herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Vigils for Savita two years on from tragic death

John Tighe, April Scully and Dearbhla Quinn pictured at the Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of Savita Halappanavar at St Stephen's Green
John Tighe, April Scully and Dearbhla Quinn pictured at the Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of Savita Halappanavar at St Stephen's Green
Marnie O'Brien pictured at the Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of Savita Halappanavar at St Stephen's Green

VIGILS were held in memory of tragic Savita Halappanavar in Dublin and Galway on the second anniversary her death.

More than 200 people turned out in Eyre Square and St Stephen's Green to remember the 31-year-old Indian dentist who died from septicaemia at University College Hospital Galway on October 28, 2012. She was 17 weeks pregnant.

Ms Halappanavar had asked for an abortion when she was told that she was miscarrying and would not retain her unborn baby.

threat

But she was advised by hospital staff that an abortion was not possible because of the presence of a heartbeat and because, initially, it was considered that there was not an immediate threat to her life.

Her death, and that of her unborn child, led to nationwide protests calling for a review of the abortion laws in Ireland.

Speakers at last night's commemoration repeated those calls, urging the removal of the eighth amendment to the constitution.

Rachel Donnelly, the spokesperson for Pro Choice Galway, said: "We are trying to keep up the pressure on our politicians to remove the eighth amendment.

"Without it, the liberalising of our laws is very difficult. Irish women's rights are being trampled on still."

Members of Pro Choice Galway were present in Eyre Square throughout the day, inviting the public to sign messages of sympathy and support for the Halappanavar family.

Photos of Savita were dotted along the north side of the square and an hour's silence was also observed.

Her husband, Praveen, is due to return to Galway to continue working for his employer, Boston Scientific.

He left Galway several months ago to carry out project work for the company in the US.

While he is returning to live and work in Galway, it is understood that he will not stay at the home he shared with his wife. He left his house on the east side of the city shortly after her death and has not returned.

hnews@herald.ie

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