Thousands march in Savita’s memory as outrage builds

Sadness. Anger. Frustration. Fear.

Just some of the emotions as thousands marched in memory of Savita Halappanavar and in the hope that no other woman would die as she did.

More than 1,000 people huddled together in a candlelit vigil on Saturday evening in Galway to remember a woman who had moved from India with her husband to set up home in the county a few years ago.

Ms Halappanavar, 31, died from septicaemia on Oct 28 in University Hospital Galway. She was found to be miscarrying 17 weeks into her pregnancy, after going to hospital with back pain a week earlier.

Her husband Praveen claimed she asked several times over a three-day period for the pregnancy to be terminated but was refused. Her death has prompted a public outcry and heaped pressure on the Government to legislate for abortion.

“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 be any of my neighbours; it could have been anybody; it just shouldn’t have happened,” she added.

Members of the Indian community in Galway held a separate ceremony outside University Hospital Galway, where they laid white roses by a photograph of Ms Halappanavar. Her friend, Moushumi Mandal, said: “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.”

The HSE is holding an inquiry into the death.

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