The crowd makes it way down towards Linear Park. Picture: Tony Keane
A large crowd turned out for yesterday evenings’ Silent March in Newbridge.
The aim was to show support for the women and families affected by the cervical cancer crisis.
Organised by the Gina Lavelle Wash Memorial Fund, the crowd gathered at the Town Hall at 7.15pm before making their way down to Liffey Linear Park.
They laid a wreath in memory of the women who have died from cervical cancer. Marie Lavelle spoke about the controversy and Dep Fiona O’Loughlin did a reading.
Marie said, like most people, she became aware of the scandal when it broke in the news due to the bravery of Vicky Phelan.
"It was going on all around me, and I was hearing a lot about it on radio/television, but then Emma came onto the Late Late Show and her heart breaking interview stopped me dead in my tracks, I was very angry, and then the following day I was in the hairdressers and everyone was talking about it, I thought we need to do more than talk hence the idea for the Silent Walk tonight," she said.
"Some of these women, who have died will never fulfil the lives they thought they would have, they will not see their children grow up, families will be left heartbroken and will have to be strong and stay strong in an effort to continue on without their loved one. The government are now putting things in place for these families counselling etc, but will there be a counsellor in these homes at 2a.m when a child needs to be comforted because they need their mammy.
"My family, as well as many of you here felt the personal loss of a young mother – all that goes with that loss, now other families will have to go through this because of the cervical screening scandal that has come to light, the fact that this was hidden from the women and their families is a national disgrace and it is because of this that we all need to stand up and protest against the treatment of women by the HSE a service that is supposed to be there to take care of us all."
She thanked Homewatch Security and Pud Barrett for supplying the sound system and Treehouse Flowers for the ribbons and wreath.
Newbridge March for women affected by the cervical cancer controversy, Monday evening, 21 May. Pictures: Tony Keane
The marchers make their way through Linear Park
Marie Lavelle speaking at the march
The protestors make their way down the town