The PLC can help Catholics find and support pro-life candidates, writes Eilís Mulroy
All of the main political parties and indeed all of those at the national political level pay detailed and close attention to the local elections.
The reason they do so is because they provide a significant window of opportunity in which to assess and evaluate the mood of the country.
Significant losses or gains at the local level can have a major impact on the direction of national politics.
For proof of this, you need only look to the recent local elections in Britain where the governing party there lost over 1,000 local council seats.
This in turn has led to a dramatic shift in tone and policy direction from its parliamentary party leadership.
I share the sense of betrayal that many people still feel by the positions taken by the leadership of the main national parties
We too should not underestimate the capacity to shape national politics through our engagement at the local electoral level.
That is why the Pro Life Campaign has spent a lot of time recently engaged in compiling a detailed and systematic review of the pro-life positions of well over 2,000 local and European election candidates.
We have done so because we believe voters should have access to clear and informed data on where each candidate stands on the pro-life issue.
It has been our unfortunate experience that simply being able to accept the pro-life affirmations of some political candidates is no longer possible.
To address that clear deficit and to offer voters a more detailed review of each candidate’s history and record of support or opposition to pro-life concerns, we have compiled a comprehensive list which can be viewed at www.prolifecampaign.ie
During the upcoming local and European elections we are encouraging everyone to use their primary vote to support candidates with a record of consistent and principled support for pro-life issues.
After voting for pro-life candidates, we are urging people to use their other preferences wisely to ensure that the most aggressive pro-abortion campaigners do not get elected.
I share the sense of betrayal that many people still feel by the positions taken by the leadership of the main national parties.
But this should not lead us to act in a way that will ultimately be even more damaging to the cause of the unborn child.
Many local councillors, candidates and indeed a small number at the parliamentary level also feel deeply betrayed by their leadership.
Despite this they have sought to minimise the scale of the damage that was inflicted on the right to life by recent political campaigns. We should not forget that.
As pro-life people we are committed to the highest ideals of compassion and the defence of unborn human life.
To translate those ideals into meaningful political protections we must work to maximise the local electoral presence of those who are open to positive engagement with pro-life concerns while minimising the presence of those who will aggressively advocate for abortion at every opportunity.
At this point it would be good to remember that the vast majority of those who are elected to the Dáil or Seanad have come through the local election and Council process.
To simply stand back and yield the political ground to those who shouted loudest for abortion would be a strategic mistake that could lead to irreversible consequences.
The Pro Life Campaign website will assist you in finding out who the pro-life candidates are in your local electoral area.
We all know that the road ahead is long and we will not falter in our dedication to this cause. On May 24 let’s all use our vote to help ensure strong pro-life voices are elected.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Eilís Mulroy is a spokesperson for the Pro Life Campaign.