - Excluded
106. Richard O’Donoghue (Ind) - Excluded
107. John O’Gorman (Ind) - Excluded
108. Mattie McGrath (Ind) - Elected
109. Michael Lowry (Ind) - Elected
110. Jackie Cahill (FF) - Elected
111. John Walsh (Ind) - Excluded
112. Mary Smyth (Ind) - Excluded
113. John Wilson (Ind) - Excluded
114. Mike Durkan (FF) - Excluded
115. Brendan Smith (FF) - Elected
116. Niamh Smyth (FF) - Elected
Donegal:117. Tim Jackson (Ind) - Excluded
118. Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher (FF) - Elected
119. Charlie McConalogue (FF) - Elected
120. Frank McBrearty Jnr (Ind) - Excluded

Of the 551 candidates who ran for election, the Life Institute identified 120 (27.7%) of them as being 'pro-life'. Of these 120 candidates 44 (36.6%) have been elected. Those elected are mainly from Fianna Fáil (31, 70%) or affiliated to no party (9, 20%) and 36 (81%) are male.

This means that of the 158 seats in the Dail, 27% of them have been filled by candidates who have been identified as 'pro-life'. 

At a 'pro-life' meeting held in Dublin David Quinnn was vocal in his call for those in attendance to vote for Lucinda Creighton and her party Renua Ireland. Of the 26 Renua candidates who ran for election, 13 made the 'pro-life' list. No Renua candidates were elected. 

It is disappointing to see Fianna Fail, who have said they will not campaign for a referendum to repeal the 8th, do so well in this election, while Labour, who said they supported holding a referendum lose so many seats. However, all hope is not lost. A majority of elected TDs didn't make the 'pro-life' list and some independent TDs such as Clare Daly and Ruth Coppinger who have prioritised repealing of the 8th have been re-elected.

The campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment and give bodily autonomy to women in Ireland will continue.