Thursday 25 May 2017

'This is the 21st Century, not the dark ages' - David Gray to perform at Repeal Project fundraiser at Olympia

David Gray
David Gray
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

British artist David Gray has spoken out about Ireland's abortion laws ahead of his performance at the upcoming Repeal Project fundraiser at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin.

“The fact that abortion remains illegal in Ireland is quite frankly staggering. There has to be a choice," he said.

The gig will raise funds for the Repeal the 8th movement which campaigns to change the Irish law which equates the life of an unborn child with the life of the mother*.

Grey adds, "I am more than happy to do any small thing I can to help draw attention to this issue. This is the 21st century not the dark ages, it needs to be put right."

Repeal: A Night in the Key of 8 on Sunday April 23 will also feature performances from Mary Black and her daughter Roisin O, as well as Neil Hannon, Camille O'Sullivan, Loah, Le Galaxie, Lisa O'Neil, Wyvern Lingo and Print Clips featuring Paul Noonan and guests.

Speaking ahead of the gig, Roisin O said, "I’m honoured to be able to lend my voice to such an  important movement. Women’s rights over their body is one thing that Ireland has left behind in our great leap forward as a country in the last 30 years.

"Personally I feel, that no matter what my views, or anyone else's in this country, are, we don’t have the right to force those views on any woman.

"Every woman should be entitled to make their own decisions about their body and that can only be achieved by repealing the 8th amendment."

Roisin's mum Mary added, "The 8th amendment discriminates against all women living in Ireland. The amendment equates the life of a pregnant woman with that of an embryo and has created an unworkable situation as was evidenced in the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar in Galway.

"This repeal will ensure that if a mother’s life it at risk from a pregnancy she will be protected."

Paul Noonan also supports the project.  He said, "I think most Irish people now feel that the law is out of step with their compassion for women who are pregnant and distraught, and need to not be at least one of those things.

"I feel that repealing the 8th and replacing it with something more in line with that compassion will be another important milestone in our journey from theocracy to a more free society."

Performer and activist Panti will also contribute on the night as well as other writers and campaigners including Ailbhe Smith (convenor of the coalition to repeal the 8th), Roisin Ingle, Tara Flynn, Una Mullally, Paul Meehan, Independent Senator Lynn Ruane, Eileen Flynn, Claudia Hoareau and Spoken Word Artist Felicia Olusanyo and activist Helen Lenihan.

Comedian, author and activist Tara Flynn has a more personal reason for getting invovled.

"The 8th has affected me directly," she said.

"I had to travel for healthcare that should have been available to me at home. But I'm one of the lucky ones who was able to travel. We need to look after all our citizens, particularly those in vulnerable situations. We deserve equality and autonomy, the right to determine our own futures and what happens to our own bodies.”

Panti added, "Repeal The 8th for me is about bodily autonomy. I believe that everyone should be free to make their own decisions about their own bodies. Women should be able to make their own informed decisions about their own health. And the rest of us should trust women to know what's right for them in their own circumstances.

"I want to support the show because I want to support the women in my life, and because I think it's important to publicly show that support.”

Wyvern Lingo see the movment as "a sign Ireland is capable of moving beyond its oppressive past" while Loah adds that it "means honouring the truth about reproductive rights in this country so that women can finally have this right respected and attended to by our own professionals on our own shores - at home."

Le Galaxie stated, "Abortion is not outlawed in Ireland, it is outsourced."

Funds raised on the night will go to The Repeal Project - Tickets from €28.50 available from Ticketmaster.

*The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Act 1983 (article 40.3.3) states: The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

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