Sunday 22 July 2018

Man defends protest at FF Ard Fheis

A DROGHEDA member of Youth Defence has defended the organisations protest at last weekends Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis and vowed

A DROGHEDA member of Youth Defence has defended the organisation’s protest at last weekend’s Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis – and vowed that similar protests will continue.

Charles Byrne (22) from College Rise, a member of the pro-life group for the last 18 months, said on Tuesday:

‘There is no better cause than the right to life. This has to be done and it’s not being done by anyone else.’

And he revealed that the protest was arranged months in advance.

There was uproar at Saturday’s Ard Fheis when a handful of protesters stormed the podium as Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was delivering his keynote address in the RDS.

Mr. Byrne was not part of the protest inside the hall, but participated in an eighth-year commemoration ceremony for ‘Baby X’ outside the gates, along with other Youth Defence members, including some from Drogheda.

He said that since joining the movement, his eyes have been opened to the political process.

He mounted a strong defence of his group’s actions, which have prompted a review of Mr. Ahern’s security.

‘I know it could be seen as a strange form of political lobby, but the point is that the silence is going on.

‘One of the most important things it does is to show the colours of the pro-abortion people,’ he said.

Responding to strong criticisms of Dublin-based Youth Defence (one FF delegate described them as ‘lunatics’ to a national newspaper), Mr. Byrne said he has met some of the brightest, most intellectual people in the group.

‘There are some very well reasoned people and people who have a great love and passion for this country. Our actions have been carefully deliberated over, we’ve thought about our strategy and it’s not lunacy.’