Tag: Ireland

A Polyphony of Spinning Hearts: How a Literary Style Summarised Ireland’s Post-Recession Identity Crisis


The present essay aims to analyse the polyphonic style and narrative choice of Donal Ryan’s The Spinning Heart for reporting the story of Irish recession and its influence on rural Ireland. The analysis will use excerpts from the primary text to elaborate on the impact of Ryan’s narrative choice on his readers and in studying rural Ireland’s culture and post-recession identity crisis.

The Spinning Heart is an amalgamation of 21 monologues delivered by the inhabitants of an unnamed small town in Ireland who happen to be the victims of the country’s financial collapse. In his book, Problems of Dostoevsky Poetics, Russian philosopher and literary critic, Mikhail Bakhtin defines polyphony as ‘the plurality of independent and unmerged voices’. Bakhtin praises the style due to its portrayal of an ‘objective world’ in which characters share ‘equal consciousness’. Donal Ryan creates such world in The Spinning Heart while garnering those ‘independent and unmerged voices’ under the umbrella of a collective trauma (economic downturn). The polyphonic discourse allows the expression of entirely different intentions and thoughts. For example, readers observe the impact of the economic crash on Vasya, an undocumented immigrant from Russia who represents a group whose life under the recession was not widely covered. Bakhtin insisted that each person’s experience is ‘unique and irreplaceable’. In Ryan’s novel, each perspective bears a certain amount of weight and validity. Another function of polyphony is turning characters and types into personalities by granting them freedom and independence from others’ perspectives and their environment. In The Spinning Heart, Ryan rescues Bobby Mahon’s father from becoming a stereotyped villain by granting him an independent voice even if it is after his demise. Ryan’s ‘personalities’ speak their truth and contradict each other’s narratives to reflect the inconsistent, bewildered state of rural Ireland after the recession. Bakhtin believed Dostoevsky used polyphony to depict the ‘contradictory multileveledness of his time’.

Further, the absence of dialogue reveals the sense of isolation that the town’s inhabitants feel, or what Maeve Mulrennan describes as ‘the powerlessness of a community’: the disillusionment that realising the disappearance of the glorious Celtic Tiger years brought about. In 2012, many young Irish men and women left the country for Australia and London as the financial crash destroyed the sense of loyalty to land (an important element in Irish culture) and formed a national identity crisis. In Ryan’s book, the imminent immigration of young people is highlighted in Brian’s monologue. While still in Ireland Brian fantasises about work, money and beautiful women waiting for him in Australia. As Mulrennan notes, after Ryan’s book a series of ‘institutional crises’ regarding the Catholic Church traumatised Irish identity even further. In The Spinning Heart, the recession is like an erupted volcano that has brought to head the internalised complexes, confusions and frustrations of rural people. As Chris O’Rourke writes, “The recession informs so much of his [Ryan] fractured tale that it’s questionable if it could survive with the same intensity without it.” Bobby feels even more useless now that his boss and local developer Pokey Burke, has fled the country and left him to take care of his broke and helpless employees. Pokey’s father Josie feels extremely ashamed of Bobby and others; he finds the new trauma hard to manage as he is already overwhelmed by internalised feelings of guilt regarding his children. Brian uses the financial downturn as an excuse to flee a town in which he grew up watching Bobby with envy. The recession is also taking a toll on Réaltín’s comparatively healthy relationship with her father. The essay now moves on to discuss the impact of Ryan’s choice of narration on examining rural Irish culture.

