Outrage and sadness as 1,000 attend vigil in woman's memory


Sadness at the death of Savita Halappanavar emanated from a candle-lit vigil held in her memory in Galway at the weekend.

There was also outrage among the estimated 1,000 people who turned out in cold weather to remember the woman who had moved from India with her husband to set up home in Galway a few years ago.

“It was just barbaric what happened. It was outrageous, the very fact that it happened here in Galway makes it all the more so,” said Phil Mason from Galway.

“I had my kids in Galway: it could have been me; it could have been any of my neighbours; it could have been anybody; it just shouldn’t have happened,” she added.

Earlier in the day members of the Indian community in Galway held a separate ceremony outside University Hospital Galway, where they lay white roses under a photograph of Ms Halappanavar.

About 60 of Ms Halappanavar’s friends and compatriots gathered outside the hospital where she died three weeks ago. One of Ms Halappanavar’s friends, Moushumi Mandal, said they were still coming to terms with her tragic death.

“It is very, very desperate news, we are still shocked. Today we had been planning to celebrate Diwali but we cancelled the event for Savita. She was such a big part of the celebrations. She is so associated with our community. We thought we needed to come here and pray for her,” said Ms Mandal, secretary of Galway Indian Community, which organised the event.

“We just wanted to stay here. She passed away here and this is where we want to remember her, remember her jokes and her smile. She would be the first one standing here for someone else.”