The Guardian

Abortion question divides rural Ireland as referendum looms

Roscommon was only constituency to vote against same-sex marriage – and may buck the trend again
Pro-choice protesters at a rally in Dublin, Ireland. Photograph: Alamy

There are far more than three billboards outside Roscommon, and their opposing messages indicate an intensifying battle for undecided voters in the historic referendum on abortion this month.

On the roads into this quiet town in the middle of rural Ireland, it is impossible to miss the laminated placards fixed to lamp-posts. Some have one from each camp, vying for the attention of passersby in a polarised campaign in which voters have to make a binary choice between yes and no.

A few hoardings have been torn down in the night, in a sign of strongly held beliefs. But mostly, the people of Roscommon are holding their views close, unwilling to discuss with each other – let alone a stranger – where they will

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