The Bishop of Elphin has called on Catholics who voted Yes in the abortion referendum to “consider coming to confession”. Speaking on national radio on Monday morning, Bishop Kevin Doran claimed Yes voters had “committed a sin” when casting their vote last Friday.
Speaking to Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One, Bishop Doran said Yes voters who wanted to come to confession would “be received with the same compassion as any other penitent”.
Bishop Doran’s comments sparked a number of text messages from listeners, many of whom declared themselves regular Mass-goers who had voted a silent Yes in Friday’s referendum.
In a communication read out at weekend Masses in the diocese, Bishop Doran said the result was a “reality that Irish people have voted by a significant majority for abortion”. He said his thoughts went out “to the thousands of good people, across our diocese and across the nation, who worked so hard to protect the right to life both of women and their unborn children.
Bishop Doran was unavailable for comment on Monday when the Herald contacted his office to clarify his radio comments.
Meanwhile, defying expectations, repeal won the day in Roscommon Galway with 57.2%, or 23,677 votes, of a total valid poll of 41,386. Far from the close run predicted by many, as the boxes were opened and tallied on Saturday morning at the Hyde Centre in Roscommon Town, it became clear quite quickly that the Yes side would win.
In certain urban areas, such as at the Monksland Civic Centre polling station, the victory was comfortable — 382-171 for Yes. Margins were tighter in rural places. At the Brossna polling station in the Ballaghaderreen area, the No side won by just a single vote, 83-82. The No side also won out at the Castlesampson polling station, 121-117, while in Rahara, also in South Roscommon, a single vote separated the two sides, with 80 for Yes and 79 for No.