In an interview with the University of Limerick’s Regional Writing Centre, Ryan described himself as a ‘labour inspector’ rather than a writer and The Spinning Heart shows his careful examination of his compatriots’ behaviours. In monologues delivered by the male characters of the book, readers recognise Irish men as insecure and nervous of others’ judgements. Bobby is full of self-doubt despite the fact that others consider him to be the community’s golden boy. Bobby’s insecurity stems from growing up with a father who managed to convince him of his unworthiness; thus he envisions the old man’s murder – a bold initiative he doubts would win him his approval. “He’d still be telling me I’m only a useless prick.” His father’s ghost later opens up about his childhood and a father who mercilessly beat him revealing how both men were victims of a culture in which sons inherit their fathers’ demons. Bobby is very cautious of talking about his feelings as the dominant rural culture deems it a feminine quality. He is not only petrified of discussing his sentiments with his wife but avoids anything that questions his manhood. “Imagine if being found out that you went out to see a play, on your own! With a woman, you have an excuse for every kind of soft thing.” That is partially due to the homophobic culture of small Irish towns where boys must play GAA and abstain from displaying their emotions to flaunt their heterosexuality. In her study, A Matter of Life and Death: Men, Masculinities and Staying ‘Behind’ in Rural Ireland, Caitríona Ní Laoire suggests struggles for power and masculine identity play a key role in the growing rate of suicide among rural Irish men. In The Spinning Heart, Josie is so ashamed of his daughter’s homosexuality that does not even acknowledge the fact. There is no hint of his daughter’s sexual inclination in his monologue. Similarly, Brian’s father decides to disregard the fact that his son is spending his last days in Ireland. In Brian Friel’s Faith Healer (an Irish polyphonic play) Frank Hardy never discusses his wife’s miscarriages or the birth of his stillborn child. Irish men ignore the harsh truth and block painful memories instead of coming to terms with them. Identity crisis is also sensed in almost everyone’s speech. Josie’s daughter Mags copes with his father’s denial of her identity (sexuality) by blaming the religious, homophobic rural culture: “People’s thoughts, when their upbringing is mired in dogma, aren’t their own.” Rural culture of ostracising minority groups is highlighted in Lily and Vasya’s monologues. In Lily’s chapter, it is revealed to readers that besides Bobby (and his late mother) nobody goes near the former sex worker including her children. She is labelled and stigmatised as the local ‘wanton’. Vasya is treated with the similar prejudice as he is an outsider in a small Irish-majority community in which migration is still a unique phenomenon. He is nameless to town’s people, putting him in the midst of an identity crisis he endeavours to dismiss as normal. “I’m called the Russian here as almost everyone is from other countries.” The Spinning Heart depicts many more examples of cultural anomalies including sexism, racism and lack of education around mental illness (Trevor) highlighted in various monologues. The monologues, in the end, unite to form a clear image of Ryan’s unnamed small village and its residents’ characteristics and struggles under the economic downturn.

Donal Ryan utilised polyphonic storytelling to allow his readers to critically analyse rural Irish culture by studying various perspectives on life including those of a foreigner, a child and a mentally ill individual. The Spinning Heart employs recession to demonstrate how cultural poverty combined with a national disaster further complicated the lives of people in small Irish towns whose spinning hearts were already too wounded to handle an external crisis.


Bakhtin, M. (1984), Problems of Dostoevsky Poetics, p.6, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, [online] Available at: https://monoskop.org/images/1/1d/Bakhtin_Mikhail_Problems_of_Dostoevskys_Poetics_1984.pdf [Accessed 20 April 2018].

Cleary, L. (2015), ‘Donal Ryan: How I Write’ [interview], University of Limerick Regional Writing Centre, p.7, [online] Available at: https://ulsites.ul.ie/rwc/sites/default/files/rwc_Donal_Ryan_How_I_Write%2BInterview_transcript.pdf  [Accessed 25 April 2018].

Friel, B. (1980), Faith Healer, London: Faber and Faber.

Mulrennan, M. (2016), ‘Post-Celtic Tiger rural Ireland, internal exile and male identity in the fiction of Colin Barrett and Donal Ryan’, The Honest Ulsterman, [online] Available at: http://humag.co/features/post-celtic-tiger-rural-ireland-internal-exile-and-male-identity-in-the-fiction-of-colin-barrett-and-donal-ryan [Accessed 20 April 2018].

Ní Laoire, C. (2008), ‘A Matter of Life and Death: Men, Masculinities and Staying ‘Behind’ in Rural Ireland’, Journal of the European Society for Rural Sociology, [online] Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1467-9523.00179 [Accessed 23 April 2018].

O’Rourke, C. (2017), ‘The Spinning Heart’ [play review], The Arts Review, [online] Available at: https://www.theartsreview.com/single-post/2017/09/21/The-Spinning-Heart [Accessed 25 April 2018].

Rajan, B. (2009), ‘Milan Kundera’s novels as polyphony’, Calicut: University of Calicut Press, [online] Available at: http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/13022/8/08_chapter%202.pdf [Accessed 29 April 2018].

Rajan, B. (2009), ‘Milan Kundera’s novels as polyphony’, p.11, Calicut: University of Calicut Press, [online] Available at: http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/13022/8/08_chapter%202.pdf [Accessed 29 April 2018].

