09 Dec 2021

Year in Review May: Laois vote Yes to abortion amendment, Rose dreams come true, Judge slates GAA

Leinster Express Year in Review 2018

abortion yes amendment

Jeanne Dermody, Elaine O'Neill and Aisling O'Rourke celebrate victory at St Mary's Hall Portlaoiase in the referendum to repeal the Eight Amendment to the constitution

Pride, joy and sadness were the emotions felt at St Mary's Hall in Portlaoise on Friday, May 25 after Laois voted yes to repeal the eight amendment to the Constitution paving the way for abortion in Ireland.

More than 24,200 Laois voters backed repeal. Just over 15,200 voted against the change.

Elaine O'Neill, co-founder of Laois Together for Yes, summed up the feelings in the Yes camp.

“I am just delighted that Laois trusts women and that Ireland trusts women finally, and we are given the right to choose,” she said.

Noel O'Rourke of the Life Institute campaigned for a No vote.

“I think it is a very sad day for Ireland that the protection of the unborn is lost. That is against all moral beliefs that anyone could have,” he said.

It was a night to remember for altogether different reasons for Grainne Hogan from Camross at the Laois Rose selection night in the Midlands Park Hotel.

“A dream come true”, Grainne, a farmer, told the Leinster Express when her name was announced on the night.

“Things will be different at the mart on Tuesday,” MC Ollie Turner told Grainne as she accepted the Laois Rose sash.
“I think I'm going to be really popular,” replied the new Rose.

Meanwhile, in the courts, Portlaoise's District Court Judge took issue with the GAA and parents arising from a violent incident during a juvenile hurling match.

“If this is the level the GAA has deteriorated to, it should just give up,” said Judge Catherine Staines.
She also took parents to task.

“There is far too much pressure on young people by the parents, the example being set is absolutely appalling. There were 70 people on the pitch roaring and shouting, this does not reflect well on either team and there is clearly no respect for your opponent or sportsmanship,” she said.

Laois TD and Government Minister Charlie Flanagan hit out at Ireland's tourism body over their no-show at the launch of a €5 million amenity in the Slieve Blooms.

The absence of Fáilte Ireland at the Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trail came just a few weeks after Laois was left out of the new Hidden Heartlands tourism plan for the midlands.

“I am not aware if Fáilte Ireland is here this morning but somebody might give them a call and tell them Laois is very much in the midlands,” said Charlie Flanagan.

Tragedy struck on the Laois Offaly border in May when a plane crash claimed the life young boy and the pilot of a plane which went down near Clonbullogue.

Kacper Kacprzak, aged 7, and Neil Bowditch aged 47 were both killed.

Kacper's dad had been among 16 parachutists who at jumped from the Cessna aircraft a short time before the crash on Sunday, May 13.

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