All-Ireland Rally for Life : Every life matters

ind_virgenThe annual All-Ireland Rally for Life alternates between Belfast and Dublin, taking place on the first Saturday in July.  The first march and rally was held in Dublin in 2007 with the numbers attending increasing every year.

This year will be the tenth event and will be taking place in Belfast, come rain or shine.  God willing, the weather will be fine, as has been the case most years.

Many a year it has been a ‘soft’ day, but miraculously as the start time comes nearer the clouds disappear and the sun shines on the righteous.  The first Rally in Belfast in 2008 was late in the year and held at the seat of government in front of the Parliament Buildings at Stormont.  It was what they call a ‘heavy’ day [as opposed to a ‘soft’ day when there is mizzle] and everyone was drenched, but that did not deter the pro-lifers who stood firm to the end.  Lesser mortals would have drifted away seeking shelter.  I can confirm that I was completely soaked and thoroughly satisfied and motivated.  I have attended every Rally since then.

The Christian Democratic Party is pleased to support the Rally for Life, which this year takes place on Saturday 2nd July, starting at 2.00pm from Custom House Square, Victoria Street.  There will be a Rally Mass at St. Patricks Church, Donegall Street, St. Malachy’s Church, Alfred Street, at 12.30pm.

The Belfast Rally is important because although it is an All-Ireland event, it is also a United Kingdom event.  It therefore connects the British and Irish Pro-Life movements.  We have reported extensively on the activities of Precious Life in Northern Ireland and the trials, tribulations and triumphs of its Director – Bernadette Smyth.  While the Rally may be the highlight of the year, they provide counselling every week outside the abortion referral agencies and conduct street information sessions.  They have also collaborated with Stanton Healthcare to set up a Women’s Healthcare Centre and provide alternative care and help services for pregnant mothers at no cost.  They conduct outreach in Derry City and their off-shoot Youth for Life are active across the Province.

They are partners with the Life Institute and Youth Defence in the Republic.  Mainly concentrated in Dublin, Youth Defence goes on annual tour across the country to spread the pro-life message.  In a new development this year, and two days after the Irish general election, the first Munster Rally for Life was held in Cork City.  On the 27th February over 5,000 people marched and rallied in defence of the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which provides equal protection to mother and unborn child.  The message to the politicians was ‘protect the 8th Amendment’ and to the pro-lifers was ‘stand strong in protection of the right to life’.

In celebrating ten years of the Rally for Life, the continuing aim is to celebrate life and the message of life; to raise awareness of the hurt and damage that abortion causes to women, families and society; to unite all the pro-life groups; and to bring an end to abortion.

The message from Katie Robinson at Youth Defence is, “Abortion campaigners are pushing just as hard to have abortion made legal in Northern Ireland – because they want to target vulnerable people in the South too, creating ‘easier access’ to abortion.  We need to look out for every mother and every baby on this island, and work to keep abortion out of the whole island of Ireland.  The law in the North impacts on the laws made in the Dail and visa versa.  We need to stand together to Celebrate Life and call for a better answer than abortion.  The Rally for Life is always a great day so SAVE the DATE now, and work together to make the 10th Rally for Life the best ever!”

We can all agree with that.  In the words of John Masefield

And she who gives a baby birth,  Brings Saviour Christ again to Earth.

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