A graphic pro-life “educational display” was set up outside the entrance of DCU intending to catch students attention as they entered the college.
The display which featured three graphic images of an abused child, and two aborted fetuses, was erected last Tuesday.
The group behind the protest, Irish Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (ICBR), say that the images are necessary for students to fully understand the reality of abortion.
“The Pro Life movement in Ireland has various events and vigils and rallies with balloons and smiley faces,” said Christian Hacking, a representative from ICBR.
“I guess we were unconvinced that this was going to help educate the Irish public on what abortion really is.
“Especially with the referendum coming up people need to know what they’re voting for. We’re not a political group, we’re just telling people what abortion is,” he said
The DCU display is the first of several planned for Dublin colleges, including UCD, Trinity and Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology [IADT].
Niall Behan, President of DCU’s Student Union, commented on the protest saying, “universities are where conversations and differing opinions are encouraged, but I don’t believe that there is a need for sensationalist protest in modern debate and would question the benefits or mindset of those engaging in this type of shock factor movement.”
“The DCUSU has a Pro-Choice stance that has been voted twice by the students and I know there were many students affected by the graphic displays outside the gates,” he said.
The feminist society in DCU also commented saying, “FemSoc don’t agree with these kinds of tactics. It’s trying to intimidate and shame people with information and pictures that are not factual or accurate.”
“There are people on this campus who have made the difficult choice to have an abortion and they shouldn’t be subjected to this kind of graphic propaganda. FemSoc’s focus is on facilitating an informed and constructive conversation and we will not be interacting or engaging with this demonstration.”
Lauren Carville, the Head of the ‘It’s Time’ campaign, which aims to repeal the 8th Amendment, for DCU’s Amnesty International society advised students not to engage.
“They are not interested in providing proper information, but rather tactics of fear and shame. DCU students are better than that.”