Republic of Ireland news

Health minister heckled by anti-abortion activist at Yes campaign event

Independent anti-abortion campaigner Tim Jackson interrupts an event organised by Women's Health in Ireland inviting all Oireachtas members who support the Yes vote to attend a 'Cross Part-tea' event at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin, ahead of the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Constitution on May 25 PICTURE: Brian Lawless/PA
By Eleanor Barlow, Press Association

AN ANTI-abortion campaigner has interrupted an event held to show support for the Yes campaign ahead of the Irish referendum on repealing the eight amendment.

Minister for health Simon Harris joined politicians from other parties for the Women's Health in Ireland event in Dublin yesterday as the state prepares to vote at the end of the week.

But as the politicians posed for a group photograph, activist Tim Jackson, who was at the event as a member of the media, began to shout questions.

He asked if Mr Harris would resign if there was a No vote in the referendum and asked: "Are you in favour of killing innocent human beings?"

As politicians applauded to show their support for the campaign, Mr Jackson shouted: "Can you continue clapping for the killing of Irish children?"

He also asked: "Anyone want to vote for politicians' right to life?"

He was asked to leave the event at the Davenport Hotel.

Mr Harris, who had been expected to take questions from the media, also left following the outburst.

Earlier he had thanked colleagues from across the political spectrum for working together in the interests of women.

He said: "For far too long we have buried our heads in the sand in this country. We have ignored the reality of crisis pregnancy and this resulted in at least nine women every single day having to leave this jurisdiction to access healthcare abroad.

"It has resulted in at least three women every single day having to take the abortion pill on their own, without any medical supervision.

"We cannot continue to ignore realities."

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