DUBLIN, Ireland: Thousands of Irish anti-abortion protesters attended a Dublin rally this weekend to show their support for the recent U.S. Supreme Court abortion ruling.
Called 'A Rally For Life', the gathering was organized by anti-abortion groups from throughout the country.
With the crowd stretching the length of O'Connell St from the monument to Charles Stewart Parnell close to the Garden of Remembrance to the statue of Daniel O'Connell by the Liffey, it is believed many thousands attended the rally.
Placards were held by protesters that said, "Bye Bye Roe Hello pro-life future." Others demanded similar action in Ireland.
On stage near Custom House, rally speakers praised the efforts of anti-abortion campaigners in the U.S. They also said Ireland would reverse the earlier decision to make abortions legal, following the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
The passing of the Irish 2018 referendum resulted in the repeal of that amendment - which had placed a constitutional right to life on both the pregnant woman and the fetus.
In 2018, the government passed the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, allowing for abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Bernadette Smyth, the director of anti-abortion group Precious Life, told the crowd, referring to U.S. anti-abortion protesters, "Today we share their joy. We commend and applaud all the pro-life groups in the U.S. and we now celebrate the beginning of the end of abortion."
Smyth promised "to make abortion in Ireland north and south" illegal. She also criticized Sinn Fin's leaders on both sides of the border, claiming that laws had been proposed in Ireland to "murder little babies in the womb but, trust me Sinn Fin, our day will come."
Prior to the Dublin rally, the Catholic Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, Archbishop Eamon Martin, said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling was "hopeful and encouraging."
Speaking at a Mass in St Saviour's Church, Dublin, Martin said, "Often you face setbacks, because the pro-life message is countercultural, and is falsely portrayed as negative, 'anti-women', 'anti-choice', or lacking in compassion," he said.
"Sometimes, as in the recent decision of the United States supreme court on Roe v Wade, there are hopeful and encouraging signs that the context is shifting and that the rebuilding of a culture of life is possible."