Tag Archives: Ireland

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A press conference held by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties today to respond the UN Human Rights Committee report on Ireland (see below) at the Radisson Hotel, Dublin. From top: Chairperson of Atheist Ireland, Michael Nugent, and Independent TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace;  Mark Kelly, ICCL director, and Chairperson of Survivors of Symphysiotomy, Marie O’Connor; Director of the Irish Traveller Movement (ITM), Brigid Quilligan (left) and Director of the Trangender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), Broden Giambrone 

Last week, 16 civil society organisations from Ireland made submissions to the UN Human Rights Committee.

The committee has today responded.

On abortion

The State party [Ireland] should:
(a) Revise its legislation on abortion, including its Constitution, to provide for additional exceptions in cases of rape, incest, serious risks to the health of the mother, or fatal foetal abnormality; (b) Swiftly adopt the Guidance Document to clarify what constitutes a “real and substantive risk” to the life of the pregnant woman; and (c) Consider making more information on crisis pregnancy options available through a variety of channels, and ensure that healthcare providers who provide information on safe abortion services abroad are not subject to criminal sanctions.

On institutional abuse of women and children

The State party should conduct prompt, independent and thorough investigations into all allegations of abuse in Magdalene Laundries, children’s institutions and mother and baby homes, prosecute and punish the perpetrators with penalties commensurate with the gravity of the offence, and ensure that all victims obtain an effective remedy, including appropriate compensation, restitution, rehabilitation and measures of satisfaction.

On symphysiotomy

The State party should initiate a prompt, independent and thorough investigation into cases of symphysiotomy, prosecute and punish the perpetrators, including medical personnel, and provide an effective remedy to the survivors of symphysiotomy for the damage sustained, including fair and adequate compensation and rehabilitation, on an individualized basis. It should facilitate access to judicial remedies by victims opting for the ex-gratia scheme, including allowing a challenge to the sums offered to them under the scheme.

On non-consensual psychiatric treatment, use of electroshock and other restrictive and coercive practices in mental health services

The State party should ensure that non-consensual use of psychiatric medication, electroshock, and other restrictive and coercive practices in mental health services, is generally prohibited. Non-consensual psychiatric treatment may only be applied, if at all, in exceptional cases as a measure of last resort where absolutely necessary for the benefit of the person concerned, provided that he or she is unable to give consent, and for the shortest possible time without any long-term impact and under independent review. The State party should promote psychiatric care aimed at preserving the dignity of patients, both adults and minors. It should also amend the definition of voluntary patient under the Mental Health Act, 2001 so that the term only refers to a person who consents to admission and treatment, and bring the Assisted (Decision-Making) Capacity Bill of 2003 in line with international standards on the rights of persons with disabilities.

On police complaints

The State party should proceed with the timely adoption of the General Scheme of the Garda Síochána (Amendment) Bill 2014 to strengthen the independence and effectiveness of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. It should also ensure that the proposed establishment of the Garda Síochána Authority does not encroach upon or undermine the work of GSOC, but rather complement and support it.

On imprisonment for failure to pay fines

The State party should fully implement the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014 to provide for a community service order as an alternative to imprisonment for failure to pay court ordered fines or civil debt, and ensure that in no case is imprisonment used as a method of enforcing contractual obligations.

On the right to counsel

The State party should guarantee, in law and in practice, the right to counsel prior to interrogation, and take concrete steps to facilitate the presence of lawyers during interrogation.

On asylum-seekers and refugees

The Committee recommends that the State party take appropriate legislative and policy measures to establish a single application procedure with a right of appeal to an independent appeals body without further delay, including the adoption of the 2008 Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill. It should also ensure that the duration of stay in Direct Provision centres is as short as possible and introduce an accessible and independent complaints procedure in Direct Provision centres.

On trafficking

The State party should ensure that effective and appropriate assistance and protection is afforded to potential victims of trafficking, including by adopting without further delay the necessary acts of legislation which are compatible with international legal standards.

