(Main picture: Men, women and children attended the March for Women Naas. Picture by Donal Higgins)
By Kim O'Leary
Co Kildare women, men and children have vowed to continue to show their support towards women and their families affected by the cervical screening scandal, with a second march being organized this time in Newbridge town next Monday, 21 May.
This follows the great success of the “March for Women Naas” which took place on Monday evening with over 200 people in attendance as they walked through Naas town in solidarity with those affected by the recent cervical screening scandal.
On Monday 21 May there will be a second march this time in Newbridge town, and the organisers behind the Gina Lavelle Walsh Memorial Fund, in aid of St. Brigid’s Hospice, have organised a Silent Walk in support of all the women affected by the cervical screening scandal.
The walk begins at 7.15pm from Town Hall, Newbridge and will proceed down to Newbridge Linear Park.
In a statement the organisers behind the Gina Lavelle Walsh Memorial Silent Walk in Newbridge said: "Teal is the colour for cervical cancer so if you can wear something of that colour, that would be great. We will lay a wreath in memory of the ladies who died. We are asking that you invite all our Friends and Family, everyone is welcome, we would love as many people, Men, Women and children to walk in solidarity with all the women affected.”
Speaking to KildareNow after the March for Women Naas event, organiser of the Naas march Louise Fitzsimons said: “It was a huge success with over 200 supporters, most of whom brought their own signs/placards. Men, women, children, elderly, everyone was represented. It was a very emotional event and a lot of anger and hurt. And people are keen to have more marches like this in the near future. For a lot of people this was their first march/protest.”
Speaking about the recent scandal involving cervical screening controversy, Louise said: "This could be happening to our grandmother's, mum's, sister's, daughters, you, me. This is NOT right, and we want to show our support to all the women and their families and take a stand, enough is enough."
Meanwhile, Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin TD Fianna Fail has voiced her support for the Naas march and the upcoming Newbridge march, saying that it was “great to see so many women, men and children marching in Naas in solidarity with the 17 women who lost their lives, their bereaved families, for Vicky and Emma and all of those going through cervical cancer right now.”
Anyone concerned about their smear results is urged to contact their GP and to contact any of the following helplines for more information and advice:
- CervicalCheck Ireland 1800 454555 or visit www.cervicalcheck.ie
- The Irish Cancer Society 1800 200700 or visit www.cancer.ie
- The Marie Keating Foundation 01 6283726 or visit www.mariekeating.ie
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