Participants in the ‘We Own Our Hospitals’ march, organised by Parents for Choice, Uplift, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and Justice for Magdalenes, make their way from the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin 1 to Leinster House.
The march coincides with the Uplift petition – currently signed by 103,840 people (above) – against the decision to give sole ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital to the Religious Sisters of Charity.
RTÉ reports that “up to 1,500” people are taking part in the march.
A new National Maternity Hospital is urgently needed but cannot be allowed to be owned by the Sisters of Charity. Parents for Choice, Uplift, and National Women’s Council of Ireland and Justice for Magdalens are organising a national people powered march to send a message to Health Minister Simon Harris that he must urgently deal with this crisis and guarantee that the hospital will not be owned by a religious order.
Outside Apollo House on Poolbeg Street, off Tara Street, Dublin 2.
Supporters of the Home Sweet Home occupation of the building – including Transition Year students Emma and Aisling, from Tipperary, top – gather before marching to the Department of Finance offices.
There, a letter and petition will be given to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, calling on him to direct NAMA to use its property assets to address the homelessness and housing crisis in Ireland.
On foot for receiving the aforementioned letter and petition…
The Department of Finance has released the following statement:
The Department of Finance today received a letter from the Home Sweet Home group, which is ten pages long and covers details relevant to the actions taken by that group. The Department of Finance will consider the content and a response will issue in due course.
The Government are aware of the powers of NAMA under the NAMA Act 2009.
NAMA has already been active in this space and have offered almost 7,000 units to local authorities for use as social housing. NAMA advise that of these local authorities have taken up c. 2,400 units for social housing use.
NAMA also has plans to facilitate the delivery of 20,000 private residential units on sites securing its loans in Dublin and its surrounds in the period to 2020.
NAMA is well on its way to deliver on that target and from Q1 2014 to December 2016 have facilitated the delivery of 4,500. The associated 10% social housing delivered on such sites should not be forgotten and is a further meaningful contribution to addressing shortages. This initiative highlights how NAMA can advance its commercial mandate whilst also being mindful of ancillary social objectives.
The availability of housing is the key priority for Government and has been the focus of a number of measures introduced under the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Plan. The Department of Finance, the Minister for Finance, and NAMA continue to support that work.
Scenes from today’s Women Rising rally in Dublin, arranged by Coalition to Repeal the 8th, taken by Mark Stedman.
The rally was organised to demand that the Irish Government take action to respect and protect women’s lives, health and choices. Supporters were encouraged to wear black and tweet their support using #Black4Repeal.
The rally is one of two Irish events that took place today as part of an international day of support for women in countries where abortion is banned or difficult to access. Some of the countries participating around the world include Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Poland, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Italy.
A piper leads a SIPTU Dublin District Council-organised march – involving people dressed up in Irish Citizen Army uniforms – from Liberty Hall to Marino College of Further Education on North Strand Road, where a plaque dedicated to those who served with the ICA, between 1913 and 1923, was unveiled outside the college.
Justice for the Tuam babies write on their Facebook page:
“[Tomorrow] at 7pm we will march from the Department of Children on Mespil Road (on the canal near Baggot St) to the Dáil. We will hold a candlelit vigil at the Dáil. At the Dáil the names of the 796 children who perished at the hands of church and state criminal negligence will be read out. As each name is read out everyone there will take turns to bring up a child’s shoe or a bib or a toy or flowers…something to represent their little lives. We are hoping to have a lament sung/played during the reading of the names. The reading of the names will be interspersed with poetry and short recounts of the conditions the children endured.”