This Ring

In the 1920's this ring was put on the finger of Annie in Donegal.

1936, My Great Grandmother Sarah took her last breath on the staircase, giving birth to my Grandad Liam and his twin brother Micky.

Liam was sent to the Annie's family and was put to work. This ring was brushed across his face, this ring disciplined him.

In 1952 Grandad ran away from home - he mined mines, built buildings and started his own family.

In 1985 I was born in the Royal Free Hospital, my Mum alone, a single parent.

Annie fell ill, Grandad felt it was his duty to care for Annie as she took her final breath. She removed this ring and gave it to Grandad.

In the 1990's this ring was given to my Mother to wear on a summer holiday in Ireland, I was born out of wedlock, this ring protected the family name from shame.

My Mum asked Grandad for this ring when he died, Grandad gave it to her 'I don't have to go for you to have it, I did nothing for it'.

In 2012 I asked my Mum for the ring, she gave it to me with her gold crucifix and said these were things to remember her by when she was no longer with me.

In 2014 this ring was put on my finger. James and I had been with each other for 10 years, we wanted the opportunity to legally declare our love and exercise our equality. 

Grandad and Mum looked on - this ring that had once bought pain and sadness now signified joy, new beginnings and equality.

When I hand this ring over to the next owner it won't come with marks from inflicting children with discipline, tears from hiding bastard children or sweat wiped from brows on dutiful death beds - it'll come with years of hand holding, learnt lessons and love.

Ireland, I urge you to ignore the noise and vote yes - equal marriage is not about turning marriage gay, nor is it going to demand your priest listen to Kate Bush (...although). 

Equal marriage is about equality - nothing more, nothing less.


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