PHOTOS: Down Syndrome activist ‘steals the show’ at Belfast Rally for Life – Gript

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Despite the rain and snow, the Belfast Rally for Life was lit up by a series of passionate speakers on Saturday – and Down Syndrome rights activist Conor O’Dowd was indisputably the star of the show.

Conor, who hails from Drogheda, is a well-known advocate for the right to life of people with disabilities, and a living witness to the great strides made by people with Down Syndrome in surpassing expectations in education, employment, the arts, politics, and much more.

Last December, Conor’s open letter to the Master of the Rotunda Hospital – who had said that 95% of babies diagnosed there were now being aborted – made news across the nation, as he urged policymakers and medics to think about what that shocking statistic meant for his community.

At the Rally in Belfast on Saturday, he told the crowd: “I am here to fight abortion in Belfast today” and urged those present to help protect children with Down Syndrome.

“As you probably know I am 28 and I am a Chef in a hotel in Drogheda,” he said. “I did attend college in Newry SRC but now I am a student in Dundalk.”

“I love photography. My buddy Jason is now working in a restaurant in Drogheda as well and my other buddy Stephen is working in Google. Keep up the good work!” he explained.

“We do everything – people with Down Syndrome!” he told the Rally to cheers. “We would like to wish that award winning actor James Martin from Northern Ireland all the best in Los Angeles on Monday night.”

And he made a heartfelt plea: “We would like to stop those doctors taking away our babies with Down Syndrome.”

“Hey doctors, leave those babies alone.”

In a tongue in cheek echo of a previous well-known statement, Conor said: “I have a message for politicians. We haven’t gone away you know.”

He wrapped up by with a powerful message to sustained applause “I say this to the people in Belfast today: I love my life. We are pro life.”


PHOTOS: Down Syndrome activist ‘steals the show’ at Belfast Rally for Life – Gript

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