Rally for Life 2017: Dublin is brought to a standstill as 80,000 say yes to LIFE
The 80,000 people who marched in the Rally for Life in Dublin on Saturday, July 1st 2017 are being dubbed ‘the real Citizens’ Assembly’ following an incredible display of support for Ireland’s 8th Amendment.
The 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution
The 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution gives legal protection to the unborn child, and explicit recognition of the right to life of an unborn child, upholding equally the life of mothers and unborn children. The people of Ireland came out to tell the world that we should not repeal the fundamental human right to life, and that we as a nation can do so much better for our mothers and unborn babies than making legal something as barbaric, regressive and profoundly inhumane as killing our children before they are born.
80,000 Strong Crowd
The joyful and exuberant atmosphere at the march was entirely palpable, as people of all ages cast a colourful and jubilant pro-life explosion throughout the streets of the capital. Dublin was truly alive for life as the crowds were met with cheers of solidarity from passers-by and members of the public who obviously appreciated the stunning spectacle. Organisers said they were expecting 50,000 on the day, yet as more and more people joined in, the numbers far exceeded this, reaching an immense 80,000.
Karen Gaffney - Down Syndrome Champion
The Rally featured an impressive array of headline speakers, including Karen Gaffney, a leading advocate and champion for people with Down Syndrome. Gaffney reminded the emotional crowds that her life is “worth saying ‘yes’ to,” and urged them to protect the right to life of people with disabilities.
Shocking Media Bias
Blatant media bias soon followed in the reporting of the event, with many of the Irish media outlets initially reducing the amazing 80,000 strong Rally for Life simply to an opposing event to the 100 ultra-aggressive pro-abortion activists. This of course is thoroughly unsurprising; the Irish media have been notorious in their lacking of objectivity and truth in relation to the abortion issue. Because the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) currently supports the ‘Abortion Rights Campaign,’ a coalition of pro-abortion groups who have been pushing for the legalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland for years, journalists here have a duty to promote abortion – it is a firm policy. The Irish News, for instance, were nothing short of disgraceful in their biased and unfair coverage on the Monday after the Rally. The paper designated a tiny bottom corner of page 6 to the Rally for Life, one of the biggest recent gatherings of people in the history of this country, whilst ludicrously giving over almost a full page to a London Austerity/DUP Rally, which only attracted approximately 10,000. Simultaneously, the publication made the effort to donate half a page to the Gay Marriage Rally in Belfast on Saturday, an event which was profoundly less significant by all accounts – no estimate of crowds have even been given, with media outlets only reporting ‘thousands’ as opposed to tens of thousands, indicating that there were 10,000 or perhaps much less.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute, one of the organisers of the march, said the march was the “real Citizens’ Assembly.” “This is an incredible, powerful day, when massive crowds of ordinary people turned out to Save the 8th, to say no to abortion and yes to Life,” she said. “We were expecting 50,000 but as the Rally moved through Dublin City, up to 80,000 people brought the city to a standstill as they joined in to save the 8th.”
Prayer and action
Bernadette Smyth, co-founder of the All Ireland Rally for Life and director of Precious Life gave a rousing speech to the crowd, placing great emphasis on the fact that Ireland is in the midst of a serious spiritual battle as well as an obvious physical one. She stressed the importance of prayer and action saying "we need to unite people power with God power, because when we have God on our side we cannot lose."
She also spoke about the recent events at Westminster where a decision had been made to offer Northern Irish women free abortions. She quoted Sir Thomas Moore in her powerful and moving defence of the unborn: “I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.” She went on to warn England, where the horror of abortion has claimed millions of children since the introduction of the 1967 abortion act, “You will never survive while you continue to murder innocent children, because a nation that kills its own children is a nation that has no future.”
Galvanising the 80,000 supporters of the 8th Amendment to action in the battle to save the country from abortion, Bernadette ended her speech with a profound quote from Frederick Douglass, a man who fought tirelessly against slavery: "It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be denounced."