Five days before a national referendum on whether to remove Ireland’s constitutional ban on divorce, Prime Minister John Bruton, in a calm but impassioned appeal, on Sunday urged this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country to vote yes.
To vote against the change, he said, would tarnish Ireland’s image as a friendly, tolerant place and would impede his efforts toward a peace settlement in Northern Ireland, the predominantly Protestant British province where the the majority fears the influence of the Catholic Church on the Catholic minority.
In recent days, polls have shown support slipping for the government’s proposal to permit divorce in Ireland, the only country in Europe where it is banned.
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