As many as 8,000 pro-life advocates in Ireland joined the pro-life Rally for Life over the weekend and two prominent UK pro-life advocates, Pat Buckley and John Smeaton, blogged about the event.
From Buckley, who was born in Galway, Ireland and lived in Cork and Dublin writes
Rally for Life which in Dublin on Saturday last 2 July was the largest yet.
The rally organisers estimated that at least 7000 people took part in the Rally, however official Garda figures later estimated it to be 8,000. The huge crowd consisted of people of all ages – with a big emphasis on young people and children. The weather was beautiful, and the sun shone out as the Rally proceeded towards Leinster House, the seat of the Irish Government. It was a very colourful event, and there was a huge sea of red and yellow proclaiming the pro-life message.
There were also posters and placards calling on the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to keep the pro-life promise that he made in the run-up to the recent General Election – that, if he were elected to government, he would not legislate for abortion in Ireland.
At the end of the Rally there was a number of addresses : Former MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon told the cheering crowd that the Constitution belonged to the people and that the politicians were there to serve the people, not to decide for them or to allow Europe to foist abortion on them. There were calls of ‘Dana for President’ from the crowd as she spoke.
Niamh Uí Bhriain warned Fine Gael that they must uphold the pre-election promise given by Mr. Kenny, and all the many other Fine Gael deputies, that they will not allow legislation for abortion in Ireland.
‘Fine Gael have now set up an expert group to look at the European Court judgment,’ said Niamh, ‘and the pro-life majority are telling them, here and now, that we will not accept a committee that is either stacked against the unborn child, or that ignores the evidence that clearly shows that abortion is never medically necessary.
‘We demand transparency, we demand honesty and we demand that this government listen to the pro-life majority who say Yes to Life and No to abortion. Enda Kenny needs to tell the European Court not to interfere in the right of the sovereign people to decide Ireland’s pro-life laws.’
Niamh’s words were received with thunderous applause from the huge crowd.
Official police figures numbered the rally at 8,000 participants, the largest number yet since the rally began 5 years ago. A pro-abortion counter-demonstration only attract a desultory 200 to 300 people. As is so often case regarding other pro-life marches in America and elsewhere, the media
both grossly underestimated the pro-life numbers and downplayed the event’s significance.
The rally’s theme was “Enda, keep your pro-life promise”, referring to prime minister Enda Kenny’s pre-election promise not to legislate for abortion. Dana Rosemary Scallon, the veteran pro-life politician and friend of SPUC, was one of the keynote speakers, with shouts of “Dana for president” coming from the crowd.
Another of SPUC’s Irish friends has alerted me to a radio interview last week (RTE Radio 1, 28 June) with Dr Michael Turner, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at University College Dublin. The interviewer asked: “So you would say that Ireland is one of the safest places on the planet to have a baby?” Dr Turner replied: “It is, I’m pleased to report”, describing it as “a tribute to the excellent care” provided in Irish hospitals. This is proof-positive that abortion is totally unnecessary for good maternal healthcare.
Ireland has a strong pro-life movement, led by organizations such as the Pro-Life Campaign