At least 40,000 people watched Rally for Life LIVE events this week, and organisers say they aim to grow that audience tenfold in the coming weeks given the "tremendous" success and popularity of the virtual rally.
The Rally for Life is Ireland's largest pro-life event and took place online this year because of Covid-19 restrictions.
"The Rally Team and all the local organizers and volunteers really pulled out all the stops this year to get people to participate online, but these tremendous numbers exceeded all our expectations," said Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Rally Committee.
"Getting people to join a LIVE online event is a much bigger challenge than simply advertising a video online, but those LIVE views have a huge impact, and we know that when people watch events live, they are far more likely to go on and share them with other friends and family, so we expect the impact of the Rally to continue all this week and beyond," she said.
"Having 40,000 people tune in live to the Rally Fest shows just how alive and vibrant the pro-life community is, and how powerful the message for Life can be," she said. "We had lots of families tell us that they sat down with popcorn to join the Rally and rally events, so the numbers watching live are likely even bigger, but we're thrilled to have reached that high of a minimum of 40,000 people joining in."
"Now, the plan is to get even MORE people - perhaps up to 300,000 or 400,000 people - watch videos of the live events online. It would mean the Rally effect could continue throughout the whole summer, cutting right through lockdown with a clear compelling pro-life message," the Life Institute spokeswoman said.
Having hosted a powerful documentary, a hit pro-life movie, high profile interviews and a beautiful Vigil for Life, the Rally for Life itself kicked off on Saturday in a special rally studio from the Life House for almost three hours of compelling interviews, chats, and information with music, a book launch and more.
Buoyed by the news that 34 local rallies had taken place across the country before the online Rally began, presenters Tim Jackson and Niamh Uí Bhriain opened up the day at 4pm with a bang with thousands tuning in across social media platforms Facebook, Vimeo, the Rally for Life website and more.
WATCH videos from Rally for Life 2020 below featuring pro-life stars such as Lila Rose, Anne and Kevin Trainer, Heidi Crowter, Obianuju Ekeocha, Eduardo Verástegui, Jonathon Van Maren, Jeanne Mancini, Maria Steen, Bernadette Smyth and more. Be inspired, motivated and informed by their powerful witness.
Listen to courageous politicians like Mattie McGrath, Carol Nolan and Peadar Tóibín and think about getting active locally. See the wonderful work being done by very special organisations like Every Life Counts, Doctors for Life, Stanton Healthcare and Gianna Care - and meet the brave mum who choose life and her beautiful baby boy.
"Some of the segments were particularly beautiful this year, such as chatting to Stanton and Gianna Care and having the opportunity to show the level of care and support they provide. Meeting Nissah and baby Ryan was very special too. We also had a big reaction to the heroic work being done by Every Life Couts to help parents pour a lifetime of love into very short lives when baby is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. And Doctors for Life brought the very welcome news about the availability of abortion pill reversal - saving baby when a woman changes her mind. That was tremendous," Niamh Uí Bhriain said.
On Sunday, some 6,000 people joined the LIVE Rally youth conference, Unfiltered, to watch, listen, learn and share - and those numbers are already climbing.
"These are truly impressive young leaders, like Becky Kealy, Sandra Parda, Stephen Brady and Ben Scallan who are helping their peers to find their pro-life voice and empowering them to become active," said Niamh Uí Bhriain. "The task of building a pro-life future is safe in their hands. A huge thanks too to Lucy Kelly, Maria Maynes, Emmett Dooley, Angela Johnson, Eden Linton, Grace Browne and Jonathon Van Maren whose informed and savvy contributions got a big reaction from young people tuning in"
Thank you to our wonderful supporters for making this wonderful Rally for Life possible, and for helping us to grow the pro-life message even in lockdown. Now let's bring the Rally to 400,000 people!
Together we will always be united for life as we stand for life and against abortion.
SEE some of the PHOTOS from the Local Rallies
All the videos from the festival are here in one easy list with all the other details down the page!
Pre-interview which was shown before Unplanned
The Vigil for Life took place in St. Mary's, Dominicans, Cork City. It was beautiful time for reflection and prayer.
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