Rally for Life Draws Huge Crowd
Tens of thousands of cheerful pro-life citizens thronged the streets of Dublin on Saturday to take part in the annual Rally for Life and demonstrate their support for the 8th Amendment. The crowd, estimated to be between 50,000 and 70,000, took two hours to march from Parnell Square to Leinster House. A small group of pro-abortion demonstrators jeered and heckled the marchers as they made their way down O’Connell Street.
“This is an incredible, powerful day, when massive crowds of ordinary people turned out to Save the 8th, to say no to abortion and yes to Life, to tell Leo Varadkar that he would lose this referendum on abortion, because the pro-life majority has arisen and will work night and day to Save the 8th,” said Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute.
Declan Gaffney told the crowd that “there is not one thing in this world that is made better by the snuffing out of an unborn child. There is no woman whose life is the better for it. There is no community made stronger by it. There is only death, and a void where hope might have been.” He urged those attending the Rally to get involved in the campaign and make a stand for life, to sustained applause.
The loudest cheers of the day were for Karen Gaffney, a leading international advocate for people with Down Syndrome who urged the crowd to protect the 8th as it protects the right to life of “people like me”, and warned that in other countries, aggressive screening programmes aim to ensure that people with Down Syndrome are aborted. “We want to belong, don’t screen us out,” she said.
Vicky Wall from Every Life Counts moved many to tears as she spoke movingly about her daughter Líadán who was diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, Trisomy 18. “Liádán’s life was protected by the 8th amendment, she was given the respect as our daughter. Even though she had a life-limiting condition, she was loved and valued as much as her brother and sister. All she knew was love.”
Other speakers included Carolyn O’Meara of Giannacare, Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life, Becky Kealy of Youth Defence and Isabel Vaughen Spruce of March for Life UK.
Rally for Life. July 1.