Dáil protest calls for legislation

Thu, Nov 15, 2012, 00:00

Several hundred people people attended a protest outside Dáil Éireann last night against the way in which Savita Halappanavar died.

The demonstration was organised by Pro-Choice Campaign Ireland after news spread yesterday of the circumstances of Ms Halappanavar’s death in hospital in Galway.

Throughout the hour-long protest, many participants held candles, banners, posters and pictures of Ms Halappanavar, and called for abortion legislation. Just before it concluded, protesters sat on the street outside Leinster House for five minutes.

Speaking at the protest, Choice Ireland spokeswoman Sinéad Ahern said she hoped Ms Halappanavar’s family would find solace in the number of people who have been touched by her story.

“Tonight is about solidarity. Tonight is about showing Savita’s family that we are sorry for what has happened to her and we are sorry for the terrible tragedy that has happened.”

Independent TD Clare Daly said her office had been inundated with calls from people who said they were ashamed to be Irish. “When myself and deputies Mick Wallace and Joan Collins ... moved legislation earlier this year it was precisely to legislate for this situation,” she said. “When the Government and Fianna Fáil voted down our legislation, they said it wasn’t necessary and no woman in Ireland would ever die in this situation. Well, sadly, Savita’s life and tragic death is an answer to how wrong they were.” A candlelit vigil will take place on Saturday at 4pm at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, followed by a march to the Dáil.