ARC is a grassroots all-volunteer organisation dedicated to achieving free, safe, legal and local abortion everywhere on the island of Ireland, for everyone who wants or needs it. ARC challenges abortion stigma and recognises that many people, including girls, women, transgender people and non-binary people, can become pregnant and need an abortion. ARC was one of the three core groups that formed the civil society organisation Together for Yes, which successfully campaigned for a Yes vote in the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment of the Irish constitution in May 2018.
We advocate for free, safe, legal and local abortion care. Research shows that free, safe, legal and local access to abortion care is the only model that supports meaningful choice in pregnancy-related healthcare and supports the human rights of the pregnant person. Abortion legislation must centre the pregnant person’s right to bodily autonomy and integrity, without avoidable barriers or impediments to care provision. When we advocate for free, safe, legal and local care, we are advocating for accessible care without financial or geographic barriers, without the threat of criminalisation, and without medically unnecessary restrictions
Darina joined ARC in 2017, initially she joined the fundraising working group and then become the fundraising rep. In 2018 she was one of ARC’s representative at the beginning of TFY fundraising meetings and volunteered in HQ on the fundraising and events team. Post referendum Darina continued her volunteer work with ARC and in November 2021 became a co-convener.
A mother of five, Mary only received 18 months of formal education when she was a child, enough for her to learn how to read and write. She returned to education at the age of 46 when she started a three-year diploma course in Maynooth University in Youth and Community Work, then returned to further education as a role model for the Traveller community
The National Traveller Womens Forum (NTWF) was founded in 1988 with the aims of:
“advancing Traveller women’s rights, human rights, equality, cultural recognition, solidarity, liberation, collective action, anti-sexism, anti-racism (and) self-determination”
Mary won a Lifetime Achievement Award for her varied and ongoing work with the Traveller community.