The pro-life group London Irish United For Life (LIUFL)
were one of the many groups who marched to Parliament Square in London on May 5th as part of the March for Life UK.
Approximately 4,000 people gathered for the annual march and to listen to speakers from the UK, Ireland and the USA. Among the speakers were Laoise Ní Dhubhrosa of LIUFL and disability rights activist Charlie Fien, both of whom spoke about the upcoming referendum in Ireland.
London Irish United For Life attended March for Life for the second year running and used the opportunity this year to encourage Irish citizens in the UK to return home and vote NO to removing the 8th Amendment in the referendum on 25th May.
LIUFL’s spokeswoman Ms Laoise Ní Dhubhrosa said: “We’re trying to save the 8th Amendment in the Irish Constitution that requires the State to guarantee the right to life of the unborn. It is an effective ban on abortion but is also allows for all life-saving care for women.”
She said: “We are part of the Irish community living aboard and we’re trying to communicate to other Irish citizens to go home to vote to protect unborn children this month – every Irish person around the world could potentially make the difference.”
“We’re asking Irish men and women to vote to save unborn children in Ireland from the injustice of abortion.”
The Irish Supreme Court ruled this year that the sole constitutional rights protection for the unborn is contained in 8th Amendment of the Constitution.
LIUFL is made up of mostly female Irish emigrants, but it also includes Irish men. LIUFL campaigners on Saturday
. Photo: Peter L Jones
Eoin O’Loghlen of LIUFL is a student who felt the need to participate in March for Life for the first time: “I came to the March for Life because there are a lot of Irish men and women here in London who are genuinely concerned about repealing the 8th and removing all the legal protection the unborn currently enjoys. We think it will change Ireland for the worse and instead of giving women choices it will become the only choice.”
LIUFL has been engaged in lots of activities as part of its ‘Home to Vote’ campaign, including handing out leaflets at Gaelic football/hurling matches in London and other Irish cultural and social events. Last weekend, they attended the London v Sligo Connacht Championship match to give out ‘Home to Vote’ leaflets.
However, only certain Irish emigrants are eligible to vote. You have to be an Irish citizen from the Irish Republic and resident outside the Republic under 18 months. LIUFL spokeswoman Ms Ní Dhubhrosa is herself ineligible to vote:
“I’m proud to be an Irish woman from Belfast. I have an Irish passport. But I’m denied a vote in this referendum – my voice in my country’s future. We at LIUFL think all Irish citizens at home and abroad should be allowed to vote in such an important referendum.”Describing latest polls indicating a decrease in support for removing the 8th Amendment, she said: “The polling is moving in our favour, the repeal count is coming down and that’s great news.”
“But there are lots of undecided voters still out there. We’re trying to find them and encourage them to vote NO. If you’re an Irish citizen abroad who isn’t eligible to return home to vote, please talk to family and friends at home to encourage them to vote NO.”
If the 8th Amendment is removed, the Irish Government proposes introducing laws permitting, among other things, abortion on demand up to 3 months.
London Irish United For Life is on Twitter and Facebook and contactable for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org