Anti-abortion protest outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda

A protest outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Picture: Ciara Wilkinson

Half a dozen people who are anti-abortion are holding a protest outside Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth today.

One of them is Charles Byrne, who took an unsuccessful legal challenge to the outcome of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

Mr Byrne said today they were a group of concerned citizens and he is protesting because, “I deeply and profoundly care about the right to life of every human being...We are here because we believe hospitals need to be places of care through compassion.”

The group is holding placards saying ‘Abortion is murder,’ ‘Let him be born,’ ‘Killing in progress,’ and ‘Let her be born.’

Mr Byrne said that “it is a quiet protest, we are not going to leaflet people.”

The HSE said it is not commenting.

Dr Peter Boylan criticised messages speculating when abortions are to be carried out in Ireland.

The obstetrician, who is the HSE’s clinical advisor on the introduction of abortion services, says patient confidentiality must be respected.

It comes after the economist Professor Ray Kinsella, tweeted yesterday claiming an abortion was to be carried out in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda this morning and urged prayers for the woman.

Dr Boylan says the speculation is out of order.

"It's completely inappropriate for somebody who knows absolutely nothing about medical practice to say something like that in the public domain."

He added that "patient confidentiality is absolutely critical".

Yesterday, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin urged caution over anti-abortion protests at GP surgeries.

He said that while "everybody has a right to make a protest", GP surgeries were used by everybody for all sorts of reasons.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s This Week programme Dr Martin said: "Protesting within the rule of law and the rule of the constitution - you can't be against it...I would be particularly cautious about protesting against GPs because everybody is going there, and people go there for all sorts of reasons.

"I'm not a person personally for protest, what the church should be doing is strengthening its resolve to help women in crisis and to educate people about the broad range."

- additional reporting by Digital Desk staff

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