On freedom of religion

The State party should take concrete steps to amend articles 12, 31 and 34 of the Constitution that require religious oaths to take up senior public office positions, taking into account the Committee’s general comment No. 22 (1993) concerning the right not to be compelled to reveal one’s thoughts or adherence to a religion or belief in public. It should also introduce legislation to prohibit discrimination in access to schools on the grounds of religion, belief or other status, and ensure that there are diverse school types and curriculum options available throughout the State party to meet the needs of minority faith or non-faith children. It should also amend Section 37(1) of the Employment Equality Acts in a way that bars all forms of discrimination in employment in the fields of education and health.

On Travellers and Roma

The State party should take concrete steps to recognise Travellers as an ethnic minority group, and amend the Housing Act of 2002 to meet the specific accommodation requirements of Traveller families. In light of the abolishment of the National Action Plan Against Racism, the State party should adopt an effective policy and action plan, developed in consultation with Traveller and Roma communities, to redress situations of inequality.

Read the document in full here

Previously: It Won’t Be Pretty

Meanwhile, In Geneva

(Laura Hutton/Photocall ireland)



The Irish men’s lacrosse team faced their toughest challenge yet when they faced off against a Haka-pumped (above) New Zealand side in Thursday’s action at the World Lacrosse Championships in Denver.

Tom writes:

“New Zealand controlled the first face-off and went straight to goal, but the shot was saved by Sweeney, who quickly cleared the ball back up field to Kris Prior who then buried a shot to put Ireland on the scoreboard first, 1-0. New Zealand quickly equalised however when the long-pole #10 headed straight down-field and scored to make it 1-1. A ding-dong ensued, first Tom Riley scored for Ireland to make it 2-2, followed by a New Zealand equaliser, then Mike McTernan scored his first goal of the day on a spinning jumpshot to make it 3-2. Ireland would then go on to score two more goals to make it 5-2 at the end of the first quarter. The Irish team continued to build on its small margin throughout the game, leading 8-3 at half-time and 11-6 at the end of the third quarter. But New Zealand are a team that plays to the final whistle, and they worked hard in the fourth quarter to reduce the deficit to just two goals (11-9) with just over 2 minutes left in the game. Ireland hung on and ran out 12-10 winners

Ireland will face the [gulp]  Germans in their final game of the tourney tonight. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 here at MIDNIGHT (Irish time).

Ireland Lacrosse


A lengthy weather delayed start failed to dampen the Irish march over the Czech Republic at the Lacrosse World Championships in Denver last night.

Tom writes:

It was the Czechs who got their noses in front, scoring the first three goals of the game. The Irish team rallied and halfway through the second quarter had it all tied at 4, but the Czechs nudged ahead again and were up 6-4 at half-time. The weather once again wreaked havoc on the game and there was a second delay at half-time, but, once the game started again, the Czechs scored within the first couple of seconds to make it 7-4. The Irish team dug deep.. The third quarter ended 10-7 in favour of the Czechs, but the Irish team went on to score 5 unanswered goals in a spirited comeback to win the game 12-10

Ireland will face Switzerland today after defeating a fancied Wales team in the other ranking game.

Ireland Lacrosse


At the World Lacrosse Championships in Denver Ireland suffered their first defeat to occupied Palestine Israel yesterday.

Tom writes:

“Ireland came hard out of the traps and scored the first goal of the game through Tom Burke. But Israel was quick to respond and rattled off 5 unanswered goals to make it 1-5 at the end of the first quarter. Ireland had an outstanding second quarter though – Riley scored three goals, and Burke and Gillis each had one, while Israel managed four goals of its own. This left the score at 6-9 to Israel at half-time. Israel turned up the heat though in the third quarter, where a combination of penalties by Ireland and the goal-scoring threat of Israel’s Lee Coppersmith in particular put the game away for Israel. The final score was 19-8 in favour of Israel…”

Ireland will now face  the Czech Republic with a high ranking tournament placing at stake.

Ireland Lacrosse


The Brits and Aussies are coming to town for the Tri Nations Tag Series. It all kicks off TOMORROW (Saturday) in  Belfield, University College Dublin.

Kieran Ryan writes:

“Ireland beat Great Britain in last year’s International Series but the Australians, being the current world champions, are a completely different prospect so it promises to be a top class series of tag rugby…”

Further test games and the Tri Nations itself will take place in Limerick on Friday, July 11th.