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Both sides of referendum to debate

Tuesday, 21st April, 2015 1:43pm

A public meeting to discuss the upcoming Same Sex Marriage Referendum will be held on 23 April.

Organised by Áine Collins, Cork North West TD, and moderated by Neil Prendeville, Red FM broadcaster, there will be leading figures from both sides of the debate coming together for the meeting in Oriel House Hotel in Ballincollig.

Participating on the night and speaking in favour of the marriage referendum will be Dr Louise Crowley, Senior Law Lecturer UCC and Jerry Buttimer, Cork South Central TD.

To have younger people's voices heard, two students from Colaiste Choilm in Ballincollig, Padraig McAuliffe and Sam Woodhams will also speak.

Speakers against the marriage referendum will include Dr Sam Shephard and Margaret Hickey representing Mothers and Fathers Matter.  

Canon Ian Jonas, Church of Ireland Minister based in Cork and Paddy Monaghan, Catholic Lay Leader from Dublin will also be participating, both of whom are involved in an evangelical response to the upcoming referendum.

"I want to facilitate a meeting whereby people can come and listen to both sides of the debate, which will be chaired by an independent moderator," said Áine Collins.

"People will be aware of my opinion, that I am a strong believer in equality on all levels. With this referendum around marriage equality, I believe it benefits all of us by giving us this equality. Society is stronger when we commit to each other and support each other."

"This is an important issue for Ireland so it's vital all sides get the opportunity to have their voices heard and their issues aired. I would encourage people to attend the public meeting on the 23 April, to inform themselves as best as possible and to participate in the vote on Friday 22 May."

The event, taking place from 8pm on Thursday 23 April at Oriel House Hotel, is free of charge and open to the public.  

For further information on the event or to book a place, visit

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