Several campaign groups with bagpipes, costumes, and houses made from cards, greeted TDs as they returned to the Dáil after the summer recess.
A miniature-sized house made from posters of children’s faces was placed outside Dáil Eireann yesterday to highlight child homelessness.
“The aim, here, is to put a little house outside the big house,” said Anthony Flynn, CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH), the group behind the #MyNameIs child homelessness campaign.
“The house is made up of posters of children’s faces.
“This is the real face of homelessness across the country, at the moment, and the minister [for Housing, Eoghan Murphy] needs to realise that these are the children that are stuck in homeless services.”
There are 3,000 homeless children in Ireland, but Mr Flynn does not believe the Government is taking the issue seriously enough.
To the right-hand side of the miniature-sized house was a group of approximately 40 people, dressed in handmaid costumes, lobbying the committee on the Eighth Amendment, which met for the first time yesterday.
“Unfortunately, Leo Varadkar, and other politicians, seem to think middle Ireland won’t support the Citizens’ Assembly’s recommendations.
“But the reality is that the roadblock is the political establishment, so we are appealing to the senators and TDs on the Oireachtas Committee to support those recommendations, because we want to have a pro-choice, progressive law that supports people in crisis pregnancy, and not have a situation where we legalise abortion in limited circumstances, but, actually, the majority of people are still forced to travel to the UK or order pills online,” said Rita Harrold, of Rosa (For Reproductive Rights, against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity).
To the left of the miniature-sized house was hunger striker, Tim Jackson, from Donegal, who wants all TDs and senators to watch a video of an abortion.
“I’m here, today, to demand that the abortion Oireachtas Committee watch a video of an abortion and know exactly what happens to the child in an abortion, so that everyone will have a fully informed debate.
“I’ve been on a hunger strike, now, for the last three days and I’m intent on trying my very best to make sure they see, and face up to, the ugly reality of what happens the victim,” he said.
Mr Jackson set up the White Flag Movement to “highlight the plight of children in the womb, who will be targeted if abortion is to be legalised further,” he said..
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