Nov 16, 2012

LIVE: March for Savita


Hannah Jean Ryan

Live in Dublin City Centre


Our live coverage has concluded – but hit up the Twitter page for more updates. 

18:03 Deafening chants of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ after the last speaker.

17:55 Final speaker is Grettie Horgan, a pro-choice activist  for more then 30 years, North and South.

17:52 Next speaker is Orla O’Connell from National Women’s Council. There is a real intensity to this protest, but it has the energy to maintain it. ‘We’re talking about her right to live. We’re talking about the most basic right- the right to life’.

17:50 Peadar O’Grady from Doctors for Choice is out now, says pro-choice is the ‘moral majority now.

“The only relevant medical details are these: Savita asked repeatedly for an abortion. She was repeatedly denied. She died”

– Dr. O’ Grady

17: 42 Clare Daly: ‘This time we’re not waiting 20 years, we’re not waiting 10 years, we’re not waiting 1 year’ We want action NOW’. Daly has also called Enda Kenny a ‘political Pygmy’, sitting in the Dail while we have ‘exported our women’. She promises to introduce an interim bill if there is no action this week from the government.

17:40 Clare Daly TD, who proposed a motion to legislate for X in April, is the next speaker.

17:38 Indian professor who has helped hundreds of women seeking abortion now speaking to the crowd on India’s reaction to the incident. This is very powerful.

17:36 Via @IrelandUncut – Savita’s Indian community march:

17:33 Ann Rossiter talks of the heartfelt sorrow felt by diaspora who made the journey abroad for abortions. MC says, even from high vantage point, she can only see people.

17:31 Ann Rossiter is next up to address the crowd. She’s 70 years old and has been a pro-choice campaigner for 40 years. All speakers welling up. Amazing.

17:29 ‘Shame on Labour’ now picking up momentum from the back of the group at the front, if you get me.

17:25 The crowd bursts into chants of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ as Sinéad Ahearne of Choice Ireland addresses the gathering.

17:22 One-minute silence now being held for #Savita outside of Leinster House and all across Ireland.

17:21 Protesters are holding candles in a vigil-like demonstration. 

17:20 Labour Party chairperson…

17:15 From the floor, Colm O’Donnell says that the demographic of protesters varies greatly, save for the commonality of anger and will to see change.

17:11 A vigil at the Irish embassy in London ends as police vans are sent to break up large crowd. Some tweeters unimpressed with being vamoosed from their own embassy.

17:09 The protest is now filling up Merrion Square.

17:05 Sinéad Redmond, who is heavily pregnant, leads the march.

17:03 First estimate is in: 20,000. Wow. Verification pending.

16:59 The presence of the bus would suggest that authorities hadn’t quite planned for this.


16:54 Reports that the back of the march has not yet passed the spire on O’Connell Street, while the front is at Merrion Square. Unconfirmed.

16:52 Fantastic photo from @KatePurce’s iPhone.

16:50 Lots of people here, many of whom are experiencing their first protest. Credit goes to @jenniferlaryan for that.

16:47 UT reports tweet that shoppers on Grafton Street stop and applaud protesters. Excellent.

16:45 No official estimates for size, but…

16:43 The march can be heard passing the gates of Trinity. Lots of noise, lots of enthusiasm, despite lots of rain.

16.31 Funereal atmosphere as guards lead the procession by car. Journalists, photographers and reporters descend on the formiddable crowds.

16.24 A pregnant lady leads the procession by shouting “Never Again” into a megaphone as we move down O’ Connell street. Fury in the voices of protestors is chilling.

16.21 First drops of rain begin to fall as we start walking.

16.18 One woman tears up while surveying the scene. “I’ve never reacted so viscerally to a story”, she says.

16.14 Gardai chat casually as they wait for the march to begin. One Guard tells me that they expect a peaceful protest. “Most of these people have never protested before in their lives; this is the first time they’ve felt passionately enough about an issue to take to the streets”.

16.05 Forty five year old woman recalls marching this same route twenty years ago. “I just cannot believe I’m here again. Twenty years later, it’s hard to get your head around. And how many women have suffered, how many have died, before we’ve been brought to the streets again”.

16.01 Enormous banner bearing the words “Legislate Now” hangs on the Ha’penny Bridge

15.57 Sense of excitement building as hoards of Trinity students, armed with pickets, head for the Garden of Remembrance.

15:05 As well as on the site, we’ll also be active on Twitter and Facebook with photos, videos, updates, and everything we can get our hands on. The link to the Twitter page, which will be most active, as well as the protest’s hashtags, are linked above. We’re at

15:03 The route of the march is available here on Google Maps.

15:02 Today’s coverage will be co-ordinated by Hannah Jean Ryan, who is UT’s copy editor and a member of TCDSU’s welfare committee. Unless otherwise cited, all updates are from Hannah.

15:00 Good afternoon and welcome to The University Times‘ coverage of NEVER AGAIN: March for Savita.

The march was convened on Wednesday in reaction to national newspapers reporting that a woman had died in Galway University Hospital having been refused an abortion as she underwent a prolonged miscarriage. It begins at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Street at 4pm with an address and will proceed to the Dáil on Kildare Street at 5pm. There, protesters will light candles in solidarity and call on the government to legislate for the X Case, which in 1992 saw the Supreme Court rule that the constitution allowed for a woman to have an abortion in Ireland when the pregnancy represented a ‘real and substantial’ risk to her life.