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Ireland’s new culture war

As the second Lisbon treaty referendum approaches, newly-emboldened activists have reawakened fears rooted in the country's turbulent past

By Colin Murphy   October 2009

If you voted Yes to the Lisbon treaty, and were then killed by a bus before going to confession, would you be barred from entering heaven? Those Irish who find themselves similarly vexed in the run up to the country’s second referendum on the Lisbon treaty on October 2nd would have found reassurance in Bishop Noel Treanor’s statement on 16th September that a Catholic could, “without reserve and in good conscience,” vote Yes to Lisbon.

What was notable about this was not that a bishop felt the need to give moral instruction on a political issue—a long-established practice in Ireland,…

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