Friday 23 February 2018

Airports 'to ban pro-life group protests'

Dublin Airport. Stock image
Dublin Airport. Stock image
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Dublin and Cork airports have indicated that they will refuse to grant permission to a pro-life group intending to hold anti-abortion "education projects" outside the airports' buildings.

In an email, the Irish Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (ICBR) asked its supporters to help it hold anti-abortion education projects, which would involve the display of graphic abortion imagery on placards and "airport-themed" banners.

The events were due to take place on Saturday July 29 and Sunday August 13 at Cork and Dublin airports and around Dublin city centre.

The ICBR stressed that it was seeking seven participants with graphic design and video editing skills. It also encouraged people to donate monies to fund the campaign.

However, spokespeople for both airports issued statements saying they did not give permission "for any protests of any type".

Under statutory airport by-laws, the distribution of leaflets, pamphlets or other documentation to staff, passengers or visitors is prohibited, according to a spokesperson from Cork Airport.

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They added: "Leaving such items on vehicles or in any areas at or within the airport, and conducting or taking part in public meetings, demonstrations or processions are specifically prohibited, unless permission has been given by the airport authority."

The spokesperson then stated they did not "give permission" to protests.

Dublin Airport also issued a statement, saying a similar protocol was in place.

The ICBR disclosed information about the proposed protest in the mail it circulated.

On one pro-life banner, ICBR appears to offer to reimburse the cost of travel to those who change their mind.

Repeal campaigner Tara Flynn said she was relieved the airports would not allow the protests. She said: "Those posters would traumatise people who are already suffering. It seems a very cruel measure."

Irish Independent

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