In India when you ask - ‘were there many there?’ you will be told- ‘lakhs’. Being the populous country that it is, the unit lakh i.e. 100,000 is appropriate. In Ireland with the population of a Bombay suburb, thousands is the unit. How many thousands exactly? Take the pro-life march in Dublin for instance which I was at. The Gardai (police) estimate from 5 to 8 thousand with a counter demo from pro-abortion groups at a few hundred. Passing that gauntlet of anger which was outside the GPO I would concur.
The figures vary. The Independent newspaper yesterday in its update section estimated ‘upwards of 3 to 4 thousand’. The Irish Times rounded up to ‘10 thousand’. The Irish Examiner was covering a different planet yesterday so there was no mention of any march.
Today in the Sunday Independent Claire McCormack tells us ‘as many as 20 thousand went head to head in O’Connell street’. One scuffle where a guard pushed back a pro-abortion man back from the march is not a cage fight Claire.
So how many were actually there? Police presence was adequate, so overtime to cover a peaceful march was handy. They seemed unstressed. So how many? We shall never know.
Thousands. Are you happy now?
Update: Organisers of the March claim 25 to 30,000!