Culture War Hits Streets Of Ireland Ahead Of Landmark Abortion Referendum (VIDEO)
Nation’s heroes evoked as huge crowd marches in defiance of government abortion plans. Ugly ‘SJW’ counter-protest a sign of acrimonious campaign ahead.
Between 60,000 – 80,000 people marched across Dublin on Saturday in the opening salvo of a campaign to defend the Irish Republic’s pro-life 8th Amendment, long since targeted by abortion advocates and international human rights organizations.
Described by Pope John Paul II as ‘Ireland Semper Fidelis’, or ‘Ireland Always Faithful’, the country is undoubtedly less Catholic today than when a pro-life constitutional amendment was approved by landslide popular vote in 1983. Yet despite secularization, family remains at the heart of Irish society and there exists a strong pro-life movement which can mobilize impressive numbers.
Turnout, expected at around 50,000, was so large that the march was delayed in setting off from Parnell Square, taking two hours to reach its finishing point at Merrion Square, opposite Dáil Éireann, Ireland’s Parliament, from where newly appointed Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar announced on June 14th his government’s intention to hold a referendum to remove the pro-life amendment.
Lining either side of a small stretch of the route along O’Connell Street, pro-life marchers were surrounded by an angry counter demonstration of abortion rights campaigners, feminists and left-wing activists, at which the AntiFa and other leftist flags were proudly displayed.
‘’The black-shirts that we walked through, yelling and screaming, do not represent the cultural values of this country – You do!’’ charged maverick entrepreneur and political campaigner, Declan Ganley, in a rousing speech in which he described Ireland as a ‘’shining beacon across this world for the most defenseless of human beings – the unborn.’’
‘’Bring on the referendum!’’ Ganley challenged, no stranger to political campaigns having successfully defeated the Irish political and media establishment in the 2008 Lisbon Treaty referendum, which sent shock waves through the European Union.
‘‘We will not allow them to take away the 8th Amendment and dehumanize the pre-born because this is Ireland and we stand for real human rights’’, Ganley continued, encouraging participants to knock on doors and to get involved in ‘’the new great cause of human rights, the new great cause of freedom.’’
More fighting talk from Niamh Uí Bhriain, head of the Life Institute, who rallied the huge crowd, assuring that the heroes of Ireland’s past would be with them in standing up for the rights of its pre-born children.
Criticizing ‘’the shrill and shrieking media-driven abortion campaign’’, she assured Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the people would not be bullied and that he would lose his referendum.
‘’It’s easy to be pro-choice, isn’t it, when you’re not the one being chosen?!’’ rally organizer Uí Bhriain chastised the government’s ‘’Citizens’ Assembly’’ which had recently recommended removal of the 8th Amendment.
Naming powerful adversaries including ‘’stooges’’ in the United Nations, the wealthy abortion industry and billionaires such as George Soros and Chuck Feeney, Uí Bhriain rallied that the silent majority was awakening, and once again referencing history, declared to foes;
‘’We are the people! And as the great Irish chieftain, Shane O’Neill said, ‘’We kneel to no-one but God!’’
‘’To every woman who feels afraid and unsure, we say to you that we can provide a better answer to abortion and you are not alone’’, Ui Bhrian continued, after multiple speakers testified as to how the pro-life amendment had given legal protection and time for reflection during crisis pregnancies.
Those telling their stories included the mothers of now cherished disabled children, and those who thanked the 8th Amendment for the birth of sons and daughters that might not otherwise have been born.
American Down Syndrome advocate, Karen Gaffney, of TED Talks fame, closed the event to huge applause by praising the country’s Constitution for protecting all life, including the lives of those like herself with Down Syndrome. She appealed for the preservation of the 8th Amendment.
Event organizers, the Life Institute, Youth Defence, and Precious Life have pledged to work night and day to win the referendum, promising further events to follow, starting with an informational roadshow next week.
While no date has been set by the Irish government, the referendum is likely to be held in spring of 2018. Both sides are already ramping-up preparations for what is likely to be a contentious and hard-fought campaign, the next battle in a long running culture war.
Photo Credits: Damien Cowley, RC STREAMLINE PHOTOGRAPHY