Council votes to name street after Savita, but it won’t happen

Motion deemed ‘out of order’ as Lord Mayor of Dublin says residents must make requests

Savita Halappanavar died at University Hospital Galway on October 28th, 2012. Photograph: The Irish Times

Savita Halappanavar died at University Hospital Galway on October 28th, 2012. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Dublin City Council has voted in favour of naming a street in the capital to honour the memory of Savita Halappanavar despite being unable to do so.

The motion was passed by 35 votes to 10 with four abstentions at a meeting on Monday evening at City Hall. However, the motion was deemed “out of order” as requests to rename a street or area usually comes from residents, who submit an application to their local area office which then goes to the area committee and eventually Dublin City Council. The council heard it would “have difficulties to try and implement” the motion as it was a “top-down request”.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr said it was up to “residents of a street” if they wanted to rename it after Savita Halappanavar, adding: “That’s the process of it.”

Ms Halappanavar died at University Hospital Galway on October 28th, 2012 following complications during a miscarriage.

Ms Halappanavar had asked several times for a termination of the pregnancy before the complications resulted in her contracting septicaemia. She was told a termination was not possible because the foetal heartbeat was still present.

The motion presented to councillors stated: “To honour the memory of Savita Halappanavar, who tragically lost her life as a consequence of the Irish State’s barbaric and antiquated attitudes to women’s reproductive rights, that a street in our capital city be named in her memory.”

People Before Profit councillor Tina McVeigh, who proposed the motion, said she had been in touch with Ms Halappanavar’s parents in India who said they would be “touched and moved” should a street be named after their daughter.

“Savita’s life had dignity and meaning, her death had neither,” Cllr McVeigh said. “Naming a street in her memory would be a gesture not only to honour her life but would also make a strong statement about the legacy of how women in Ireland have been treated.”

The mayor said while he supported the motion, “we can’t forget other victims of the State”.

“The State also let down Jonathan Corrie, he died on the street around the corner from the Mansion House, he was a homeless person, the State let down a few people . . . No one has proposed a call a street after him or a building after him.”

Sinn Féin councillor Daithi Doolan said naming a street in honour of Ms Halappanavar “sends out a message of solidarity to Savita and her family and women in this country faced with a similar situation”.