Thursday 20 September 2018

Final Results

Repeal the Eighth Amendment?

Yes 66.40% 1,429,981

No 33.60% 723,632

  • Constituencies declared: 40/40

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Mural of Savita Halappanavar moved to new home as notes left in her memory sent to her parents

A couple and their child look at a mural to Savita Halappanavar, on South Richmond Street in Dublin, she was a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died in 2012 at University Hospital Galway in Ireland due to complications arising from a septic miscarriage. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 26/5/2018
A couple and their child look at a mural to Savita Halappanavar, on South Richmond Street in Dublin, she was a 31-year-old Indian dentist who died in 2012 at University Hospital Galway in Ireland due to complications arising from a septic miscarriage. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 26/5/2018

Laura Lynott

TOUCHING notes - left in memory of Savita Halappanavar - will be sent to her parents as a reminder of her place in Irish history as the public voted to repeal the eighth amendment.

The notes, alongside a mural of Ms Halappanavar, were removed today from a space outside the Bernard Shaw pub in Dublin.

Dublin City Library commissioned a photographer to make digital copies of each note. It is now planned that the notes will be digitised and available to future generations within library archives.

However, the originals will be sent to the dentist’s father, Andanappa and mother, Akhmedevi Yalagi, in Karnataka, south west India.

The 31-year-old, who died from sepsis at Galway University Hospital on October 28, 2012, became the face for the abortion rights campaign after she died after being refused a termination.

The mural, by Dublin artist Aches, was taken down yesterday by Together For Yes campaigners, along with the notes.

A spokeswoman for the Bernard Shaw said:  “Aches will be touching up the mural early next week and then it'll find its new home (hopefully) beside the Daniel O'Connell sculpture on the right hand side of the building overlooking Eatyard (a food market) - though this is not confirmed as of yet.”

Ms Halappanavar’s parents had become instrumental in the final push to repeal the eighth amendment, appealing to the Irish public to vote to remove the law.

The dentist’s father has even suggested the legislation that will allow women to access a termination legally in Ireland, be named ‘Savita’s law,’ in her memory.

Ailbhe Smyth, from Together For Yes, told Independent.ie Ms Halappanavar’s name and memory should be remembered in Irish history with a suitable home for the mural but she also suggested the Government consider naming a public building after her.

“If the eighth amendment hadn’t been in existence, we would not have lost Savita,” Ms Smyth said.

“It’s right we honour her and a very important moment in our history, when the whole nation came to the tragic awareness that this was a death that should not have happened and that it was in our hands to prevent further deaths happening.

“It’s important for us, as a country, to honour Savita’s memory and to make amends in some way to her family and I believe we should have a public building named after her, something belonging to the people, something as a concrete tribute to her and her family.”

Ms Smyth, who was prominent in the campaign and had for many years protested against Ireland’s abortion law, said it had been “particularly touching” to see the outpouring of affection from the public, who’d left notes and lit candles in Ms Halappanavar’s memory at her mural.

“The notes will show her parents how much we really do remember Savita, how she’s present in our living memory and how we profoundly wish her death had not occurred.  It was her death that made people aware again of the outrageous harm the eighth was doing to women.”

The Bernard Shaw management wrote online that it was moving the mural to “somewhere a little more safe,” and “permanent but still in view of the public…

“Thank you to everyone who left flowers, wrote notes, lit candles and left messages. You have left a beautiful tribute.”

It has been estimated that 1,200 cards had been left on the memorial site.  It’s now planned that these messages will be catalogued and added to the library’s online digital collections, to provide information for future generations on a historic period.

The chair of the inquiry into Ms Halappavanar’s death said the eighth amendment had played a major role in her death.

Her father expressed elation in the wake of the referendum to repeal Ireland’s abortion law last Saturday, stating that the family felt they now had “justice for Savita.”

The finer details of the archiving project are yet to be arranged with Together For Yes.

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