Belfast Telegraph

Thousands take part in the annual Rally for Life march in Dublin

Thousands of people took part in the annual All Ireland Rally for Life march in Dublin at the weekend.

The march was organised by anti-abortion groups including the Life Institute and Northern Ireland group Precious Life.

The organisation does not want abortion laws to be changed and calls on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution that makes abortion almost completely illegal in Ireland to be saved.

It gives equal status to the life of the mother and the foetus.

The march took place from Parnell Square through Dublin City Centre before reaching Merrion Square.

As they made their way up O'Connell Street, they were met by around 200 pro-choice campaigners, who lined either side of the road as they passed.

The event alternates between Dublin and Belfast and will be held in Northern Ireland next year.

The Citizen's Assembly has recommended that a vote on the Eight Amendment is held however the groups taking part say any referendum would not suceed.

Life Institute spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain said: "The Rally for Life is always a huge, colourful, exciting, life-affirming event but this year it has a special focus: to tell the government and the nation that the pro-life majority are activated and motivated, and that, if we want to best protect the lives of both mother and baby, we should Save the 8th."

It comes as last week a move on free NHS abortion for Northern Ireland women was hailed and criticised in equal measure.

DUP MP Ian Paisley told the Commons: "This is not a matter for Belfast, it is a matter for NHS England."

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