independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Thousands take part in vigils in memory of tragic Savita

Thousands of people have attended candlelit vigils in memory of Savita Halappanavar, the Indian woman who died after being refused an abortion as she miscarried.

The events across Ireland heard vociferous calls for changes to the state's termination laws.



At a rally outside the Dail in Dublin, participants held placards declaring "Never Again" while the crowds repeatedly chanted "shame" and "the world is watching".



Mrs Halappanavar, 31, died from septicaemia on October 28 in Galway University Hospital.



She was found to be miscarrying at 17 weeks after going to hospital with back pain a week earlier.



Her husband Praveen has claimed she asked several times over a three-day period for the pregnancy to be terminated but was refused.



Her death has prompted a public outcry and heaped pressure on the coalition Government to legislate for abortion.



The Health Services Executive (HSE) is holding an inquiry into the tragedy.



In a separate move, Health Minister James Reilly is to bring a report to the Cabinet next week by an expert group on abortion which was set up to help the Government respond to a European Court of Human Rights call for reform of Ireland's complex pregnancy termination laws.



Gardai have said they are assisting the Coroner's investigation into Mrs Halappanavar's death.



In Dublin thousands marched from the Garden of Remembrance to the home of the Dail at Leinster House.



A vigil also took place in Eyre Square in Galway as well as in other towns across the country.



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