A crowd gathered at the gates to the Dáil on Wednesday to call for action to be taken to protect women against violence and oppression.
The rally was held to coincide with St Brigid’s Day, with speakers asking that women be protected in the spirit of the Celtic goddess and Christian saint Brigid, who is associated with healing.
Among those who attended the rally were the family of Natalie McNally who read out a poem about violence against women.
Also in attendance were members of the Iranian community, students, representatives of the National Women’s Council and feminist activist Ailbhe Smyth.
Join us today to honour the mighty Brigid, triple goddess of Healing, Wisdom and Fire on #Imbolc first day of Spring. #BrigidsDay #ZeroTolerance #StopKillingWomen #EndViolenceAgainstWomen @NWCI @DublinRCC @SAFEIreland @Womens_Aid pic.twitter.com/PQdj4IbsRUAdvertisement
— Ailbhe Smyth (@ailbhes) February 1, 2023
“Wouldn’t it be absolutely an incredible achievement for us to begin to see the figures (of women killed) come down rather than increase, and that’s my hope on this St Brigid’s Day as I think of her as the healer and protector of women,” Ms Smyth told those gathered.
Roja Fazaeli, an associate professor in Islamic civilisations at Trinity, said as St Brigid’s Day is celebrated, it was important to raise the issues of the oppression of women across the world.
She said that Iranian women and men have backed the feminist movement Woman, Life, Freedom, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last year after, in the “understanding that freedom for women means freedom for all”.
The protest was organised by People Before Profit, and the socialist feminist movement Rosa is to organise another protest at Dublin city’s the Spire on March 8th for International Women’s Day.