Every year for the past six years, the March for Choice takes place all across Ireland and this year was no different. Except this year was different than any other. Taoiseach Leo Vardakar had recently announced that a referendum on the 8th Amendment will be held in May or June of next year. This was the first time that the government made any official plans to repeal the 8th amendment.
The march took place on Saturday 30th of September. Marchers were asked to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance at 2pm. There were people from all around the country in attendance at the march but students left a strong mark on this protest. Colleges from across the country came out in protest of the 8th Amendment including Trinity College, DCU and UCD. There were several sabbatical officers from the UCDSU at the march except the SU President herself Katie Ascough. This is no surprise at Ascough’s absence as her presidency is currently is surrounded by controversy due to her removing information on abortion from the UCD handbook, costing €8,000.
Students weren’t the only supporters at the march as there were people of all ages and occupations including politicians from Sinn Féin, Labour and People before Profit party. But it wasn’t just Irish people who came out in support for the march. The support reached all around the globe. People came out and protested in cities such as Paris, Utrecht (Netherlands), Vancouver and Berlin.
DCU students had a strong presence at the march as the DCUSU organised a bus to leave the Helix on that day. Among those DCU students were all members of DCU Femme Society. Speaking to chairperson of Femme Soc, Isha McDonnell, she tells us about the atmosphere at the march. As a person who has been so involved in the Repeal campaign has had a “really positive change” in terms of debating and listening to different perspectives. McDonnell also made the important point that in terms of campaigning for choice. She states that for supporters on the pro-choice side that we shouldn’t alienate those who are on the fence about their decision or have conservative views on the issue as the end goal is to repeal the 8th amendment.
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