A big, warm thank you to clockwise from top left: ; Vanessa Foran; ‘Preposterous‘, Marcel Kreuger; strong>Neil Curran and RuthCurran, Olga Cronin and Johnny Keenan, our panel on last night’s Broadsheet on the Telly.
The show, produced by Neil Curran, can be viewed in its entirety above.
At a glance guide:
6:00 – “Pretending to be Catholic” – getting children baptised.
14:15 – Kerry Babies case
29:11 – “Do you think you are well served by the female leaders in Ireland?”
George Soros and Colm O’Gorman, of Amnesty International Ireland
Readers may recall how Amnesty International Ireland is continuing to resist demands by the the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) to return a €137,000 donation to fund their campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.
Catherine Sanz and Michael Cogley, the Times Ireland edition, reported:
The OSF (Open Society Foundation) contradicted a statement issued by Sipo last Wednesday claiming that Sipo had received written confirmation from the donor that the funding was explicitly for political purposes. Sherry Perreault, head of ethics and lobbying at Sipo, said there had been “a bit of wordsmithing” from the OSF on the matter and that Sipo had verified documents relating to the donation.
“There was documentary evidence received by the commission which was verified by the donor,” she said. “By virtue of verifying this information, the donor essentially clarified the intent.”
Jonathan Birchall, Lead Communications Officer at OSF in New York, has released the following statement:
“The Open Society Foundation wishes to clarify that it has at no time confirmed to Ireland’s Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) that a €137,000 grant given by our Women’s Rights Program to Amnesty International Ireland (AI) in 2016 was for political purposes.
“Open Society has written to the regulator asking for any public statements to the contrary to be corrected.
“The grant in question was to fund AI’s My Body My Rights campaign, which seeks to mobilize support for a repeal of the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which effectively bans all forms of abortion in Ireland in violation of women’s and girls’ human rights.
“In asserting that the grant was for “political purposes” SIPO’s head of ethics and lobbying, Sherry Perreault, was quoted in The Times of Ireland on December 20 as saying that there was “documentary evidence received by the commission which was verified by the donor” which “essentially clarified the intent.”
“The Open Society Foundations is concerned that the regulator may be referring to internal documents that were stolen from our servers and illegally published on the DC Leaks website in 2016, reportedly by hackers working for the Russian government seeking to publicly discredit our human rights work around the world.
“As Open Society has noted to SIPOC in correspondence, these documents were not dispositive of our intent as a donor. Rather, they were part of an ongoing discussion on how best to strengthen women’s reproductive rights across Europe.
“In addition, it was Amnesty who first approached Open Society, in a general call for expressions of interest for a grant that was not specific to abortion.
“Furthermore, the legal scope of the grant given to Amnesty International is determined by the language of the grant agreement, and not by any other document. The Open Society Foundations trusts that SIPO will rely only on this document to determine whether the terms of this grant comply with Irish law.”
Bewley’s oldest customers Denis Shields, 86, and Eileen Brennan, undisclosed age, are the first to walk through the doors of the iconic café after a multi-million-euro refurbishment.
Paddy Campbell of Bewley’s (pic 2) promise regulars will find elements of the original café have been carefully restored including the Harry Clarke windows, the banquettes and open fireplaces “as well as an open-concept bakery so customers can see old favourites such as the Sticky Buns being crafted by some of Europe’s finest pastry chefs and bakers”.
At that time, Rapporteur Felice Gaer said it was “quite troubling that the interdepartmental committee destroyed its copies of evidence from religious congregations that ran these laundries and will not provide public with information. What is preventing the Government providing public access to the archive?”
Ms Gaer also said the committee had received information about the archives of the Diocese of Galway which was not accessible.
“This individual also brought Senator McAleese’s office’s attention to the existence of these files. He provided the senator with a summary of the materials, but says they were not accurately reflected in the McAleese Report.
“The files reportedly document physical abuse, and the Galway Magdalene’s practice of calling the Irish police to prevent family members from removing women from the institutions.”
Further to this.
In The Irish Examiner, Conall Ó Fátharta reports that the person who gave this information to UNCAT, in November 2013, was Professor James Smith, of Boston College.
