Tributes paid at passing of political activist and pro-life campaigner, Nora Bennis

The late Nora Bennis

The well-known political activist and pro-life campaigner Nora Bennis is to be laid to rest in her native Limerick on Thursday after a short illness.

The 78–year-old mother-of-four, from the North Circular Road, was known as a formidable political opponent who championed traditional Catholic values.

Ms Bennis, whose late husband Gerry was a member of the legendary Bennis hurling dynasty from Patrickswell, “died peacefully” in University Hospital Limerick, on Monday according to her obituary notice.

She secured 18,000 first preference votes in the 1994 European elections but failed to be elected. She also unsuccessfully sought a seat in the Dáil in 1997, in the 1998 by-election, in 2002, and in 2016.

She formed the Solidarity Movement in 1994 and was a prominent voice of opposition to divorce ahead of the 1995 referendum.

In 1995 Ms Bennis led solidarity movement members in 24-hour fast and day of prayer in their homes, calling for a boycott of a Limerick sex shop.

In 2016 she opposed the Adoption (Amendment) Bill.

A determined anti-abortion campaigner she also founded the National Party, later renamed the Christian Democrats, as well as starting the Irish Mothers Working at Home Association.

Offering his condolences to Ms Bennis’ family, Limerick Fianna Fáil spokesman on Justice Niall Collins, said:

“She’ll be a huge loss to her family and her community as she was an outstanding campaigner. She had strident views, and she left a very positive impression on so many peoples lives.”

Ms Bennis’ remains will lie in repose in Griffin’s Funeral Home, John’s Gate, Limerick, from 5pm to 7pm on Wednesday, followed by her removal at 7pm to Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Ennis Road, Limerick.

Requiem Mass will take place at 11am, on Thursday with burial afterwards in St Mary’s (New) Cemetery, Patrickswell.

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