A London-based Irish group is urging Ireland to retain the Eighth Amendment.
A large crowd of people joined London Irish United For Life (LIUFL), a group set up by London-based Irish women, as they took part in this year’s St Patrick’s Parade in London on Sunday 18th March.
It’s believed to be the first year that a pro-life group has walked in the parade and many of those who participated with LIUFL are recent immigrants and so still eligible to return home to vote in the referendum, as only Irish citizens who have been living outside Ireland for less than 18 months are eligible to go home to vote.
‘Home to Vote’ was one of the themes of the group’s display with ‘Cherish the Children, Cherish the 8th’ being another. The latter theme was a reference to the line from the 1916 Proclamation.
LIUFL want as many eligible people as possible to return home to vote ‘No’ in the referendum, which asks whether the Eight Amendment should be repealed.
The Eight Amendment obliges the Irish state to respect the right to life of the unborn, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother.
Other participants in the LIUFL parade were long-term Irish immigrants, people with Irish parentage and others who are simply interested in the referendum and want Ireland to retain its right to life constitutional protection.
Anne Scanlan, director of Education at Life charity, and originally from Dublin, was one of many participants. She said she was “delighted to join London Irish United for Life at the St Patrick’s Day parade.
“We were walking to ‘Protect the 8th’ which has saved the lives of thousands of babies and made Ireland one of the safest places in the world to have a baby,” she said.
“As an Irish woman living in London I have seen first-hand the damage caused by abortion so I applaud the efforts of London Irish United For Life as they defend the rights of unborn children and their mothers.”
LIUFL received a very positive reaction from the crowds.
Read more about this story in this week’s Universe, which is out in print on Friday 23rd March, available digitally on Thursday 22nd March.
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Picture: London Irish United For Life at London’s St Patrick’s Day parade. (Peter L Jones).