Protesters in Cork call for laws to be enacted


CORK AND KERRY:About 300 people attended a lunchtime rally in Cork city yesterday to call on the Government to introduce legislation on foot of the 1992 Supreme Court ruling on the X case.

Cork Feminsta co-founder Linda Kelly told the rally a referendum was not needed to enact legislation and prevent a repeat of what happened to Savita Halappanavar.

“The reason it happened is because every single person who has been elected to Dáil Éireann since 1992 has refused to do anything for women when it comes to reproductive health.

“Nothing has happened and 20 years on, we have to ask why are they leaving women to die and the blood is very firmly on politicians’ hands on this one.

“Doctors are terrified – doctors want to help their patients, doctors want to support women, but they can’t because politicians all over the country have failed to legislate.”

Among those at yesterday’s rally at Daunt Square was Arun Edward, a father of three from Tamil Nadu province in India, who spoke of his shock at Ms Halappanavar’s death.

“Yes, I was really shocked – I have three babies born in Ireland and they are really fine and the treatment was good but at the same time, I am wondering about the service now.

“This should never happen again. What is the remedy for this? I’m not bothered whether they bring in a law or not. I just want to know what the remedy will be.”

Rachel O’Sullivan spoke of her experience as a young mother and her difficulties during her second pregnancy and her fears for her medical treatment if she became pregnant again.

“My name is Rachel Mary Margaret O’Sullivan. I am the mother of two children and I am an Irish citizen and I have the right to life,” she said to loud applause.

At a lunchtime rally in Derry yesterday, calls were made to have abortion legislation introduced on both sides of the Border. Several dozen people attended the Guildhall Square rally, many of them holding white flowers, because white is the Hindu colour for mourning.

A spokesperson for Alliance For Choice which organised the rally said the people of Ireland owed it to Ms Halappanavar and her family to make sure no other woman died in similar circumstances.

“Savita’s husband Praveen has asked for action to ensure she is the last woman who dies because of uncertain laws,” the spokesperson said.