Ireland: Mary McAleese slams World Meeting of Families as 'right wing rally' to fight against LGBT and women's rights

Former president Mary McAleese has described the World Meeting of Families taking place next weekend as a “right wing rally”. She said it was a response against the growing acceptance towards LGBT people in Ireland after photos of same-sex couples were removed from the event’s leaflets.

The former president had hoped the event would be a unifying one based on the theme of inclusion but said it was always designed to fight against gay rights and abortion.

“It's always been essentially a right wing rally... and it was designed for that purpose, to rally people to get them motivated to fight against the tide of same sex marriage, rights for gays, abortion rights, contraceptive rights,” she said.

Ms McAleese said she would only be attending an event at Dublin Castle in her role as a former president but would not be attending any other events to welcome Pope Francis. The Belfast-native, whose son is gay, has repeatedly spoken out against the exclusion of the LGBT community from the Catholic Church as well as the historic clerical abuse scandals.

The cover up of this abuse “is not only systemic, it was directed from central command and control which is the Vatican,” she told Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane Show. Read more via Independent