As someone who has carried a tiny white coffin out of Holles Street, I can attest to the anguish caused by the wilful insensitivity of the protestors who assembled there on New Years Day.
The lack of Christian kindness and basic human empathy displayed by these people reveals the truth of their oft-cited claims to “Love Both”. While there is a right to peaceful protest, there is also a right to access legal healthcare without intimidation, and a right to provide care without being subjected to harassment.
Our government must now act and legislate for Safe Access Zones to protect medical staff and their patients from such interference.
Can we truly consider ourselves a secular democracy while the Vatican has a say in the ownership of our National Maternity Hospital and religious fundamentalists dominate the footpaths outside?
- This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 4 January 2020.