Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam and Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin joined thousands of people who turned out in Dublin yesterday for the annual annual Rally for Life. The pro-life rally saw people walking from Parnell Square to the Custom House for the event which is now in its 12th year.

Organisers said the turnout showed “the commitment to the pro life cause had not diminished”.

Speaking to media at the rally Archbishop Eamon saidMartin said, “I wanted to stand in solidarity with the many thousands of people in Ireland who firmly believe that in pregnancy we are dealing with two lives – the life of a mother and her unborn child – and both in need of love, respect and protection.

“I march today because I believe it remains as important as ever to affirm the sanctity of all human life. The direct and intentional taking of the life of any innocent human being is always gravely wrong – we must avoid becoming desensitised to the value of every human life.”

The archbishop continued, “More than one year on from the abortion referendum I am calling for more practical help for vulnerable women in this country who feel that their only way out of crisis is to end the life of their unborn child. What new supports have we put in place for mothers and fathers at the point of crisis? And, what supports are we offering to parents who feel that they have made the wrong choice in having an abortion?”

Speaking to the amendments being considered relating to Northern Ireland, Archbishop Eamon said, “I am also deeply concerned by suggestions that amendments are being considered to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, going through Westminster on Monday next, which will hijack this Bill to remove existing legal protection for unborn babies and to ‘fast track’ the legalisation of abortion on demand in Northern Ireland. How tragic it is for humanity that some legislators would ‘fast track’ the ending of the lives of the most defenceless in our society.

“Like many others I strongly believe that it is urgent to restore an executive in Northern Ireland, so that the common good of all our people can be served. There is something particularly cynical, however, in taking advantage of the present political crisis to remove the right to life of the most vulnerable of our people; the unborn baby. The common good cannot be served in this way.”

Archbishop Eamon concluded by asking Catholics to contact Members of Parliament as a matter of urgency. He said, “A legal framework for the protection of unborn human life is an important statement about the respect due to each and every child, and about the society in which we live. I ask Catholics, and all who share our commitment to the right to life, to contact Members of Parliament as a matter of urgency, requesting that he or she vote against any attempt to remove legal protection from unborn babies.”

Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore and Primate of All Ireland.

ENDS