Midwives and nurses who are seeking the Eighth Amendment to be retained in the upcoming referendum gathered in Dublin city centre today to call on the public to vote No on 25 May.

Marie Donnelly, a registered general nurse, said removing the Eighth Amendment will turn the health service in Ireland on its head.

She said Minister for Health Simon Harris had not consulted doctors and nurses, and the proposal would wreck the healthcare system.

General nurse Ann Flynn said a Yes vote on 25 May would lead to "a horror show".

Mary Ellen Fitzgibbon, from Nurses for Life, expressed concern over the freedom of conscience facing nurses and midwives if the Eighth Amendment is repealed.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of Kilalloe, Dr Fintan Monahan, has said the Government's proposal to allow for abortion without any reason up to 12 weeks' gestation has astonished and outraged many people.

In a pastoral message to be distributed at all masses in the mid-western diocese this weekend, Bishop Monahan says the choice the electorate makes three weeks from today about the proposal to amend the Eighth Amendment will shape our society for generations to come.

He warns the legislation being proposed in the event of a Yes outcome allows for abortion without any reason for up to 12 weeks - unrestricted access which would make the regime here one of the most liberal in the world.

He says many people are astonished and outraged by the proposal.