ABC v Ireland (European Court of Human Rights)

Court room of the ECoHR
Image via Wikipedia

Today the European Court of Human Rights (not an EU body!) handed down its judgement on the case of ABC v Ireland on the issue of provision of Abortion in Ireland.

As kind of expected the court declared A and B inadmissible as

the existing prohibition on abortion in Ireland struck a fair balance between the right of the first and second applicants to respect of their private lives and the rights invoked on behalf of the unborn.

They also stated that

prohibition in Ireland on abortion for health or well-being reasons was based on the profound moral values of the Irish people in respect of the right to life of the unborn

So the court did take this into account.

The difference in the case of C was that the life of the mother was under threat due to the cancer she was suffering from. As the Irish Constitution allows an abortion in this case, the court ruled

that neither the medical consultation nor litigation options, relied on by the Irish Government, constituted effective and accessible procedures which allowed the third applicant to establish her right to a lawful abortion in Ireland. Moreover, there was no explanation why the existing constitutional right had not been implemented to date.

This is an issue that has been dodged by successive governments since the eight amendment was passed. This will now force the Goverment to amend the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 which has had the “chilling” effect on any sort of abortion service in Ireland.

It is interesting as well to see the groups who intervened in this case.

  • the Lithuanian Government (one of the applicants being Lithuanian);
  • the European Centre for Law and Justice in association with Kathy Sinnott (Member of the European Parliament);
  • the Family Research Council (Washington D.C.)
  • Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (London); the
  • Pro-Life Campaign;
  • Doctors for Choice (Ireland)
  • British Pregnancy Advisory Service;
  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Programme.

This case has been welcomed by Pro-Choice activist and condemned by Pro-Life activists, which is strange considering all the judgement is doing is telling us to enact our own constitution!

So will we finally get our abortion act?

Full Judgement and ECHR Press Release (PDF’s)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead: Ind/Dem Loses its Co-Leader

Kathy Sinnott (Ind/Dem) is no longer an MEP! Results from the Count Centre in Cork show that Senator Alan Kelly of Labour has beaten Sinnott on the final count for the final seat in Ireland South.

It was a mixed day in Cork with at one point looking like Toireasa Ferris of Sinn Fein was in a shout of the last the seat, but she failed to attracted enough transfers and Sinnott leap frogged past her.

It was then between Sinnott and Kelly for the last seat and many thought that Sinnott would attract the transfer based on Lisbon stance and gender, but it seems it was a left vote and Kelly got enough transfer to be about 10,000 votes ahead of Sinnott.

So Sinnott is gone and this means this could be my last blog post about her…. unless she runs for Dáil again??? But will she?

Title taken from a tweet by Conor O’Neil

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Libertas – Nil Points?

I blogged yesterday about Predict 09‘s Irish Predictions, but tonight while looking through the country analysis I noticed something. Libertas will not win any seats in the European Parliament. In fact there is only vote share predicted for Ireland and Poland. In Ireland it is predicted at 7% and in Poland its predicted for 0% (+ the margin of error which is 4%). It is not predicted to win seats in Ireland or Poland. Let alone anywhere else!

Will this happen? I don’t know. Its highly unlikely that Libertas will pick up seats in Ireland (unless Sinnott joins them after the election), but they could pick up seats in the United Kingdom, where Labour and UKIP are predicted to be down.

Interesting times ahead for the Chairman.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Fianna Fail to loose 2 MEPs?

The latest predictions from Predict 09 are out and they make for interesting reading for the Irish predictions. According to it Fine Gael will remain the largest party with five MEP’s and 30% of the vote. They say the Fianna Fail will loose two MEPs. And I have to agree with them. They predict that Fianna Fail will get 28% of the vote.

Labour look to be the big gainers and will gain a seat at the expense of Fianna Fail increasing there MEPs to two and increasing their share of the vote to 13%. Sinn Fein will drop in its vote share to 7.6% but will retain an MEP, but I doubt in Dublin. Sinnott and Harkin will keep there seats. I know Harkin will keep her seat and have said it from the start of this prediction. Sinnott on the other hand is vunerable to Labour.

Greens won’t pick up a seat but will poll at 6% and Libertas also will not pick up a seat and will get about 7% of the vote.

Where will Fianna Fail loose their seats? North-West is certainly at stake and Sinn Fein could pick up a seat there. As for the Labour gain? South is the most likely in my eyes at the expense of Sinnott. Could Fianna Fail loose in East or Dublin? Maybe.

Predict 09 will next be updated on May 21st, so that will be my next post about the Irish predictions!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

CandidateWatch: My First Question!

