A PRO-life group has sent a copy of the classic Christmas film 'It's a Wonderful Life' to TDs and senators as part of its lobbying campaign.
The 'Ireland Stand Up' group, which was originally set up to oppose the closure of the embassy to the Vatican, said it hoped the film would change the minds of TDs and senators who would be supporting the forthcoming abortion legislation.
Ireland Stand up member John Walsh said they had picked the film because of its strong message about the contribution each person could make to the lives of others. He said the central character – a down-on-his-luck businessman played by James Stewart – wished he had not been born.
"But he affected so many kids' lives and they would have been so much poorer if he had not been there," he said.
In total, the group has sent DVDs of the 1946 film to 190 of the 266 TDs and senators. It did not send a copy to Mick Wallace and Clare Daly, who have publicly stated their support for abortion legislation.
Mr Walsh said one female doctor, who had worked in the X-ray department of a hospital, had paid for the cost of supplying the DVDs – with a special colour edition of the black-and-white film sent to Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
They were delivered in bulk to Leinster House just after the Dail went on its Christmas break, so many TDs have yet to receive them.
Mr Walsh said the group was also considering sending a second film – the 1952 western 'High Noon' with Gary Cooper.
He said its plot about a town marshall who had to stand up to a gang was also relevant for TDs. "He's dealing with the four bad guys but his real problem is with the good people who let him down. He's left on his own to do what is right," Mr Walsh said.
It is another sign of the intensive lobbying by both pro-life and pro-choice groups on the proposed abortion legislation.