Saturday 21 January 2017

Call for Dublin street to be named after Savita Halappanavar to 'honour her memory'

Published 01/11/2016 | 10:39

Savita Halappanavar died in Galway University Hospital in 2012. Photo: Reuters
Savita Halappanavar died in Galway University Hospital in 2012. Photo: Reuters

A motion will be brought forward at next week’s Dublin City Council meeting to name a street in the capital after Savita Halappanavar.

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Ms Halappanavar died four years ago at University Hospital Galway due to septicaemia from miscarrying at 17 weeks, having been refused a termination.

Praveen and Savita Halappanavar
Praveen and Savita Halappanavar

She had requested a termination numerous times but was told it could not be carried out because the foetal heartbeat was still present.

People Before Profit councillor Tina MacVeigh is set to propose the motion on Monday, November 7.

It reads: “To honour the memory of Savita Halappanavar, who tragically lost her life as a consequence of the Irish State’s barbaric and antiquated attitudes to women’s reproductive rights, that a street in our capital city be named in her memory.”

Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution states that the life of the mother and the unborn must both be protected “as far as practicable”.

A HSE report into her death was published in June 2013.

Among its findings was that legal uncertainty played was a contributory factor in not terminating the pregnancy earlier.

A Galway Pro-Choice group held a candlelit vigil at the Spanish Arch on October 28, which marked the four year anniversary of Savita’s death.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Councillor Tina MacVeigh says that she expects the motion to be passed next Monday.

Savita Halappanavar's parents
Savita Halappanavar's parents

“I would imagine that the councillors will be very supportive of the idea. A lot of councillors are pro-choice so I imagine that this will get the necessary support. We are erecting placards all the time for people who have contributed to society. Calling a street after Savita sends a message that her death wasn’t in vain.”

The Dublin South Central councillor says that Savita’s parents are very “touched” by the proposal..

“They were very open to the idea. Her father described it as ‘heart-warming’. I am conscious she died in Galway and her community of friends are there, but Dublin is our capital city, so I think it is appropriate to have a street named after her here.”

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