Robinson, A. (2011), ‘Bakhtin: Dialogism, Polyphony and Heteroglossia’, Cease Fire Magazine, [online] Available at: https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/in-theory-bakhtin-1/ [Accessed 29 April 2018].

Ryan, D. (2012), The Spinning Heart, p.130. Dublin: Doubleday Ireland.

Ryan, D. (2012), The Spinning Heart, p.16. Dublin: Doubleday Ireland.

Ryan, D. (2012), The Spinning Heart, p.20. Dublin: Doubleday Ireland.

Ryan, D. (2012), The Spinning Heart, p.36. Dublin


Cork Woman’s Heartache as Sister Remains Missing in India


Ilze Skromane’s voice breaks talking about her sister’s love for animals, nature and people. “My sister is wonderful, she is very friendly, warm and trustworthy,” she says.

The Cork woman hasn’t seen her sister Liga since the early hours of March 14 when she went missing while on a “healing vacation” in Kerala, India. She was last seen on Kerala’s Kovalam beach.

ilze skromane liga skromane missing india cork
Liga (right) and Ilze (left)

Ilze, owner of a beauty salon in Cork, says that she noticed her sister was suffering from “post-traumatic depression” since last August. As Liga was not responding well to mainstream treatment, the Skromane sisters decided to try an alternative medicine: Ayurveda healing.

“Liga always wanted to visit India, and I offered her to come with me and start Ayurveda Programme,” she says. Ayurveda treatment is an ancient Hindu method of healing. The programme usually consists of daily yoga and meditation routines.

On February 21, the sisters arrived at Dharma Ayurveda Healing Centre – an Ayurveda yoga retreat in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in Southwest India – where Liga was supposed to undergo a six-week treatment programme.

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Liga (right) and Ilze (left)

On the morning of her disappearance, Liga had complained about a “slight headache” and asked her sister to attend their morning yoga class by herself.

“I asked would she like me to ask for some headache medicine from the doctor, but she said it would go away if I just lie down,” Ilze says.

“I put a cold, wet towel on her forehead, gave her a kiss and a cuddle and said I’ll see her soon,” she recalls.

An hour later, Ilze returned to their room and found her sister missing.

”When I didn’t find her in the room I thought she had gone for a walk,” she says. After a few hours, Ilze started to get anxious. Finally, the centre’s staff informed her that an auto-rickshaw (a motorised three-wheeler for hire in India) driver is confident that he has given Liga a lift to the beach that morning.

“When the driver said that he gave her a lift to the beach I felt a ray of hope and thought oh maybe she just decided to go for a walk on the beach,” Ilze says.

The driver claims that Liga had paid him to take her to the “closest beach” to the area, and had asked him to “keep the change”.  Ilze says her sister has taken “2000 Indian Rupees (€25) at the most” with herself.

“I went to the beach and started searching and very quickly realised that she was not there and then panic started to set in,” Ilze recalls.

Liga has left her passport and belongings in their room. The 33-year-old woman holds a Latvian passport and a permanent Irish residency. Liga has been living away from her sister, as she’d moved to Swords, Dublin to live with her partner Andrew Jordan since a few years ago. The Dublin man arrived in Kerala on an emergency visa on March 17.

Ilze says distance never hurt their strong sisterly bond. “We’re the closest sisters. We would rarely fight even though I was in Cork managing my business and she had to go to Dublin, but we still had a very good relationship,” she says.

Liga and Ilze’s parents in Latvia are especially worried and distance is making them more anxious. “My parents wanted to come over, but I told them not to because it would only distress them more,” Ilze says.Not knowing what has happened to Liga is what troubles Ilze the most. “It is very hard when you don’t know anything, and there is no comfort, and you keep wondering is she okay?”

ilze skromane liga skromane missing india cork
Top right Liga their brother Erwin and wife bottom right Ilze mum Vesma dad Janis and Family cat Minkans

The Cork woman fears that her sister might be held hostage. “It could be that she’s being held against her will for some reason,” she says.

Numerous missing person posters of Ilze have been distributed in Kerala and nearby areas. Ilze had since briefed the media in a press conference and is reaching out to Indian, Latvian and Irish authorities for help.

“We’re trying to ask the parliament and embassies [Latvian and Irish] to pressure them [Indian authorities] to put more men on the ground and look for Liga,” Ilze says. “It would be much appreciated if the Irish Embassy could help us.”

Andrew Jordan had claimed that the Department of Foreign Affairs is reluctant to offer aid as Liga is not an Irish citizen. The Department of Foreign Affairs’s press office says “the department does not comment on individual cases” and did not respond to queries regarding their general policy toward similar situations.

