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Man arrested after pro-life prayer vigil at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh

Pro-life campaigners plan return to continue prayer vigil at Cathedral driveway on Sunday morning

A man who allegedly refused to leave St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh has been charged with obstructing police.

Anti-abortion campaigners gathered for an unofficial prayer vigil on Thursday at the Cathedral.

They are protesting against abortion being made legal in Ireland and the Abortion Bill being signed into law by President Michael D Higgins.

A group of 10 people attended the vigil.

Fr Peter McAnenley said he felt compelled to call police as “a last resort” after two individuals allegedly refused to leave the Cathedral to allow it to be closed up for the evening.

He told Belfast Live: “We have a duty of care to the Cathedral, which is first and foremost a place of prayer.

“They said they were there to pray for the protection of life. I wish to stress, we in this parish are very much pro-life and we have a very active pro-life group.

“We are not insured to have people in the property at night.”

Police have arrested and charged a 57-year-old man.

He is due to appear before Armagh Magistrates’ Court next month.

Meanwhile, the campaigners – affiliated to the Irish Pro-Life Movement – have indicated that they intend to return to the grounds of St Patrick’s Cathedral tomorrow.

Sunday marks the Feast of the Holy Family and the group say they plan to continue their prayer vigil and will peacefully “walk the driveway” of the Cathedral in Armagh in the morning.

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