The Elephant in The Room, No Longer that Invisible?

The issue that normally simmers away in the background of Irish politics has taken the headlines again today thanks to an interview in the Irish Times about the the death of a mans wife. The man is Praveen Halappanavar and he was talking about the death of 31 year old Savita Halappanavar, a dentist in Galway, following a miscarriage. She had attended the hospital complaining of back pain and they discovered she was miscarrying. She had then requested a Medical Termination but it was refused “because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country””.

She spent 2 and half days in agony until the foetal heartbeat stopped. She was then transferred to the High Dependency Unit and then the Intensive Care Unit before dying of septicaemia on the 28th October.

This is shocking!

This should never have happened!

I have previously called the abortion the political debate the Elephant in the Room, but following today’s news adding to the ABC v Ireland case further demonstrates the need for an Abortion Act in Ireland.

In a strange co-incidence the Minister of Health received the Report of the Expert on the ABC v Ireland yesterday evening. The Government will soon have to make a decision on this and the sooner the better.

There are many protests being planned in Cork there is one tonight (7pm outside Opera House) and on Friday (1pm on Daunt Square)

There are also protest in Dublin (tonight and Saturday), Galway (Saturday), Belfast (Thursday 15th) and London. More details being added to Una Mullally’s blog on the Irish Times.

As a Country we have had 20 years to sort this out. Government’s of all hues have failed to sort out this issue. Its time our Government legislated for this. Hopefully they will be shamed into acting after this.

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Cancer Protest Pics

Here are some pictures from the protest in Cork this evening. I brought my camera but I forgot my memory card so these have been taken with my phone.







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Reminder: Protest Tomorrow 6:30pm

Quick reminder of the Cervical Cancer Protest tomorrow on Daunts Square at 6:30pm.

Do come along and bring friends and a camera!

Reinstate HPV vaccine programme – Rally in Cork


On Wednesday December 10th at 6:30pm there will be a rally on Daunts Square which is being organised by
Harney must reinstate cervical cancer vaccine group on Facebook. There is also a candle light vigil at the same time outside the Dáil on the same day. Full details on the Facebook event page.

Meanwhile Gavin’s blog has an update on the strength of the facebook group.

It is over issues such as this, the breast cancer misdiagnoses and numorous other muck-ups in our health system that Mary Harney shold resign over, not some haircut paid for by FÁS.

Please come along next Wednesday and bring a camera!

Don’t forget their is an online petition!

LGBT Noise Protest – Register Your Protest


LGBT Noise are holding a protest next Saturday December 6th in Dublin at 13:45pm. The time is a strange one to have a protest isn’t it, why not 13:30 or 14:00 makes it easier to remember. Anyway the protest is from the Dáil to the Civil Registry Office on Grand Canal Street “to stand up for the Civil Institution of Marriage”. This is according to an email I got from their info list.

In the email about the protest LGBT Noise complain about “threats by Cardinal Seán Brady of legal challenges to the recognition of gay and lesbian couples”

This may be news to LGBT Noise but the church, as a legal entity, have the right to bring legal challenges against actions they might see as impinging on the Constitution. Gay activists always amaze me, they are the first to use the courts if they think it will further there cause (KAL Case) but if they see at something that might hold back there cause, its just not cricket.

Secondly they complain about “ideological attacks on gay families on RTE One and RTE Radio One” if they think that shouldn’t they be writing to RTÉ and the papers? A protest on Civil Marriage is not going to change anything about who RTÉ gets on its shows.

They go on to say “gay and lesbian people have a civil right to have their relationships, and their families, protected by the State”. While this is correct to a point the Irish Constitution the supreme law of the land states, in Article 41.1

1° The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.

2° The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.

Also Article 41.3.1 states:

The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack.

This shows the constitutions places limits on supposed Civil Rights.

