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Flashback: Pro-life and pro-choice campaigners clash in 1992

Photocall Ireland has dug out this photo from the archives showing how abortion has remained divisive over the decades.

IT’S NO DOUBT evident by now, for those who had not already realised it, that abortion remains one of the most contentious and divisive subjects in Irish society.

After a European Court of Human Rights ruling in 2010, Ireland was told to offer a clear procedure by which a woman could tell if she had the right to have an abortion, as had been established in the 1992 Supreme Court ruling in the ‘X Case’.

The outcome in the X Case took Ireland by surprise – many expected the five-judge panel to uphold the High Court’s ruling, where it had granted the Attorney General a court order to stop 14-year-old X, a rape victim, from travelling to Britain for a termination.

The photo above shows one of the many clashes between supporters of both sides before and after the ruling was handed down in March 1992.

Writes photographer Eamonn Farrell of Photocall Ireland:

Twenty one years almost to the day, a confrontation between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice supporters took place on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin over the issues relating to the X Case. It looks like over the next few weeks, starting with the Catholic Church organised Vigil of Prayer tomorrow in Knock County Mayo, the same battle is going to be fought all over again.

In full: TheJournal.ie’s coverage of the abortion debates

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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