The Latvian embassy in India, however, says they are working closely with Irish authorities to find Liga.

“The Embassy of Latvia highly appreciates constructive and professional cooperation with the Embassy and the Honorary Consul of Ireland in Chennai, who have offered their assistance. The search for the missing woman is a high priority for both Embassies in India,” reads the Latvian Embassy’s statement. According to the Latvian Embassy in India, Sweden has also announced its willingness to assist with search efforts.

Ilze is full of gratitude for her fellow Corkonians’ support during this challenging time.

“First of all I just want to say thank you so much to people in Cork who have sent me so many messages and please just keep sharing Liga’s story,” she says.

Ilze has also set up a Facebook page called “Missing in Kerala” to facilitate contact for people with any useful information about her sister.

Liga is 5’6, skinny with dark hair and blue eyes. Indian police are offering a reward of 2 lakh (nearly €1,240) to those who can lead them to her.







Abtran’s Employee Conflict Drags On

Ireland’s massive outsourcing group Abtran continues to be the target of a growing online campaign organised by disgruntled employees.

The campaign initially organised by a few current and former employees gained momentum overnight when it took the form of a Facebook page called “Scabtran.”

Scabtran Abtran Controversy Workers Rights
Scabtran Logo Made by Abtran’s Dissatisfied Employees

Launched about a week ago the page has now gained over a thousand followers. Page’s organisers encourage former and current Abtran employees to share their experience of working at one of the largest customer service providers in the country.

A large number of Abtran’s employees claimed that the company is not allowing them sufficient toilet breaks.

“The company doesn’t treat us like human beings, human beings have a right to use the bathroom,” one current employee said.

“If your desk is at the very end of the floor, one employee said, it may take you a minute or a minute half to actually get to the toilet, given that you must make this journey twice that could take up all your seven minutes other times you have to hold it in. Because if you go over this time, your manager documents it and you can be written up for a disciplinary hearing.”

Abtran Workers Exploitation Cork City Employees
Banner put by Abtran’s disgruntled employees on Lapps Quay

“ The  only time team leaders make an effort to talk to us, one Abtran employee said, is when we do something wrong, they do not care about the instances when you do a good job, only when you failed.”

Several other employees accused Abtran of “providing a poor working environment and ignoring complaints.”

Responding to the allegations Tim Kinsella of MKC Communication whose firm represents Abtran said that his client is “an entirely reputable company and a caring and responsible employer in every respect.”

In an Email sent to all employees, Pat Ryan Chief Executive Officer of Abtran asked workers to “not let the campaign affect their morale.”

“I also personally am intent on ensuring that Abtran listens and reacts appropriately to employees,” vowed Mr Ryan in the now leaked Email.

According to Mr Ryan, the campaign is “entirely malicious” and is “trying to damage Abtran’s reputation.”

“As this campaign has also now made threatening remarks,” Mr Ryan added, “I am working closely with our legal team who are liaising with the relevant authorities to ensure this is dealt with appropriately.”

“There haven’t been any threatening remarks besides constant union pushing,” said Alex Homits, a spokesperson for the campaign.

“Ryan’s Email to employees,” Homits said, “has gained us hundreds of followers overnight.”

The so-called Scabtran posters are visible in bus stops around Cork city centre as well.

Abtran remains one of Ireland’s largest and most successful outsourcing groups. In 2016, Sky awarded a contract to Abtran which created 130 new jobs at Abtran Cork. In 2010, Abtran reported more than 75% surge in profits. Abtran has branches in Dublin and Cork.


Gerry Adams’s Final Goodbye to Cork as the Leader of Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams stopped at Cork city tonight as part of his tour around the country as the outgoing leader of Sinn Fein.

Gerry Adams Goodbye Cork
Gerry Adams says goodbye to Cork

Speaking to the crowd of his supporters in Cork, he emphasized the importance of keeping the movement alive after his departure.

Gerry Adams Cork Sinn Fein girl
Gerry Adams says goodbye to his Cork supporters

” Let’s go forward together united, with courage and hope and the very very highest expectations,” Mr. Adams said.

Gerry Adams expressed his confidence in the party members and commended the party’s Cork councilors – Henry Cremin in particular.

Adams touched on the abortion topic as well and said that the referendum would be the best solution for the ongoing debate.

” I’m not for abortion, but I am a man, women have to protected and trusted,” the 69-year-old politician said.