A lot of Civil Rights being claimed by LGBT Noise such as:

Civil Marriage is a Civil Right.
Protection for parents is a Civil Right.
Protection for children is a Civil Right.

have not been validated by the Irish Constitution or by the courts. They are presuming that these rights exist. In fact we are waiting for a Children’s Rights Referendum so I am surprised that they have mentioned Protection for Children which is a bit off track in that sense.

In relation to the threat by the church over legal action they say:

It’s time that our government and the religious lobby recognised that church and state should remain separate. The right of gay and lesbian couples to get married in a civil registry office does not in any way interfere with the free practice of religion.

Who said it would interfere with “the free practice of religion”? Not a single person I know would use the argument of free practice of religion against the campaign for Civil Marriage as it wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. I think the fact the Church is threatening to take the State to court shows that there is separation of Church and State in this country, because if it were not the case, the church would not have to take the case against the state.

In the entire email I find myself agreeing with only one part of it and that is one of the lines in the concluding paragraph

pretending that we must only see the arguments in terms of conflict between gay and religious people ignores both the countless gay people of faith, and others in the faith community who support equality for all

Yes, there are many religous folk out there in support of Gay Marriage and Civil Unions and I have been lucky to meet some of them.

Anyway best of luck to those attending the protest, but personally I don’t see the point.

"You must be BATTY to think we wont fight the cuts"

The above was on a hand made sign at the education protest in Cork City last Saturday. It was one of the largest protests I have seen in Cork especially in comparison to the student protest on fees earlier this year and the protest I was on back in 2004 on fees.

From my work I could see the protest passing which seamed very colourful and enjoyed the support of shoppers. It took the protest a good 45 minutes to pass the Savoy Centre (where I work) which gives you an indication of how large the turnout was. Their were teachers from Kerry, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford from the signs I saw but they could also have been teachers from Tipperary and Clare and I am open to correction on that!

Fair play to the INTO, TUI and ASTI for organising the protest which is resonating well with the public and has people on their side. The Government and the Education Minister especially are making a mess of this issue and the Education budget needs to be re-thought completely.

Equality California considers Prop 8 Passage a "Mob Vote"


In a letter that is posted on the Gay News Blog, Geoff Kors, Executive Director of Equality California says the result should be thrown out due to the “outrageous lies and questionable tactics by the other side, be thrown out. We know our rights cannot be taken away by a mob vote.”

I am amazed he calls it a mob vote? Is not California a democracy? Is it not the job of Equality California and others against Prop 8 to highlight the lies and the tactics used by its proponents. If it passed because of lies and tactics then it shows the incompetence of the “No on 8” Campaign. The route they are taking now, more legal action asking that the results of a legal democratic election “be thrown out” is outrageous!

I am also very questioning of the protests against the Mormon Church. So what if they supported Prop 8? Aren’t they allowed as a interest group to participate in politics? Parading signs like “Vile Mormons” is not going to get you any more supporters!

If those that were deicted to the cause actually stopped doing and started thinking they would do what is suggested over on GayPatriot and see where they went wrong. One of the writers there has also written an excellent piece on Pajamas Media on Making the Case for Gay Marriage. There is no point in blaming others when you failed as you must take some of the blame yourself.

I hope the California Courts have learned that they cannot go against the wishes of the MAJORITY of the people and through the results out.

Burma – The (Good) power of Religion


As may of regular visitors will know, I am a huge supporter of Aung San Suu Kyi and the democracy movement in general in Burma (or Myanmar what ever you want to call it). Over the last few days Buddhists monks and nuns have started protesting against the regieme and have even called for its downfall!

“A group calling itself the All Burma Monks Alliance urged ordinary people for the first time “to struggle peacefully against the evil military dictatorship” until its downfall.”*

Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed out of her house to the delight of protesters.

But things are starting to get difficult with the regime starting to increase security around Aung San Suu Kyi House and security around the protests.

The regime cannot use violence against the monks due to the huge public outcry that it will cause not only in Burma, but in other Buddhist countries and China, one of its main supporters. Times are getting very interesting in Burma.

* Source Guardian 24/9/07 “Burmese monks’ protests grow”