He reports UNCAT was also informed that the documentation outlined how there were 107 women who were in the Galway Magdalene Laundry in December 1952.
It was also told of the involvement of the bishop of Galway in the operations and financial dealings of the Sisters of Mercy Galway Magdalene.
This was one of two laundries for which, according to the McAleese Report, no records survive.
Before he accessed the archive in May 2012, Professor Smith signed an agreement not to publish or reproduce any material, without the permission of the Galway Diocesan archive.
But after accessing it, he went on to compile a list of relevant files and prepared a 10-page summary of their contents for Dr McAleese, on May 10, 2012.
Mr Ó Fátharta reports that, according to minutes obtained by him, the McAleese committee did visit the archive and that it was deemed “useful”.
But, when the McAleese Report came out the following year, in February 2013, Prof Smith found that it did not adequately reflect the material he had seen and he subsequently sought to publish the material he had seen.
He was told to send his article to the Galway Diocesan Trustees for approval.
Mr Ó Fátharta reports:
“Prof Smith was also assisting an elderly Magdalene survivor in a personal capacity, as the Department of Justice’s Magdalene Implementation team was having difficulty determining her duration of stay at the Galway Magdalene Laundry, for the purpose of paying her lump-sum compensation. The woman had said she escaped the laundry in early December 1951, but there was no way to document this as fact.
On May 14, 2014, Prof Smith informed the department of the list of 107 women and said that while the list did not confirm her date of exit, it did confirm she was not resident in the Laundry in December 1952.
Prof Smith said he wanted to help the survivor, but that he had also signed an archival users agreement with the diocese of Galway not to “quote from, refer to, or reproduce’ material from the archive without permission”. The department responded by asking Prof Smith to ask the diocese for permission to share the document, but the academic informed it that it should apply directly to the diocese for a copy.
Two weeks later, on May 27, Prof Smith received a letter from the Galway diocesan archive advising him that he had “retained personal data” and that “it is now incumbent upon you, if the information is in fact true, to destroy, erase, or return such data to the data controller”. He was then informed that the archive was now “embargoed”.
“Also, please note that permission has not been given by the diocese, or its agents, to you to publish, or otherwise reproduce, the material.”
In addition, Mr Ó Fátharta reports:
The Irish Examiner put a series of questions to the Department of Justice on Prof’s Smith’s claims and the McAleese committee’s treatment of the Galway diocesan archive. It declined to answer any of them, stating that the committee “no longer exists and is, therefore, not in a position to respond to specific queries”.
Ibrahim Halawa after his arrival in Dublin Airport last week
“Ibrahim Halawa will appear on The Late Late Show on Friday night. He will be discussing his four years spent in an Egyptian jail awaiting trial, relating to a protest in Cairo, before his eventual acquittal on all charges; what it was like to finally be free to return to Ireland and what he intends on doing next.
“He joins Conor McGregor on the line-up for this week’s Late Late Show – the full line-up will be revealed tomorrow.”
Richard Smith (above centre) on holiday from USA walks past train drivers and rail workers as they begin a 24-hour strike, the first of five that will shut down Dart, commuter, and Intercity rail services in the run up to Christmas.
Heuston Station, Dublin
From left: Greg Ennis of SIPTU and General Secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’Leary join the picket
The Iarnród Éireann Trade Union Group have written to the Group Secretary of CIE saying it is “long since passed time that leadership was provided” to end the dispute.
Narrated by Liam Neeson with an original musical score by Bill Whelan.
This 90-minute documentary by Maurice Fitzpatrick tells of how John Hume cultivated the support of a succession of US presidents to help forge peace in Northern Ireland and why Bill Clinton (top right) called him the ‘Martin Luther King of Northern Ireland politics”.
This November 17, In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America will be released in select IMC Cinemas nationwide (Dublin Savoy, IMC Tallaght, IMC Santry, IMC Dun Laoghaire, IMC Athlone, IMC Carlow, IMC Dundalk, IMC Galway, IMC Ballymena, IMC Enniskillen and IMC Omagh).