August 9th: Unite today installed a replica of street artist Maser’s ‘Repeal the Eighth’ mural at its Middle Abbey Street offices in Dublin. The mural, which was originally painted on the Project Arts Centre, had to be removed following a notice from Dublin City Council that it contravened planning laws. Explaining Unite’s decision to erect a replica in one of its doors, the union’s Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:
“Last year, over 3,400 women travelled from the Republic to the UK to access abortion. As a pro-choice union, Unite has consistently argued that the Eighth Amendment must be repealed as a first step to enabling women to access safe, legal and affordable terminations in Ireland.
“We hope that this striking piece of artwork will make passers-by on Middle Abbey Street stop and think not only about the thousands of women who travel each year to access a vital medical service, but also about the thousands more who are unable to make that journey – for example, women on low incomes, women with disabilities or women who are too ill to travel”.
Regional Equalities Officer Taryn Trainor added:
“All the evidence shows that there is growing public support for access to abortion within Ireland. Just last month, an IPSOS/MRBI poll found that over two-thirds of respondents support repeal of the Eighth Amendment to allow for abortion in cases of rape or fatal foetal abnormality, and in March a Red C poll commissioned by Amnesty International found that 87 per cent of respondents want abortion access expanded.
“The UN Human Rights Committee has found that forcing women to travel abroad for a termination in the case of fatal foetal abnormality contravenes the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Yet, notwithstanding this finding and the clear shift in public opinion, the Government has decided to kick the issue down the road by convening a citizens’ assembly to consider the matter.
“We would like to thank HunReal Issues, which sponsored the original Maser mural, for providing the artwork, and Unite’s Dublin 102 Branch for sponsoring this replica. The message to anyone passing Unite’s Middle Abbey Street offices is clear: we need to repeal the Eighth Amendment”, Taryn Trainor concluded.