Large groups of teenagers were among the crowd at a “Stand up for Life” rally in Cork at the weekend, with more than 1,000 people gathering at the Grand Parade to voice their opposition to repealing the Eighth Amendment.
Among the people in attendance was Caolan Curran, 19, from Douglas in Cork, who said he was opposed to abortion.
“I came because I am a Christian, so I am religious,” said Caolan.
“Quite a few of my friends are passionate about it. One of my friends is in NUIG and he goes around canvassing. A lot of people don’t realise that once we hand over the [say] we are not getting it back.
“It is no longer our say any more. I think we are being lied to. A lot of politicians, it is very clear what they think in this situation. If we give it to them, we know what is going to happen. People don’t fully understand the implications.”
Caolan said some teenagers are “very hostile” to discussions on abortion issues and people are often “set in their ways”.
“But there have been times where I have had conversations over tea at home. A lot of people are open to discussing it.”
Also among the attendees was Siobhan Lane from Blarney, Co Cork, who said the Government should be putting money into supports in crisis pregnancies.
“I have a son with Down Syndrome, Levi, who is going to be seven next week,” she said.
“I think supports need to be put into situations where they have what they call a ‘crisis pregnancy’.
“I think if we are going to have a debate, we need a debate that is fair. The posters that have been defaced is not fair. To say that it is for women’s health is not fair because there are children that are dying. The children who are here should be funded, not taxpayers’ money going into abortion. I am very uneasy that it is being left to politicians. If you look at how many politicians have changed their minds even before this debate. There are quotes out there from Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney, and Micheál Martin about being pro-life and now they want to say that they are still pro-life but want to bring this in.”
Pensioner Joe O’Leary from Kinsale, Co Cork, said he was “uncomfortable” with the idea of abortion being introduced in Ireland.
He said “our mothers and fathers gave us a chance” and he would like to think future generations would get the “same chance”.
“I think the media are very one-sided,” he said. “I was at the rally and it got very little coverage. If that was for abortion it would have got more coverage. The other side seems to be more aggressive than the pro-life movement.
“You are not cool now for not following the liberal agenda. I am attending the rallies to show support.”
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