St Bridget’s Day events highlight Ireland’s restrictive abortion regime

St Bridget's Day/Imbolg performance by artists and activists.

A number of simultaneous artistic performances were staged around the country, as well as in London, yesterday, to highlight Ireland’s restrictive laws on abortion.

Coinciding with St Bridget’s Day, the reading events by artists, activists, and supporters were designed to illustrate the affect that denial of access to abortion in Ireland has on those who seek such services and to encourage the removal of the eighth amendment to the Constitution.

The public performances were held in Colbert railway station in Limerick; Connolly Station, Dublin; King’s Cross Station in London; Paul St, Cork; Maynooth University, Kildare, and Shop St, Galway.

Described as a ‘Renunciation’, the performances were held simultaneously at 6.01pm, immediately following the traditional time for the ringing of the evening Angelus bells.

The readings echoed the rhythm and structure of the Hail Mary prayer.

“The Renunciation is, respectfully, an intervention in the reflective space offered by the modern-day Angelus,” said the organisers.

“This work contains a set of stories that describe a set of social rituals for twelve-plus people from Ireland seeking abortions daily. Read aloud, the verses publicly present uncensored insights into real experiences.”

It is a production by home/work, an initiative that collectively confronts censorship through art and public performance.

“The Renunciation challenges the double standards dictated by idealised notions of womanhood and mothering that ignore present day realities and less-than-ideal circumstances.”

The contents are based on legal cases and anecdotes shared with the producers of the home/work collective.

Last November, the Renunciation was performed as part of an evening of spoken work in the Project Arts Centre in Dublin as part of The Bram Stoker Festival.

Home/work and The Renunciation emerged from research undertaken by artist Siobhán Clancy with activist members of the Abortion Rights Campaign. It is funded under The Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme. Videos, images and audio from the performances are being shared on Twitter. For more information see homeworkcollective.tumblr.com and abortionrightscampaign.ie.


Lifestyle

Angela’s Ashes: The Musical at Cork Opera House brings some belly-laughs to Frank McCourt's tale, writes Marjorie Brennan.Perfect blend of belly laughs and emotion at Angela's Ashes: The Musical

In Currabinny, there is a large house right at the cliff’s edge, overlooking the whole of Cork Harbour.The Currabinny chefs cook with pears

It’s normal for children to occasionally worry but anxiety in a young person can develop into a crippling daily occurrence if it is not properly managed, writes Karen Murray.'Anxiety is a normal part of life': Understanding is key to helping children manage anxiety

This season textiles trend large, full of colour and exotic pattern, and applied in new ways to make a personal design statement from the living room to the bedroom, writes Carol O’CallaghanTextile trends that can help you make a personal design statement

More From The Irish Examiner