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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 25 April, 2014

‘Over 2,000′ attend sit-down protest for Savita at Leinster House

Demonstrators sat on the ground during a moment of silence, while speakers argued for legislation on abortion.

AROUND TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE are said to have attended a demonstration in memory of Savita Halappanavar outside Leinster House this evening.

The demonstration, organised by the pro-choice campaign, was publicised through social media following the news that the 31-year-old died at University College Hospital in Galway last month from septicaemia contracted during her miscarriage, having been refused a termination.

During the event, attendees sat down on the street and observed silence in Savita’s memory.

The event, co-organised by People Before Profit and the United Left Alliance, was delayed slightly as the Molesworth Street and Kildare Street areas had not been closed to traffic before the demonstration began.

ULA TD Clare Daly, who tabled a bill to legislate for the X Case in April of this yera, told the crowd that today had been “in many ways the worst of days for Irish society”.

“X isn’t good enough, but it’s a start,” she said.

Sinead Ahern of Choice Ireland said this evening’s event was “about saying we are sorry to Savita’s family”, but that “tomorrow is about action”.

Socialist Party councillor Ruth Coppinger said the events that had led to Savita’s death were “medieval”, and called on the pro-choice movement “to band together to push for legislation on the X case”.

Coppinger also called for a separation of church and state, and the ending of any religious involvement in hospitals.

Organisers put the numbers in attendance at about 2,000, though Gardaí declined to estimate the numbers in attendance until after the event had concluded.

The organisers have also called for pickets at Irish embassies across Europe next Wednesday. A demonstration outside the Irish embassy in London was held in conjunction with this evening’s event in Dublin.

Additional reporting, and main image, by Christine Bohan.

Read: Savita scandal: Reilly urges TDs not to prejudge results of inquiries

Watch: The full Dáil debate on the death of Savita Halappanavar

More: Savita death ‘not caused by Ireland’s ban on abortion’ – Youth Defence

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