Art activists mark Imbolc by renouncing Ireland's anti-abortion laws


Main image: 2016 Imbolc Dawn in Cabra by Andrew Flood Insert Image: Previous performance of The Renunciation at Busarus by Caoimhe DoyleTonight to mark St Bridget’s feastday performances are being staged in public settings across Ireland and London renown king Ireland's anti-abortion laws. St Bridget is one of four Irish saints who “are recorded as openly and miraculously carrying out abortions”, the feast day was the pre-Christian festival of Imbolg (meaning ‘in the belly’).

The organisers say

"The readings will take place at 6.01pm - following the traditional time for the ringing of the evening Angelus bells. Performers will each wear a blue item of clothing and read from handmade booklets. The Renunciation is an original work about the diverse circumstances of those attempting to access abortion services that are not provided in Ireland . The contents are based on legal cases and anecdotes shared with the producers of the work ‘The home|work Collective’.

"The Renunciation is respectfully, an intervention in the reflective space offered by the modern day Angelus. This work contains a set of stories that describe a set of social rituals for 12+ people from Ireland seeking abortions daily. Read aloud, the verses publicly present uncensored insights into real experiences. Both rhythm and structure reference the Hail Mary prayer that commemorates the moment in which Mary exercised her agency in consenting to becoming pregnant. These verses highlight the detrimental consequences of denying the agency of others and disregarding our consent, in essence attempting to enforce pregnancy. The Renunciation challenges the double standards dictated by idealised notions of womanhood and mothering that ignore present day realities and less-than-ideal circumstances.

"The Renunciation is a production by home|work, an initiative that collectively confronts the themes of censorship and self-censorship through art, action, performance, conversation and camradery. The title refers to the domestic policies of the Irish state that preclude access to abortion in the country. It is also a nod to the traditional sphere of work of women in Ireland and the practice of making change from within. home|work is situated at the interface of art and activism. It offers a forum for critical analysis through artistic exploration and a support network for the development of group interventions and individual works on themes of common interest.

Confirmed locations for tonights performances include:
• Colbert Station, Limerick
• Connolly Station, Dublin
• Kings Cross Station, London
• Paul St, Cork
• Maynooth University, Kildare
• Shop St, Galway

For more information see and

Main Images: 2016 Imbolc Dawn in Cabra by Andrew Flood
Insert Image: Previous performance of The Renunciation at Busarus by Caoimhe Doyle