About 10,000 people marched to support the right to life in Dublin over the weekend with the hopes to change culture, oppose Ireland’s new abortion law and defend conscience rights for medical professionals.
People of all religions and none, ages, genders and ethnicities attended the Rally For Life, which took place in Dublin on Saturday.
Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin spoke at the event saying: “Today I wanted to stand in solidarity with the many thousands of people in Ireland who firmly believe that in pregnancy we are dealing with two lives – the life of a mother and her unborn child – and both in need of love, respect and protection.
“I march today because I believe it remains as important as ever to affirm the sanctity of all human life. The direct and intentional taking of the life of any innocent human being is always gravely wrong – we must avoid becoming desensitised to the value of every human life.”
The archbishop called for “practical help” for vulnerable women “who feel that their only way out of crisis is to end the life of their unborn child”.
“What new supports have we put in place for mothers and fathers at the point of crisis? And, what supports are we offering to parents who feel that they have made the wrong choice in having an abortion?”
Archbishop of Tuam Mich-ael Neary and Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran also took part.
With abortion becoming legal on January 1 of this year, Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute – one of the organisers of the march – said that although the referendum on the Eighth Amendment was lost “we are not defeated”.
She added that pro-life advocates will continue to stand for life and work to overturn the May referendum vote.
Offaly TD Carol Nolan, who resigned from Sinn Féin because of the party’s stance on abortion, spoke at the march saying current politicians do not represent the views of many of the electorate and that she would like to see more pro-life women in politics.
Peadar Tóibín who left Sinn Féin and established Aontú – a new political party with a pro-life stance – also attended, saying Aontú has sparked a new national movement.