From exclusion zones to the pro-life movement in the US, speakers’ messages heartened attendees at The Irish Catholic’s Pro-life Conference over the weekend.
Over 100 people were at the conference in Dublin, with several saying they hope Ireland will be influenced by the “growing” pro-life sentiment in the US.
Dubliner Con Daly told the paper: “I thought Maria Steen’s talk was excellent. It’s just really sad that Ireland is collapsing culturally, we’ve essentially embraced the culture of death now.
“It was good to hear that there’s a push back now, a growing pro-life consensus in the US.
“The US culturally is very influential for the rest of the world, so there’s hope there.”
While being glad to hear from several speakers that it is unlikely that exclusion zones around abortion clinics will be introduced any time soon, Seán Ó Raghallaigh from Shankhill in Dublin said: “I think there’s a lot of people who will be very happy about that.”
Also speaking about the US, he added: “I’ve always said even from the word go, it’s going to be three or four more decades, maybe less please God, when we’ll be able to do what they’re doing at the moment in America.”
Jennifer White from Kildare, who will be doing her Professional Master of Education (PME) next year, said the conference was a “good eye opener on certain issues”.
“I think especially if you’re involved in education, it’s a good way to find where you have to begin culturally,” she said.
“I think reaching out to the secular society is also an important way to address the issues. We have to think outside the box.”
Working in a school environment at the moment Ms White added that she sees religion as a subject “is fading out and other subjects are taking over. You kind of have to understand that that’s the way the culture is going, it’s important to address those issues now.
“Especially with the media; how countercultural it is now to address certain topics and stand up and be counted, if you have a different point of view it’s very hard to get that across.”
Hailing from Kerry originally but living in Kildare, Richard Casey said it was great to see “so many powerful pro-life speakers”.
“What I liked most about it was the fact they were saying we need to be unapologetic in our Faith and in our pro-life approach.”
He praised Senator Ronán Mullen’s call to reach outside the pro-life group, and to treat the conference as a “filling station” in order to “get the strength from coming together in these kind of groups”.