Pope's visit

Protests held over clerical abuse as Pope Francis celebrates Mass

Sex abuse victim William Gorry (left) showing emotions as he joins clerical sex abuse protesters at the General Post Office (GPO) on O'Connell Street in Dublin, prior to marching to the Garden of Remembrance to hold a protest to coincide with the Papal Mass at Phoenix Park 

A large crowd has gathered for a silent vigil in Co Galway to coincide with the Papal mass in Dublin.

The vigil, which has been organised by a Manchester woman whose sister vanished from a mother and baby home, is taking place in Tuam.

Thousands of people have turned out in Dublin City centre for a protest, just a few miles from Phoenix Park where Pope Francis is celebrating Mass.

The Stand For Truth rally at the Garden of Remembrance was timed to start at 3pm, the same time as the pontiff's Mass.

Thousands are standing before a mobile stage filling Parnell Square East. Some are holding banners which read "Secular Justice For All, Truth Justice Love and Church Without Abuse".


An organiser said the turnout had surpassed his expectations, and thanked those in attendance.

One of those speaking from the platform, Sarah Clancy, told the gathered audience "we have a right to be angry", to rousing cheers.

Belfast singer Brian Kennedy performed the John Lennon classic Imagine at the Stand for Truth rally in Dublin.

A group of activists put up crime scene tape as people gather to protest at the site of the former Tuam home for unmarried mothers in County Galway, where a mass grave of around 800 babies has recently been uncovered 

Before a crowd of thousands, Kennedy revealed he had written a new verse for the song - which he said he was singing in the direction of the Phoenix Park.

The protest is taking place at the same time as Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the park.

The new verse began: "Imagine there's no paedophiles, I wonder if you can. No need to rape or vilify, all of these thousands can."

Thousands of people who turned out for the Stand For Truth protest then walked together towards the last Magdalene Laundry to close in Ireland.

The institution on Sean McDermott Street closed in 1996.

Tens of thousands of so-called fallen women were effectively incarcerated in Magdalene laundries across Ireland.

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny issued an apology to the woman held in the laundries. Many have now received compensation from the state.

The Stand For Truth protest will hold a rally at the gates of the former laundry.

The building is now owned by Dublin City Council, who have offered it for sales. It is the last former laundry in Ireland that remains in public ownership.

Survivors are campaigning for the building to be kept in public ownership and turned into an interpretive centre.

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Pope's visit

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