Anti-clerical abuse protests held around the country to mark Pope’s visit
A rally, dubbed as Stand For Truth, was held today as survivors of abuse and their supporters gathered outside the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin City Centre to demonstrate opposition to crimes committed by the Catholic Church throughout generations, as Pope Francis visited the capital and read mass only a short distance away in the city’s Pheonix Park.
As expected, upwards of two thousand attended the rally with little space to move around, as protesters took up almost the entirety of Parnell Square East. The organiser of the event Colm O’Gorman spoke and introduced a number of singers and poets, including Hozier, Brian Kennedy, Mary Black, Róisín O, Thanks Brother and more. Many people held banners which read “Truth, Love, Justice.”, which were distributed by the organisers. Also to be seen were homemade banners calling attention to the numerous scandals involving the church.
In Tuam, a silent march took place from the town hall to the site of St. Mary’s Mother and Baby Home, an institution operated by the Catholic Church where the remains of 796 infants were found buried in a cesspit being used as a mass grave. This came to light only in 2012, over half a century after the maternity home closed down. Upon reaching the site, candles were lit in memory of those who died there at the hands of the Catholic Church.
Similar events also took place in Athlone, Buncrana, Dundalk and Kilkenny.