Northern Ireland news

17,000 anti-abortion crosses erected along Donegal road

Thousands of small white crosses were erected along the main Derry to Letterkenny road by anti-abortion campaigners.
Seamus McKinney

Donegal council has removed some of the approximately 17,000 white crosses placed overnight along the Derry to Letterkenny Road by anti-abortion campaigners.

Up to 30 people placed the small white crosses along the road early yesterday morning. The group said the crosses symbolised the number of Irish babies who would be aborted in coming years if the 8th Amendment which gives equal rights to mothers and unborn children is removed from the Irish Constitution.

The move followed the overnight construction of a huge “NO” sign by the group on the iconic Benbulben Mountain in County Sligo on Wednesday night. The sign was removed overnight on Thursday.

One of the men behind the Donegal crosses said the group started erecting them from 4am.

“The reason they did it is because they’re disillusioned; they’re not getting our viewpoint out in the media. They’re fed up with the newspapers giving biased views; the TV closing ranks on them; Facebook shutting down; Google shutting the argument down on the pro-life side.

“This is really a cry for help. Benbulben was the beginning of it. This is stage two. What the 17,000 crosses symbolise is the number of abortions that Ireland is going to be seeing in the next couple of years if this were legalised on 25th May,” he said.

The spokesman, identified only as Christopher, said each of the small crosses, between 1 and 2 ft tall, symbolised a child’s grave. He also defended the large “NO” sign on Benbulben which, he said, should have been left intact until referendum day.

However, the Donegal Together for Yes group condemned the crosses. Spokeswoman, Sinead Stewart described them as “very sinister.”

She said: “They are perfectly entitled to do what they want but I think it’s very sinister that they’re doing this. My question would be are these crosses for the babies at Tuam (mother and baby home)? Are these crosses for each and every mother that was sent to the laundries (Magdalen)? What are these crosses for?”

A spokeswoman for Donegal county council said some of the crosses were removed yesterday as they were considered a danger to pedestrians and road users.

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