Clerical abuse victims to stage silent march

Victims of child abuse in church-run institutions will today hand a petition to the head of the Conference of Religious of Ireland.

Victims of child abuse in church-run institutions will today hand a petition to the head of the Conference of Religious of Ireland.

After a silent march through Dublin children’s shoes will be left at the Dáil gates and white ribbons will be tied on the railings outside Leinster House as a mark of respect for those who suffered clerical abuse.

Christian Brother Kevin Mullan and at least one representative from other orders named in the damning Ryan report have accepted invitations to 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 lay wreaths, two black and two white, outside 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.”

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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