Youth Defence - Ireland

by Cassandra Donatelli
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This year, 6 people from my church took a 10 day trip to lean pro-life work in Ireland. The trip is an annual event put on by Fr. Terry and hosted by Youth Defense. The trip has been an annual event for many years now and it has inspired many young people in the USA to do things as great as what Youth Defense has done for Ireland. Youth Defense is a Raman Catholic Organization that has been working for many years to keep abortion illegal in Ireland. (for more information about Youth Defense please visit www.youthdefence.ie.

The Road Show takes place every year but, starting last year, Youth Defense has been hosting a Rally for Life In Dublin. The Road Show is YD’s annual trip around Ireland during which they educate people about the harmful effect abortion has on everyone involved. In each town we set up a booth with a petition to keep Ireland abortion free to be signed by passers by. We all held signs with information about abortion and a child’s life in the womb. We also passed out flyers with more detailed information. So much happened on this trip I have a hard time keeping it organized.

Friday July 3, 2009: We all arrived at Dublin airport at different times. My group and I arrived around 1:00 pm. Once everyone was settled in, we met in a rented building to prepare for the rally. We all made signs had a quick meeting to discuss the rally. After that, we all went home for some much needed rest.

Saturday July 4: Everyone met again at the rented building to load the Youth Defense van, and bring the signs and banners to the street where the rally was to begin. By 12:00 noon, people began to arrive. Everyone was given a pre-made sign and a programme describing the events of the day. By the time we began walking, there were over 3,000 people marching. Hundreds more joined us as we made our way through the streets of Dublin. In the middle of the rally was a truck with speakers blasting fun music that got everyone’s attention. We ran into about 100 pro-choicers along the way but their voices were blocked out by our music and cheering. It was an extremely high energy and enjoyable rally. A few hours after the rally ended, about 100 people met in a rented hall below a hotel to listen to Norma McCorvey speak. She was Jane Roe, in the Roe v. Wade trial. She told us her story from being coerced into the trial and her journey to Christianity and her work today.

Sunday July 5: At 10:30, the six of us met in Fr. Terry’s Hotel room for Sunday Mass. Everyone participated in the readings and the psalms before Fr. Terry blessed the Bread and wine bought in the convenient store up the road. Once Mass was over, we were allowed to explore Dublin and do as we chose. My friend and I visited the National Museum of Dublin’s Archeology Building. It was a beautiful building filled with an amazing amount of history. I would recommend it to anyone.

Monday July 6 and Tuesday July 7: We remained in Dublin on Monday and Tuesday to help out at the Youth Defense office. We mainly cleaned up the leftover programme packets from the rally and packed boxes with leaflets for the Road show. On Monday night we met again with Norma McCorvey at an Italian restaurant and had a nice dinner with many interesting conversations.

Wednesday July 8 - Saturday July 11: On these days we participated in the Road Show. We traveled to Drogheda, Monaghan, Donnegal, Sligo, Cong, and a few other towns. We drove for hours through parts of Ireland where the only sign of people were a few scattered farms. Every part of the Irish country was beautiful from the sheep to the mountains and cliffs. The Road Show itself was an amazing experience. We all learned so much about talking to people and also listening. In Drogheda, there were hundreds of people signing the petition and there were few who came up opposing us. In Sligo, few people wanted anything to do with us and some even got angry and tried to throw down our signs. Each new town was a new experience.

Sunday July 12 - Monday July 13: These were the days we traveled back home after our amazing trip. There were mixed emotions as some of were relieved to use our own beds again and all of us were sad to leave friends behind.

Our trip to Ireland was an amazing experience. I personally plan on going again next summer for the duration of the Road Show and perhaps bringing along some others with me. We need to teach others about the harmful effects of abortion and before we teach, we have to learn. The guys at Youth Defense are wonderful teachers and are willing to teach anyone willing to learn so that one day, our world can be abortion free.


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Posted August 15, 2009

Copyright 2009 by Cassandra Donatelli
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