Naval marriage proposal an indication of how far Ireland has progressed

There’s an absolutely brilliant and heartwarming story in today’s Irish Independent where we see a naval officer, Lieutenant Grace Fanning, propose marriage to her girlfriend, Carol Brady at Fota Wildlife Park.

That a senior officer in the defence forces can openly and comfortably live her life as a lesbian is a very positive indication of how far our country has progressed since the dark days of religious oppression.

It’s certainly a million miles from 1971 when I was a young naval recruit in training.

One particular morning the entire training school was lined up on the parade ground.

Two recruits were then hauled in front of us wearing civilian clothes and carrying their suitcases.

As the two men cowered in fear and humiliation a short speech was delivered to the assembly warning all of what happens to those who engage in homosexual activities.

The two were then literally hounded off the base.

Hopefully, the upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage will not only pass but receive an overwhelming and resounding endorsement from the people of Ireland.

Congratulations to Grace and her partner Carol.