March for our Lives rallies held in Dublin and Belfast to call for US gun reform. The protests come after 14-year-old Irish dancer Cara Loughran was among 17 killed in the Parkland school shooting.
Groups in both Dublin and Belfast will hold a March for our Lives today, standing in solidarity with the victims, survivors, and families of the school shooting in MSD High School in Parkland, Florida, as they push for a change in the American laws surrounding gun control.
A 14-year-old Irish dancer named Cara Loughran was among the 17 who lost their lives in the Florida school shooting on February 14, 2018, greatly affected the Irish community in the U.S. and causing Americans living in Ireland to organize their own protests alongside those spearheaded by the Parkland school students in the U.S.
There is officially a march on every continent!— Sarah Chadwick// #NEVERAGAIN (@Sarahchadwickk) March 17, 2018
Co-hosted by Democrats Abroad Ireland and the Women’s March on Washington - Ireland, as well as U.S. gun reform organizations Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, March for our Lives Dublin will gather outside the U.S. embassy in the Irish capital at 3 pm on March 24.
“We are rallying to show global support for the movement taking hold in the U.S. after the Parkland, Florida shooting that killed 17 people, to show the U.S. government that the world is watching, to fight for our right to safety in the U.S., and to hold lawmakers accountable and demonstrate that the majority of voters want gun reform now,” said a statement from the group, adding that speakers will include Greg Johnson of Democrats Abroad Ireland and Mary Farley of Moms Demand Action.
“Ms Farley and the Irish branch of Moms Demand Action will hold a rally in support of March for Our Lives at the US embassy in Dublin this Saturday.” https://t.co/Q9h994H8PO— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 23, 2018
#IWillMarch for the 17 people from my school that don’t have the chance to.— Sofie Whitney (@sofiewhitney) March 12, 2018
The Belfast rally, to be held at noon outside Belfast City Hall, was organized by a 16-year-old teenager named Amelia, to also be attended by American ex-pats and local teens. She had wished to show her support for the friends she has in schools in six different U.S. states, who she believes not to be as safe in their learning environment as she is in Northern Ireland.
Ireland and Irish America were horrified to hear that Cara Loughran, whose father is originally from Toomebridge in Co. Antrim, was among those killed when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz went on a rampage with an assault rifle in her school, killing 17 people in total.
Cara’s older brother Liam, 17, also witnessed the shootings but escaped unharmed.
Her grandparents and extended family still live in Co. Antrim with a family friend telling the Belfast Telegraph, "everyone is just stunned by what has happened."
The survivors of the Parkland shooting have been heralded for their perseverance in campaigning for reform in U.S. gun control, leading the March for our Lives campaign and becoming the latest spokespeople for the need to eliminate the ease of access to guns in America.
Despite still being in their teens, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Jaclyn Corin, Alex Wind, Emma González, Cameron Kasky and David Hogg, in particular, have become the public faces of the national gun control movement, appearing on this week’s cover of TIME Magazine with the simple headline “Enough.”
These five students stood on the front cover for the large student-driven movement which has made the most of the younger generation’s social-media savvy to push to the forefront the need for new gun laws.
You can find out more about the Dublin March for our Lives event here.
* An earlier version of this article referred to a rally in Belfast, Maine, it has been corrected to include information about the Belfast, Northern Ireland, rally.