The silent march was in solidarity with victims of clerical abuse

A march in solidarity with survivors of clerical abuse is underway in Dublin city centre this evening.

Timed to coincide with the Papal mass, the Stand4Truth event began at the Garden of Remembrance with speeches and performances from the likes of Villagers, Hozier and Roisín O.

The event also featured spoken word performances by theatre-maker Grace Dyas, poet Sarah Clancy and  a speech from organiser and activist Colm O’Gorman.

The performances were followed by a silent march to Sean MacDermott St – the site of the country’s last Magdalene Laundry.

Mr O'Gorman, the executive director Amnesty International Ireland, organised the event.

As the crowds were arriving he said the turnout was “phenomenal.”

“I have never seen anything like it,” he said.

“We met for the first time a week-and-a-half ago and just look out there now at what has been put together.

“The artists who absolutely said they wanted to come along and help us build the sense of occasion and spirit and intent that we wanted to build here.

“The people what turning up – it is mind-blowing.

“It is wonderful, I mean this is Ireland – it is phenomenal.”

This morning, Pope Francis said he had prayed for the "Lord's forgiveness" for the physical and sexual abuse of children carried out by members of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Describing clerical abuse as an “open wound” the Pontiff called for "firm and decisive" action to secure "truth and justice" for survivors. 

It comes after he said clerical child sex abuse within the Church remains a “source of pain and shame” for Catholic leadership in a speech at Dublin Castle.

Mr O’Gorman, who was raped by a member of the clergy as a child, said he was disappointed the Pope had stopped short of apologising on behalf of the Church.

“An apology requires that one identifies what one did,” he said.

“No Pope – on behalf of the institution even – has acknowledged a level of responsibility at the level of the Vatican for what is proven.

“A willful deliberate cover-up by design and by intent underpinned by Church law and Church norms to cover up the crimes of clergy.