Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Repeal the 8th campaigners bring defiant note to London's St Patrick's day parade

repeal the 8th.jpg

Words: Elle Griffiths

While most people out in London  for St Patrick’s day on Sunday were there for a good time, one group of women had a more important purpose.

Around 100 people from the London-Irish abortion rights campaign, a pro-choice group dedicated to repealing the 8th amendment in Ireland, marched in the capital’s parade for the first time.

The women dressed in ‘repeal the 8th’ sweatshirts and sashes and carried hand-made placards featuring famous Irish women from history.

Read More: Abortion: The unheard stories

Abortion is illegal on both sides of the border in Ireland and more than 9 women a day currently travel to mainland Britain to access the service, often alone.

Organisers explained their theme was “Stand in Awe of All Mná, inspired by the spoken word performance by Irish poet Emmet Kirwan that went viral back in January.


Speaking in The Irish Times, the group explained: “It feels odd to believe so much in a cause but be so wary about the public reaction.

“Our goal was simple: to make Londoners aware of the fact abortion is illegal in most circumstances in Ireland and thousands of women a year are therefore exported to British clinics.”

The women, many Irish born or of Irish descent, admitted to being nervous about the reaction they would receive from others in the parade.

But the event was well received, with cheers of encouragement and support from a range of people.

Read More: Irish women report gratitude for illegal abortion pills 


According to an Amnesty International poll, 87% of people in Ireland want access to abortion expanded. Of these, only 7% want expanded access limited to fatal foetal abnormalities. 80% want access at least in cases where a woman’s life or health is at risk or where the pregnancy is as a result of rape or incest, including 38% of these in favour of access in all circumstances.

Only 5% of people are opposed to abortion in all circumstances.

The London-Irish abortion rights campaign is one of several off-shoots of a co-ordinated campaign to pressure the Irish government to hold a referendum on repealing the 8th amendment.

Marriage equality was achieved in Ireland in 2015 after a referendum and campaigners are hoping to emulate this success. 

Image Credits: Rex Features / Twitter


ryan gosling feminist.jpg

“No more excuses: Why it’s time men joined the feminist fight”


Stylist meets feminist powerhouse Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Sex-selective abortions should be allowed, says pregnancy expert


Ireland will hold a referendum on abortion in 2018

Here’s everything you need to know about what could be a landmark moment for women’s rights

by Moya Crockett
26 Sep 2017

29 autumn tattoos that capture the magic of the golden season

Think woodland illustrations and sunset hues

by Megan Murray
26 Sep 2017

The greatest life lessons from The Princess Bride

It's been 30 years since it first hit the big screen

by Susan Devaney
26 Sep 2017

These are the four skills you should highlight on your CV

According to the world's top CEOs

by Helen Brown
26 Sep 2017

This woman’s post encourages others to call out sexual harassment

“He tilted his phone up... enough for me to see the picture of my ass”

by Amy Swales
26 Sep 2017

Trump rates Angelina Jolie and Anne Hathaway in newly released tapes

“I don’t think she’s got good skin. I don’t think she’s got a great face.”

by Amy Swales
26 Sep 2017

Depressingly, this TV moment attracted the most complaints of 2017

Don’t we all have bigger things to worry about than this?

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Sep 2017

This TV show has been voted reigning champion of the last 20 years

And no, it's not Friends

by Megan Murray
26 Sep 2017

Everything you need to know about Pretty Woman: The Musical

We already can’t wait for this

by Moya Crockett
26 Sep 2017

Why you'll never fancy that person who REALLY likes you

According to experts

by Nicola Colyer
26 Sep 2017