Northern Ireland news

Video: High-profile GAA players call for 'No' vote in abortion referendum

The video features GAA players supporting the 'Save the 8th' campaign

SEVERAL high-profile GAA players have appeared on an online video urging a 'No' vote in the Republic's forthcoming abortion referendum.

Derry camogie star Aoife Cassidy, Antrim senior footballer Patrick Gallagher and former Tyrone All Star Peter Harte are among the sports stars to lend their voices to the anti-abortion campaign.

Donegal's Paddy McGrath, Galway footballer Annemarie McDonough and Joe Sheridan of Meath also appear on the video from Gaelic Athletes for Life, an all-Ireland group of players supporting the Save the 8th, which argues against repealing the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution.

Last month Tyrone manager Mickey Harte urged a 'No' vote in the referendum on May 25 at an event at Ballyfermot in Dublin.

However, following the launch, GAA headquarters said it would write to each of its 32 county secretaries informing them that the association should have no involvement in the referendum.

The latest video blurs logos of sponsors on the GAA sports clothing worn by those who appear in the video. A spokesman for the group said the logos were blurred "to avoid potential opposition leading to a sidetracked debate".

"Our focus is on our message about saving lives and saving the 8th amendment," he added.

Voters will be asked if they want to repeal the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, which recognises the equal right to life of both mother and unborn child, effectively banning terminations.

If the amendment is repealed, it will allow for the Irish government to legislate on abortion.

During the three-minute video, Antrim footballer Patrick Gallagher tells viewers: "As a member of the GAA, I am proud that our association is open and welcoming to all. I believe that we should value all lives, including the lives of the unborn.

"As a nation and as members of a great association, we can do better for our women and our children than abortion. Please save lives, save the 8th".

Antrim hurler Donal McKinley adds: "Ireland can do so much better. save lives, save the 8th, vote No", while Derry camogie star Aoife Cassidy says: "We must cherish all children equally and to protect the life of the unborn. Vote No and save the 8th".

Galway footballer Annemarie McDonough also says: "I believe that every child conceived deserves a chance to live. Please join me in the fight to protect women and the unborn".

Derry camogie star Aoife Cassidy features on the video

Armagh footballers Paddy Burns and Aidan Forker appear on the video

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