Thousand attend anti-abortion vigil in Dublin

Ireland protest

Several thousand people attended an anti-abortion vigil outside Leinster House in Dublin.

Throughout the vigil, many participants held candles, banners and posters calling for Fine Gael, the central rightest political party, to keep its "pro-life promise".

Organisers - the Pro-Life Campaign, Youth Defence, the Life Institute, and Family and Life - estimated that more than 10,000 people attended the vigil.

In an impassioned speech, Niamh Uí Bhrian, spokeswoman for the Life Institute, said last night their anti-abortion stance had not changed.

"We are not for turning and we will not yield. We are proud to be a pro-life nation, we are here to tell the politicians in Dáil Eireann (parliament) that they may have destroyed our economy but we will never let them kill our children," she said.

"The lives of our children are worth fighting for and the mothers who are driven to abortion in fear are worth fighting for and the pro life ethos in this country is worth fighting for," She added.

Caroline Simons, legal consultant with the Campaign said the State was not obliged to legislate for abortion because of the European Court of Human Rights ABC case.

"There is no such obligation. All we are supposed to do is clarify our own position in relation to abortion here. We have one of the best maternal mortality rates in the world so abortion is never the answer. It is not going to save mothers lives and we don't want to see it on our shores," she said.

Simmons said the vigil took less than a week to organise and that the next step will be an anti-abortion rally.

Among those in attendance, were the Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary, Bishop of Kilmore Leo O'Reilly, Bishop of Killaloe Kieran O'Reilly, Bishop of Ossory Seamus Freeman and the Administrator of Derry diocese Msgr Eamon Martin.

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