Gerry Adams’ career as the Sinn Fein leader expands to more than three decades.

Gerry Adams Cork Commons Inn Hotel Farewell Liadh Ní Riada
Gerry Adams kissing Liadh Ní Riada Sinn Fein Gaelic Officer

The Belfast-native remains the most enigmatic Irish politicians of all time. Mr. Adams never disassociated himself from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) although he insists that he was never an IRA member.

While his supporters hail him as a hero, he is hated by some as an avid supporter of the IRA.

The group is known to be responsible for more than 1,700 deaths.

Adams was accused of helping the IRA carrying out attacks during what became known as the Bloody Friday.

He was later acquitted of all charges.

Adams is the survivor of several assassination attempts.

Gerry Adams Commons Inn Hotel
Gerry Adams at the commons inn hotel

His brother’s conviction of rape in 2013 brought more unwanted controversy to the life of the seasoned politician.

He was arrested and acquitted of a 70s murder charge the very same year.

Adams has been married to his wife of 47 years Collette who does not make public appearances with her husband. Their son Gearoid is a well-known figure in the Gaelic football world.

Gerry Adams Cork Commons Inn Hotel
Gerry Adams Speaking at the Commons Inn Hotel Cork city

Asked by the Logical Radical if McGuinness’s death has influenced his decision to step down as the Sinn  Fein leader, the 69-year-old politician said: ” Yes, we had a bond together.”

Adams shook hands and took selfies with his Cork supporters at tonight’s event.

Cork Housing Activists Demand Immediate Public Housing

Cork’s housing activists gathered outside the City Hall, demanded an immediate solution to the housing problem from their local politicians.

Protestors marched from St.Patricks’s hill to Cork City Hall where the budget meeting took place.

The activists called out Eoghan Murphy, Minister for housing with slogans such as Eoghan Murphy can you sleep? People are dying on the streets.

Housing Activist Treasa DeBarra demand public housing in Cork
Housing Activist Treasa DeBarra

“It’s a political choice that does not recognize housing or shelter as a human right,” said Cork housing activist Treasa DeBarra.

“We are here to urge councilors to reject the budget as it is. The budget does not allocate funding that is adequate or needed to solve the housing emergency, but it could. It could have the adequate funding, and it must have it,” said Ms. DeBarra.

Housing public housing cork city hall cork city budget Ireland
Housing Protestors in Cork City

The young activist expressed little hope that their efforts would block the housing budget.

“Sadly my friends, the chances are slim that the budget would be blocked.,”  said Ms. DeBarra.

“It will be passed by the same forces that are watching our people get evicted and die on the streets,” said Ms. DeBarra.

T.J Hogan from the Traveller community also spoke at the event and described the housing situation direr for his community.

“Some of us like to live in houses just like settled people. Travellers looking for houses face the same problem as the settlers do,” said Mr.Hogan.

“Travellers face additional problems if they look for rental accommodation, “said Mr.Hogan.

Rent prices have increased dramatically in the past few years. According to the latest reports, the average rent in Cork city is 1,100 Euros.

The situation has led to evictions, homelessness or groups living in unsafe conditions in small homes.

Housing protest Cork City Cork City Hall Ireland Housing Crisis
Housing Protestors outside Cork City Hall

Ireland came third in the list of countries which have experienced a hike in housing prices this year.

Housing Crisis Ireland Treasa DeBarra Cork City Cork City Hall
Cork People Deman Immediate Public Housing

Yesterday, the housing minister Eoghan Murphy vowed to change the law to force stronger penalties on homeowners found guilty of putting people’s lives in jeopardy with unsafe accommodation.

The government has promised to the tackle the housing crisis many times.

The activists vowed to gather outside the City Council again on Monday morning at 10 A.M.

Cork City Residents Complain of Recent Changes in Tap Water Quality

The Logical Radical has received reports about a sudden drop in Cork City’s tap water quality.

According to some Cork City residents, the change in the water quality has occurred since the temporary nighttime shutdown of City Center’s water supply in late June. However, people living far from the City Center are also experiencing changes in the taste and the smell of their drinking water.

“I don’t know about the water in the city center, but the water in Douglas has had a weird taste for the last two weeks or so,” says a Douglas resident.

“I thought it was just me. Water in Douglas for last 3 weeks tastes earthy. I usually drink loads of tap water but really struggling with it lately. I can still taste it in coffee. Tea not so much,” said another Douglas resident.

