Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 12:29 UK

Thousands support abuse survivors

Thousands of people marked in Dublin in protest at clerical child abuse
Thousands of people marched in Dublin in protest at clerical child abuse

Thousands of people have taken part in a silent march in Dublin to show solidarity with survivors of child abuse crimes.

They walked in support of the victims of crimes committed in 216 religious institutions across the Irish Republic.

The marchers went from from Parnell Square to the gates of the Dail.

The Ryan Report documented six decades of abuse. Marchers carried children's shoes and wore white ribbons symbolising lost youth.

Marchers brought a petition to present to representatives of some of the disgraced religious orders named in the report.

It read: "We, the people of Ireland, join in solidarity and call for justice, accountability, restitution and repatriation for the unimaginable crimes committed against the children of our country by religious orders in 216 institutions."

Wreaths, two white and two black; white ribbons and children's shoes representing those who suffered, were laid at the Dail.

Tom Hayes, from the Alliance Victims Support Group, said: "The idea of bringing a shoe is to remember any children who died in the institutions."

Mr Hayes said the march was also intended to maintain pressure on the religious orders who are due to increase their payments to a compensation fund.

The march was timed to coincide with the Dail debate on the Ryan report. But this has been pushed back because of a "no confidence" motion against the government. The delay has upset victims' groups.

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