BERLIN - MARCH 25:  European Union leaders, in...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

So I finally asked my first question on CandidateWatch. I asked the following to Ireland South’s Independent MEP Kathy Sinnot:

Do you think that Ireland should withdraw from the European Union?

The reason I ask this is that you are sitting in a European Parliament group with UKIP who believe that the United Kingdom should leave the Union.

Ill post the response when I get it.

Incidently the first question asked to her is one I was going to ask, but a John Long beat me to it:

What is your position in relation to civil partnership and gay marriage for irish citizens?

You can see all the questions to Kathy, including mine here.

Now I need to think of more questions for the other candidates.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Okay, so Im agreeing with the her now, but I’m still not voting for her

Its kind of hard to ignore Kathy Sinnott. And its kind of hard to hate her when she says what you are thinking. Here is a video of her defending Net Neutrality.

Still not voting for her though.

In other news, there was a leafleter for Kathy Sinnott in Cork City on Sunday when I was wandering around with a friend. He went to hand us a leaflet, I said “No thanks” I never take leaflets, but my frien went to take it and then went “eugh” quite loudly. I couldnt stop laughing!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Irish MEP Candidates and Some Predictions

Here is a round up of the Candidates for the 4 European consitituencies in Ireland with a few predictions.

Ireland – Dublin

Dublin is the big battlegorund this year with the number of seats being reduced from 4 seats to 3. The Greens, with Senator Deirdre De Burca, are also hoping to gain a seat in Dublin. It will be a tough campaign.

  • Eibhlin Byrne (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Deirdre de Burca (Greens) Website
  • Proinsias de Rossa MEP (Labour) Website
  • Joe Higgins (Socialist) Website
  • Mary Lou McDonald MEP (Sinn Fein) Website
  • Gay Mitchell MEP (Fine Gael) Website
  • Eoin Ryan MEP (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Caroline Simons (Libertas) Website

Prediction: Ryan, De Rossa and Mitchell to hold their seats with McDonald loosing out. Of the others I think the Greens will poll best.

Ireland East

East is going to be an interesting campaign with Fine Gael out to hold on to its two seats it won in the 2004 elections. This time round, Avril Doyle MEP is standing down and Sen. John Paul Phelan has taken up the reigns to hang on to the seat. Fianna Fail will also be hoping to hang on to its seat. They have yet to announce their second candidate in the constituency. Sinn Fein are also running two candidates here. Greens have no candidate announced  here at the moment.

  • Liam Aylward MEP (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Nessa Childers (Labour) Website
  • Kathleen Funchion (Sinn Fein) Website
  • Mairead McGuinness MEP (Fine Gael) Website
  • Ray O’Malley (Libertas) No Link Found
  • John Paul Phelan (Fine Gael) Website
  • Tomás Sharkey (Sinn Fein) Website

Prediction: Unless Fianna Fail can get another candidate in the ticket soon, the seat could be in danger, but to who is the question? Sinn Fein if it can manage its vote could be the threat to Fianna Fail. Fine Gael will hang to its two seats.

Ireland North West

This will be an interesting constituency. This is the constituency that Libertas founde Declan Ganley will be running in. Will people back him and his party? Fianna Fail are in a spot of bother here as Sean O’Neachtain won’t be running this year and they have no one to replace him. Sinn Fein came second on first perferences here in 2004, but will they be as strong this time out? Fine Gael are running two candidates and could do the job and win two, but at whos expense? Will it be Fianna Fail or Independent (ALDE) MEP Marian Harkin?

  • Declan Ganley (Libertas) Website
  • Marian Harkin MEP (Independent/ALDE) Website
  • Jim Higgins MEP (Fine Gael) Website
  • Padraig Mac Lochlainn (Sinn Fein) Website
  • Paschal Mooney (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Susan O’Keefe (Labour) Website
  • Fiachra O Luain (Independent) Website
  • Joe O’Reilly (Fine Gael) Website

Prediction: Harkin to keep the seat. That is going against what everyone else is saying, but im going out on a limb here! If Fianna Fail can get a well known figure, either TD or outsider then they may keep the seat, but I know they will be slow to run a TD due to possible by-election defeat. Fine Gael will win at least one seat and depending on second Fianna Fail candidate could win two.

Ireland South

In Ireland South Fine Gaels Colm Burke is fighting for the seat he inherited from Simon Coveney in 2007. Fine Gael are also challenging for a second seat. Kathy Sinnott (Independent/Democracy) is also fighting to keep her seat. Fianna Fail is running two candidates here, with sitting MEP Brian Crowley being joined on the ticket by Ned O’Keefe TD. Libertas aren’t running in Ireland South so that they don’t threaten Sinnotts anti-EU vote.

