Thousands rally for repeal of the Eighth in capital
Dublin city was at a standstill yesterday as thousands of pro-choice campaigners marched through the streets to call for support to repeal the Eighth.
A swarm of demonstrators gathered at the Garden of Remembrance, just hours after the Government signed off on the referendum bill paving the way for a vote on abortion.
A huge proportion of third-level students attended the rally.
USI president Michael Kerrigan said: "Millions of our young people have not had the opportunity to vote on this issue, and arguably it affects our future generations more than any other. No students' union has indicated that they wish to campaign to keep the Eighth Amendment."
Ailbhe Smyth, who has been at the forefront of each abortion referendum, believes Ireland has vastly changed compared to the 1980s. "There's so much more awareness on how damaging the Eighth Amendment has been for women, but compared to the other referendums, I feel this campaign has been much more respectful on both sides."
Earlier in the day, the Pro-Life Campaign held an awareness event outside Leinster House, marking International Women's Day.
The campaign criticised pro-choice groups for "hijacking" the day. Dr Ruth Cullen, of the group, said: "International Women's Day should be about recognising the achievements of women and how more progress can be made in this regard but sadly it is increasingly being hijacked by radical pro-abortion groups to do nothing else but push for abortion."