Anti-abortion activists responsible for erecting a giant NO on the side of Ben Bulben in the early hours of Thursday morning are understood to behind the placement of 17,000 white crosses stretching 30km from Letterkenny, Co Donegal to Bridgend in Co Derry (Londonderry).The crosses are understood to have been placed there by dozens of No campaigners between 4am and 7am on Friday morning
Spokesperson for Donegal Together for Yes
Sinead Stewart has strongly criticised the action.
She said that this was the same group behind the 'No' sign that was erected on Ben Bulben in Sligo.
"It's the same cohort who went under the cover of night up a mountain in Sligo," she said.
"It's my ex-boss. You'll find he and I had a discussion about the No side on Highland Radio."
Sinead added, “The hypocrisy of it all is really staggering. We’ve had people who are really upset and annoyed by this.
“I think they are absolutely brushing over the pain and the suffering of the women and families of Donegal by doing something like this.
“My question is: What are those crosses for? Are they for the babies in Tuam? Are they for the women in the Magdalene Laundries? Are they for each child that was sold to American couples from the Catholic Church? Photo: Taryn De Vere @TarynDeVere
A pro life spokesperson said, "I understand it represents the 17,000 babies that will be aborted in Ireland if a yes vote comes in. That's the pro-rata proportion that will be affecting Ireland once we reach British standards."The reason for Ben Bulben was that we were getting no coverage in the media. The straw that broke the camel's back was Facebook and Google shutting down the pro-life argument.
"We were winning on the digital media front. So we had to take extra strong measures here. That's what Ben Bulben was."
Responding to Donegal County Council's statement to remove the crosses if they were a hazard to motorists he said, "That statement is absolutely daft. They're no more than a foot tall. The startling thing is the quantity. Imagine driving along the road and there are daffodils planted all the way, but instead of daffodils, we have white crosses.
"These awareness campaigns, he insists are "all good fun and hard work. It adds a bit of excitement to the whole thing. People waking up in the morning in Donegal and not knowing what to expect.
"It's rolling up the sleeves with 20 people climbing up the mountain with scaffolding plastic, cheap to buy, buy it in your hardware stores. It's not where did the money come from. It's where did the energy come from. That's the miracle."
Donegal County Council later confirmed that they will be removing the crosses.
Meanwhile in Carrick-on-Shannon, Independent Cllr Des Guckian sent an email to constituents claiming that if the Eighth Amendment was repealed, sex slavery would be normalised. “Hitler would be very happy,” he wrote. Euthanasia would follow, he warned.
Mary Bohan of Love Both said that Guckian did not speak for the majority of people voting No, or for Leitrim councillors.
“I want to dissociate myself completely from him,” she said. “I have no time for people talking about this in terms of God and Satan and Hitler or any of that.”
Having canvassed extensively in the villages and towns around Leitrim, she said that Love Both was getting “quite a good response”. She felt that there was “a lot of confusion” and that the vote would be close.
Sligo poet and activist Martin Ford predicted “terrible consequences” if the amendment was repealed.
“Ireland was depopulated after the Famine,” he said. “If we allow abortion it will be like the Famine all over again. Then they’ll have to get foreigners in to run the place. You don’t see many Muslims voting for babies. Don’t get me wrong. I am not being racist. These are the facts. The native Irish will become a minority. We’ll become strangers in our own land.”