While some residents are complaining about changes in the taste of Cork City’s tap water, others have noticed some changes in its smell as well.

“It’s not just the taste; there’s even an ‘earthy” smell off mine. Haven’t noticed any problems while drinking it in coffee, but it tastes fairly awful otherwise,” says another Cork resident.

Most residents described the taste of water as “sand-like” and “earthy.”

The City Hall has always confirmed the presence of lead in the water. Water quality sometimes changes due to heavy rainfalls that wash the extra organic material into the rivers and streams. However, it is unlikely that this would apply to the recent changes in water quality of Cork City since there have not been reports of heavy rain falls in a few weeks.

The EPA is the supervisory authority for public water supplies. Irish Water is responsible for monitoring such supplies and for informing the EPA of non-compliant water monitoring results. The relevant local authority prepares short-term and long-term plans to address the problem, for approval by the EPA. The EPA has legal enforcement powers if appropriate action is not taken” according to the citizen information website.

Residents can make an official complaint about the quality of water on the EPA internet site as well.


Huge Turn up for the Repeal the 8th Rally in Cork

Cork residents gathered outside the City’s Grand Parade Library to demand the legalization of abortion this afternoon.

Cork Library Grand Parade Repeal the 8th
Repeal the 8th Rally in Cork City

The event which lasted for two hours included a march from Grand Parade to Parnell Place, Patrick’s Street and back. Speakers from various organizations also spoke to protesters.

Cork Abortion Rights Rally
Cork People Mach for Abortion Rights

Union of Students in Ireland President, Annie Hoey, was the first talker of the event. Hoey compared today’s protest to marriage referendum protests in Cork and said:” We do not need to call for a referendum anymore, we are having a referendum.”

Annie Hoey Cork Abortion Rally Mick Barry
Annie Hoey President of Student Union in Cork Speaks to the Crowd

Hoey encouraged everyone to get registered to vote in the long-awaited 8th Amendment referendum.

Abortion Rally Students Cork UCC
Students Showed up in Large Numbers

Liz Madden of Cork Feminista was the second speaker of the protest. “ Statistic from the U.K. Government shows that 3000 Irish women have traveled to the UK to access abortion,” said Madden to the crowd. Madden counted poverty, being underage, being in unhealthy relationships, dealing with mental issues as some of the reasons for why women are willing to travel to the United Kingdom to access abortion. “There are many reasons why women want to have an abortion, and it’s not even our place to ask,” added Madden.

Actress, comedian, and writer Tara Flynn also spoke to the crowd. Flynn said that since her experience with abortion (having to travel to Netherlands to access abortion) she has become involved in this campaign.

 Tara Flynn Cork Abortion Rights Rally
Actress Tara Flynn Speaks to the Pro-Choice Crowd

“Anti-choice rhetoric has had the floor all to itself. That’s why we need to let people know what exactly pro-choice means. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. It is pro-facts, pro-reality, and pro-kindness. It is pro-pregnant people from every class and background,” added the Irish comedian.

Pro-life vs. Pro-choice Cork Face off
A Pro-Life Activists Crashes the Pro-Choice Rally

After the rally, more people spoke to the crowd including a South African asylum seeker who had traveled to Ireland while pregnant and was shocked to find out that abortion was illegal in the country. “ It was a huge culture shock for me because where I come from in South Africa, abortion is legal. It has been since 1994.”

South African immigrant pro choice cork
South African Immigrant and Pro-choice Activist Speaks to the Crowd

Eli Doliver from University College Cork’s feminist society was the last speaker of the gathering. “ The government fails the women who leave the country to seek medical help. Last year alone more than 3000 women went to England and Wales to access abortion. Doliver called the fact that Irish women have to travel to England to seek abortion “an international disgrace” for the country.

Eli Doliver Abortion Rights Rally Cork Library Grand Parade UCC Feminists
Eli Doliver of UCC Feminist Society Speaks to the Crowd

Pro-life activists also stood behind with their banners and displayed their objection throughout the event.

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A Pro-Life Woman Holding a Picture of Virgin Mary

One Pro-life activist crashed the pro-choice rally and was trying to convince the protester that they are wrong. Abortion rights in Ireland were specially brought into the spotlight in 2015 and after the death of Savita Halappanavar. Halappanavar was a young dentist who died due to complications of a septic miscarriage after being denied an abortion.

Pro life Anti Abortion Activists Cork Ireland
Pro-Life Activists Stood behind the Whole time