Two Tallaght firefighters, both active in the campaign for a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum, have condemned the latest ad by the ‘Save the 8th’ campaign, which depicts a firefighter carrying a child out of a burning building.

Sara Phelan, who is a female firefighter at Tallaght fire station, said:
“The sexism in this ad is unbelievable. Not only does it presume that being a firefighter is a typically ‘manly’ job – and not one that women do. It also uses the good reputation which my profession has, to campaign against my right to access basic healthcare services like abortion, and possibly endanger my life.

“I am campaigning actively for a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum, precisely because I believe Ireland treats women as second class citizens. This ad perpetuates that inequality.”

David Gardiner, who is a firefigher at Tallaght fire station, and is the Workers’ Party representative for Lucan / Palmerstown, said:
“Nothing about the job I do equates to being a supporter of a No vote in the upcoming referendum. My job is about safeguarding and protecting lives – and that is also why I am campaigning for a yes vote on May 25th with the Workers’ Party and Together for Yes.

“Myself and Sara work alongside each other as firefighters as equals, and we canvass alongside each other as equals also, calling for a Yes vote on May 25th. It is a total misrepresentation of the work we do and the values we hold to link being a firefighter to the oppression of women’s rights – as this ad does.

“I am calling on the Referendum Commission to intervene, and ensure the withdrawal of this ad.”