Demonstration to mark clerical abuse with children's shoes

Organisers of a silent demonstration in memory of victims of clerical abuse in church-run institutions will leave children’s shoes piled at the Dáil railings following the march.

Organisers of a silent demonstration in memory of victims of clerical abuse in church-run institutions will leave children’s shoes piled at the Dáil railings following the march.

Groups on a solidarity walk through Dublin tomorrow have called on people attending to bring white ribbons to tie to the gates of Leinster House as a mark of respect for those who suffered and died at the hands of religious orders.

A petition with thousands of names will also be handed over to the head of the Congregation of Religious of Ireland, Marianne O’Connor.

Christian Brother Kevin Mullan and at least one representative from other orders named in the Ryan report will also attend.

The organisers of the march Christine Buckley, from Aislinn, John Kelly, Survivors of Child Abuse in Ireland, Noel Barry of Right of Place and former Fianna Fáil Mayor of Clonmel Michael O’Brien will carry wreaths, two black and two white, to be laid at the Dáil.

A spokeswoman for the organising group, Survivors of Institutional Abuse Ireland (SOIAI), said: “The silence will be broken only when survivors intone the names of the 216 institutions as the petition is being handed to Sr O’Connor and Br Mullan outside the Dáil.

“Then 108 white balloons and 108 black balloons, representing the living and the dead of the 216 institutions, will be released into the skies.”

All 18 religious orders were invited to attend the wreath laying outside the Dáil.

A Dáil debate on the damning Ryan report was due to be heard while the march takes place but it was postponed until Thursday to allow for the Fine Gael motion of no confidence in the Government.

The demonstration begins at the Garden of Remembrance at noon, travels down O'Connell Street and over to Kildare Street.

Organisers urged people to attend and said those who wish to show solidarity should wear a white ribbon and sign and post the Petition of Solidarity, available on the SOIAI website www.irishsolidarity.com.

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