Roadshow 2011

July 6th to 16th

Crew travelled around Ireland visiting major towns and cities. Lots of conversations had, hearts changed, and babies saved! Read these accounts below from first-time Roadshow volunteers.

Some of the Roadshow team enjoying chill-out time in Cong

My Roadshow: Kate Peterson : RS2011

On the 2011 Road Show Youth Defence took the streets of Ireland with large informative displays, posters of pictures of babies in the womb and aborted babies, thousands of leaflets, booklets, DVDs, stickers, and balloons to educate the public on abortion.

We also collected signatures from thousands of people to help keep abortion out of Ireland. The road show was one of the most inspiring experiences of my life. It was so amazing that it has motivated me to start doing street sessions we did on the roadshow in the States when I go back.

I think reaching out to the general public about abortion is an extremely important need because it is the ordinary citizens of a country that are ultimately responsible to protect the unborn from abortion.

But in the midst of the pro-abortion lies that are heavily spread through the tools of contemporary communication such as television, newspapers, and the internet -- how will the public come to know the truth about abortion?

In a large way, Youth Defence's roadshow answers that question. The people of Ireland learn the truth about the evils of abortion because YD goes out on the streets to meet the people and inform them!

Katie collecting pro-life petitions in Clonmel

One topic that I found came up a lot was about having abortion legalized only in the circumstance that the life of the mother is in danger. We had many leaflets that explained how abortion is NEVER necessary, not even for this reason. I think that one of many successes that took place on this road show was in changing people's mind about this particular issue. For example, I remember one lady came up to me and simply said, "Abortion should be legalized for pregnant women who are in danger of dying because of their pregnancy!"

After a quick conversation explaining how she was misinformed, I handed her a leaflet that she read. Before she left, she passionately told me, "Abortion can never be justified! It should never be legalized! There's no way we can let it come into our country! Not for ANY reason!" What a change of heart!

Another success of the road show was that many young people were impacted by our presence! Average teenagers would stop to look at the pictures of the aborted babies and that made for a good opportunity to engage them in conversation. I could tell that many of these young people would leave our displays and conversations, not only pro-life, but with a new sense that they were now PROUD to be pro-life!

It truly felt like we would go to one city and conquer it for the prolife cause. Almost everyone walking through the city had passed by us and most people had informative pro-life literature in their hands, back pockets, or purses.  We would leave – only to move on to another city the next day!

Even those who disagreed with us were greatly challenged to think twice about what they believe. The roadshow was an amazing experience -- our setups, conversations with the public, and literature impacted and won over so many people; it was a true success in defending unborn life. I feel truly blessed to have been able to be a part of the victorious summer road show 2011!

My Roadshow: Anthony Hartnett : RS2011

When I first heard about the Roadshow at the Viva la Vida Conference last year, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Many people were reminiscing about it at the time, and I knew only two things about it – You do pro-life street sessions during the course of ten days and you travel around Ireland for ten days. I don't know what'd appeal to you most but for me, the latter appealed immensely.

Anthony discusses the issues with a family in Galway

About half a year had past since then, so by the time the Roadshow came around I'd got to know some of the people who I'd be travelling with a little better. So to kick it off, we took a few photos (jumping action!) outside the Life House and one crazy video before the twenty or so of us loaded the street session gear into our cars and headed northbound for Dundalk and Drogheda.

It took me a while to get the hang of doing a street session and particularly debating the abortion issue, but by the time we reached Galway (after a relaxing break in Cong), I was able to do both without much trouble. The rest of the gang were very helpful when I got into a little difficulty, and I thank them for that. But wherever we went we received fantastic support from the people – It assured me on how Ireland is so pro-life! Of course we'd get some people who'd just ignore us or who would become frustrated with us because of what we stood for, but we did the message across to everyone who saw us, and we did save lives thank God!!

