Secrecy versus privacy (re: abortion in Ireland) research Note

By Kristopher A. Nelson
in May 2018

200 words / 1 min.
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“Secrecy is not the same as private. Secrecy is toxic. Private is mature and grown up.”


On May 25, 2018, Una Mullally wrote the following in The Irish Times in response to the landlslide vote to repeal the constitutional prohibition on abortion in Ireland:

Secrecy is toxic

So what does this all mean? I bumped into the theatre-maker Grace Dyas in the RDS, “Today I feel accepted, loved, cherished.” This wasn’t just about abortion. It was about women feeling equal and valued, liberated and supported. “We did it,” everyone kept saying. “Landslide,” was the most repeated word. “Secrecy is not the same as private. Secrecy is toxic. Private is mature and grown up,” one campaigner said in the hotel across the road from the RDS. No more. No more secrecy, no more shame, no more stigma, only support, kindness, and care.

Una Mullally, “Referendum shows us there is no Middle Ireland, just Ireland: ‘The fiction of Ireland as a conservative, dogmatically Catholic country has been shattered,’” The Irish Times, May 25, 2018.