HUNDREDS of men, women and children gathered at City Hall yesterday for a rally in solidarity with rape victims and abuse survivors.
The gathering, called an ‘I believe her’ rally, was organised following the not guilty verdict handed down in the Belfast trial involving rugby players Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, and their friends Rory Harrison and Blane McIlroy.
A number of people gave speeches at the rally, including abuse survivors. One survivor spoke about being involved in an ongoing investigation into a historical abuse case and another, Tjitske de Vries, spoke about being raped eight years ago when she lived in Barcelona.
Solidarity councillor Fiona Ryan and Green Party councillor Lorna Bogue also spoke at the rally.
Mick Barry TD was among those yesterday to offer his support to the movement and to stand in solidarity with rape and abuse survivors.
Among the crowd was Sarah O’Connor, who said she was attending because she did not feel the complainant was fairly treated in the Belfast trial. “There was an imbalance in the way they were treated to the way she was treated. She was blamed, why didn’t she scream, etc.
Sarah Diviney, Alison O’Shea, and Clodagh Dermody from the Crawford College of Art and Design, said they were representing all the people at their college who wanted to be there.
Sisters Fiona and Deirdre Heffernan also attended the rally.