Eighth Amendment Referendum campaign gets graphic in Limerick

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Local business-people block graphic anti-abortion posters.

GARDAÍ were called and local businesses people got involved when graphic anti-abortion images were displayed on a city roundabout in full view of children and passing motorists on Friday.

Fears have been now raised that the group responsible will target Limerick Maternity Hospital after displaying similar images outside maternity hospitals in Dublin.

Staff and customers from the Bellissimo beauty salon on the Dock Road brought sheets from the salon to obscure the images of aborted foetuses after pregnant staff and customers became upset.

“The poster was huge and it was just horrible. There were children in the salon that day as well as mothers and some of our staff are pregnant. People were getting very upset about it,” Bellissimo manager, Jenny Flanagan told the Limerick Post.

The salon’s many windows give direct sight of the roundabout at the Shannon Bridge and Ms Flanagan said there were “lots of people around and lots of children in the salon, the first day of Riverfest. We couldn’t avoid seeing the posters from here. I went out and asked them to go but they wouldn’t.

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“I rang the Gardaí but nothing happened for a while so a couple of tall volunteers went out with sheets and stood in front of them so people wouldn’t have to see the poster. There was no need to show that kind of image to children,” she said.

A mother who was walking on the bridge with her two young boys and two of their friends said they had to run past while members of the group “shouted at the boys ‘don’t trust women’.

“All the boys were under ten years of age, one of mine is just six. They were upset all day after it and asking questions. They saw the posters before I could get them away. I tried to take the drama out of it and told them those were bad people and little boys should trust all the people they love”.

Meanwhile, the Limerick Together for Yes (LT4Y) has said they are making their counselling support team available to anyone who was affected by the images.

Chairperson Yvie Murphy described the images as “obscene and incredibly upsetting”.

“No-one knows what another person’s circumstances are. We got multiple messages from people expressing upset, shock and frustration around the graphic nature of these images. We are concerned these people may target the Maternity hospital next”.

It’s understood that Gardaí arrived and confiscated some posters.

A Garda spokesman said: “An Garda Síochána does not comment on material displayed in public places by third parties but will respect the rights of all concerned and investigate each case or complaint on its own merits and seek a direction from the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

The group believed to be behind the protest did not respond to queries before going to press.

Since publication, the Irish Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (ICBR) contacted The Limerick Post, the group maintains the display was not arranged or scheduled by the ICBR.

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