  • Colm Burke MEP (Fine Gael) Website
  • Brian Crowley (Fianna Fail) Website
  • Dan Boyle (Green) Website
  • Toireasa Ferris (Sinn Fein) Website
  • Alan Kelly (Labour) Website
  • Sean Kelly (Fine Gael) Website
  • Ned O’Keeffe (Fianna Fail) No Link Found
  • Kathy Sinnott (Independent/Democracy) Website
  • Alexander Stafford (Independent) No Link Found

Prediction: Crowley and Burke will hold seats and it will go to the last count between Sinnott and Sean Kelly. I think Kelly will win it though.

The night of the count will be very interesting in each of the constituencies! I’m looking forward to it.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

I was going to vote for you but your a looooon

This year I was contemplating given Kathy Sinnott a preference in the European Elections this year (considering Fianna Fail are getting none) but I remembered why not when at work on Saturday I was reading an old copy of the Cork Independent (free sheet) and it had profiles on lots of the candidates in the Locals and Europeans. They asked them to list their priorites, on of Kathy’s was and I quote

Preventing the HSE from promoting Euthanasia in Cork University Hospital

Okay so firstly, what??? You can promote Euthanasia? I didn’t know that. Secondly people in CUH want you to get better not die (I hope).

Another thing that works against her in my opinion is that she is co-president of the Independence/Democracy group which is the group that UKIP is in. I certainly do not want to withdraw or diminish the EU in anyway so nope, no vote for Kathy.

The only reason I was going to vote for Kathy Sinnott was because, if you email her on any issue she gets back to you with her answer either with or against you. Unfortunately can’t get over her statements such as the one above to actually vote for her!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Ireland South – The Candidates

As most of you know, Cork is part of the Ireland South constituency for the European Elections. This compromises of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. In the last elections in 2004 Ireland South returned 3 MEPs. In 2009 it will also return 3 MEPs.

In 2004 the following were elected:
Brian Crowley (Fianna Fail/UEN)
Simon Coveney (Fine Gael/EPP-ED)
Kathy Sinnot (Independent/IndDem)

This year sees a few changes as Colm Burke replaced Simon Coveney as MEP following Simon’s re-election to the Dáil. Also following this years elections Fianna Fail will change party groupings from UEN to ALDE.

So who are the 09 Candidates?

Well the following are the list of official candidates I can find for the Ireland South Constituency (mainly found via Eurvote.org)

Brian Crowley MEP – Fianna Fail
Brian Crowley was first elected to the European Parliament in 1994. He is currently Co-President of the UEN. He served in Seanad Eireann prior to being elected as an MEP.

Colm Burke MEP – Fine Gael
Colm Burke is a former Lord Mayor of Cork and represented the North West Ward of the City on Cork City Council. He was co-opted onto Simon Coveney’s seat in 2007.

Dan Boyle – Green Party/An Chomortas Glas
Senator Dan Boyle is the current Chairman of the Green Party as well as being Deputy Leader of Senad Eireann. He served as TD for Cork South Central between 2002 and 2007. He is the Green Party Spokesman on Finance and on Social and Family Affairs. This is his first attempt at a European Election

Kathy Sinnott MEP– Independent
Kathy Sinnott was elected to the European Parliament in 2004. She is currently Co-Chair of the Independence and Democracy Group within the Parliament. Prior winning her seat in the Parliament, she ran in the 2002 General Election in Cork South Central and narrowly missed out on a seat.

Alan Kelly – Labour Party
Senator Alan Kelly was elected toe Seanad Eireann in 2007 on the Agricultural Panel. He is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. He is Labour’s spokesperson in the Seanad on Tourism, Finance and Local Government. This is first contesting a European Election.

Sean Kelly – Fine Gael
Sean Kelly was President of the GAA from 2003 to 2006. He previously ran for Fine Gael in the Local Elections in North Kerry and failed to be elected. This is his first attempt at a European Election.

Toireasa Ferris – Sinn Fein
Toireasa Ferris was co-opted to Kerry County Council in 2003 (to replace Martin Ferris TD), she won relection in 2004. She was Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council from 2005-2006. This is her first attempt at a European Election.

So that is all the declared candidates for Ireland South. If you know of more let me know! I will be doing a more in-depth look at the candidates and where to find them online over the next few weeks!

This was originally posted on “The Political Gay” on GayCork.com

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wow! That was fast!

Remember the post earlier today about copyright extension? Will I got my first response. Its from Kathy Sinnott. She did her research she told me and will not be voting for the Directive. She also thanked me for my advice on the consumer side! So thanks Digital Rights Ireland for giving me the details!

Yes, I do consider the fact that I was emailed back five hours later to be fast, considering I have yet to hear from the other two MEPs, not even a holding email, this is an election year ya know? Anyone else get a response?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]