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City Council unable to rename a Dublin street after Savita Halappanavar, despite majority votes in favour of the move

A move to rename one of the streets in the capital city to honor the memory of Savita Halappanavar was passed in the Dublin City Council for 35 votes against 10. Savita was a victim of the strict Irish abortion laws who died after being denied an abortion, following complications during pregnancy.

However, the motion was deemed “out of order” as requests to rename a street or area usually comes from residents, who submit an application to their local area office which then goes to the area committee and eventually Dublin City Council.

The council heard it would “have difficulties to try and implement” the motion as it was a “top-down request”.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr said it was up to “residents of a street” if they wanted to rename it after Savita Halappanavar, adding: “That’s the process of it.”

Ms Halappanavar had asked several times for a termination of the pregnancy before the complications resulted in her contracting septicaemia. She was told a termination was not possible because the foetal heartbeat was still present.

The motion presented to councillors stated: “To honour the memory of Savita Halappanavar, who tragically lost her life as a consequence of the Irish State’s barbaric and antiquated attitudes to women’s reproductive rights, that a street in our capital city be named in her memory.”

People Before Profit councillor Tina McVeigh, who proposed the motion, said she had been in touch with Ms Halappanavar’s parents in India who said they would be “touched and moved” should a street be named after their daughter.

“Savita’s life had dignity and meaning, her death had neither,” Cllr McVeigh said. “Naming a street in her memory would be a gesture not only to honour her life but would also make a strong statement about the legacy of how women in Ireland have been treated.”

Sinn Féin councillor Daithi Doolan said naming a street in honour of Ms Halappanavar “sends out a message of solidarity to Savita and her family and women in this country faced with a similar situation”.

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