Meeting members of the public to discuss pro-life issues

It was a real marathon though, but I think everyone who came on the Roadshow can all agree that we all had some fun too! It was such a rewarding and worthwhile experience, and not just a tour of Ireland! – Best ten days ever!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank God for making our efforts so worthwhile, and also to thank YOU, the readers, and to everyone who has supported Youth Defence through prayers or donations! I realised during those ten days, that quite simply, the Roadshow would be impossible without your support!

My Roadshow: Patricia NicArdghail : RS2011

This was my first summer roadshow and I can tell you that it was an absolute honour to take part along with young people from all over Ireland and the States. This was a road trip with a very important mission: a mission to protect the unborn - a Pro-Life Mission! This is what gave us the adrenaline to go out onto the streets of towns and cities all across Ireland to spread the pro-life message.

We did this by handing out a wide range of pro-life Information, leaflets, DVD's, stickers, balloons and precious feet badges. Our Life Information Boards educated people on the development of the baby in the womb, described abortion methods and showed photos of aborted babies. We got thousands of people to sign our petition against abortion being legalised in Ireland.

I was so touched by the many people I met who came up to talk to us. One women came up to us at the street session said that she used to be pro-choice but after having her own child she became pro-life!

Some people came up to us in a panic and said 'Is the government legalizing abortion?' and 'I thought we voted NO on this already??' We would explain to them that the government is under a lot of pressure from Europe to legalise abortion, and that was why we needed people to urge politicians to stand firm. There is always a danger that they might try and sneak abortion in the back door while the people are  preoccupied with other issues such as the recession etc. That is why we have to always be on guard

Many people were amazed by the little Precious feet badges.......they couldn't believe that they represent the exact shape and size of a babies feet in the womb at 10 weeks. Just goes to show you that a lot of people don't know the facts! We need to tell people about the development of the baby in the womb; that from the moment of conception life begins, at 18 days the unborn child's heart begins to beat, at 2 months the unborn child has their own unique finger print! We need to eradicate this whole notion that the unborn child is just a blob of cells.

During one Street Session some women came up to us very aggressively saying that we were a disgrace and we should not show the photos of the aborted babies as they are offensive. Nobody likes looking at these photos, however showing them exposes the evil that is going on in our world today,  a massacre which is shunned by the media, so it becomes forgotten by many. Through the Street Sessions YD exposes this harsh reality and are ever at the ready to discuss the issue with the public. Looking at the photos of the bloodshed on the unborn, lights up a fire inside of me, I cannot sit back and let this happen, I have to stand up and proclaim the pro-life message. These days we can sometimes become too paranoid about what other people think of us, we need to loose all our inhibitions and talk about this very important topic. We should not feel ashamed to say that we are Pro-Life and we should encourage others to do the same. This is what we set out to do on the YD Roadshow and I can proudly say that is what we achieved. We met so many young people throughout the roadshow who were eager to know more and left with pro-life leaflets in hand. Mothers came up to sign our petition and they stuck life stickers on their baby's prams. Children were delighted to receive the Celebrate Life Balloons. By carrying these and walking around they were spreading the pro-life Message in their own little way.

Pope John Paul II said, "Never tire of firmly speaking out in defense of life from its conception and do not be deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination. Christ is with you: be not afraid!" .

During the roadshow people complimented us and said it was great to see young people out on the streets doing Pro-Life Work. Only for we are united together and we support each other is what makes YD's Pro-Life work possible. I am proud to be a member of an active, literally life saving, pro-life group such as Youth Defence.

RS 2011 Photos

You'll be able to get a full report of this year's Youth Defence Road Show in the upcoming Solas, so keep an eye out for that!

Signing for Life at a busy intersection in Sligo

A pro-life family receives some Celebrate Life balloons in Ennis

Oisín discussing the truth about abortion with some young people in Galway

Rebecca talks to young women in Clonmel about pro-life issues

Barbara encouraging people to sign the petition

Demo at the FPA in Limerick City

See lots of pictures on our Facebook page Youth Defence here...