Tracey Lyons writes:
Imelda was the founding member of Tabbies for Tá in the Marriage Referendum. She’s just as much of a Yes this time around!
Pets for Yes/No to firstname.lastname@example.org marked ‘Pets For Yes/No’.
In the Dáil.
Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger raised the taking down of artist Maser’s Repeal the 8th mural from the Project Arts Centre yesterday.
It was removed after the Charities Regulator informed the centre the artwork is “political activity” and that, as a consequence, the centre is in breach of the Charities Act 2009.
Ms Coppinger, and fellow TD Paul Murphy, held up copies of the mural, as she said:
“I would just like to know what the Taoiseach and others think is so offensive about this – that it should be banned by a State body. And would you agree with me, that we should challenge that… and we should say ‘no, there’s nothing wrong with a heart that calls for repeal’ and there’s nothing… we should not allow political censorship.”
Before Taoiseach Leo Varadkar could respond, Tánaiste Simon Coveney could be heard saying across the chamber:
“Stupid stunts like that do nothing to inform…”
Varadkar says he has no doubt a pro-life or Vote No mural would also have been subject to the same decision, and suggests that another private building owner might commission it to appear there instead #Dail
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) April 24, 2018
Watch the Dáil proceedings live here
Yesterday: Once More With Emulsion
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.”
Further to this…
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.”
Previously: Above The Law
Of all the obnoxious pro-life propaganda, this is definitely one of the more bizarre comparisons. Several stickers spotted on Sandford Road, Ranelagh.
Outside Leinster House and outside Buswells Hotel on Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.
Members of the pro-life White Flag Movement group, including Tim Jackson from Co Donegal (first and second pic), who has been on hunger strike for ten days.
Mr Jackson is calling for the all-party Oireachtas committee on abortion to watch a “pictorial representation video of an abortion”, as part of their discussions.
And members of the Abortion Rights Campaign, dressed in Victorian clothing outside Buswells Hotel, after the group held a press conference (third and fourth pic).
The ARC’s annual March for Choice takes place on Saturday.
Yesterday: Nine Months
Aine Philip writes:
The Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment announce the creation of a series of beautiful, hand-painted, stitched and embroidered banners, which will be carried in procession at the upcoming March for Choice on September 30th in Dublin.
The banners are inspired by the Suffragette, Labour, Sodality and Guild groups and all those who have sought social change through cultural means.
…The Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment was founded in 2015 by Cecily Brennan, Eithne Jordan, Alice Maher and Paula Meehan. To date, 3,000 of Ireland’s artists, musicians, actors, dancers, writer and poets, have signed up to the campaign.
Via the Arbortiion Rights Campaign (ARC):
It’s Time to Act. We have waited too long. We have been patient for too long. We are tired of waiting. We need to act. Our government needs to act.
And YOU need to act! Join us at 6th Annual March for Choice (September 30) to make your pro-choice voice heard, this is your last chance before a referendum is called.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Queen’s University, Belfast this morning
At Queen’s University in Belfast.
Leo Varadkar gave a speech during his first official visit to Northern Ireland since becoming Taoiseach.
After giving a speech he agreed to take questions from the floor.
One woman (second from the right pictured above) asked Mr Varadkar:
“Taoiseach, on the topic of North/South relations, we know that students from the Republic of Ireland study here and vice versa. Students have a very proud history of advocating social justice issues, as seen in the marriage equality referendum on May 22, 2015 – something you are a strong advocate for north and south of the border and we thank you for your solidarity at Belfast Pride tomorrow.
“Recently you announced your intention to run various referenda over the next 18 months beginning in June or July. The referendum on the 8th amendment is especially pertinent for students north and south of the border.
“As we all know a high percentage of students travel or work abroad over the summer. Do you agree with us that, in order to fully engage students, this referendum should be held outside of the summer months?”
Mr Varadkar replied:
“Thanks very much. It’s a good question, I haven’t been asked that one yet. It is, we have a process that we’ve agreed involving a Citizens’ Assembly, involving a Oireachtas all-party parliamentary committee but what we’re planning for is a referendum probably May or June of next year.
“It’s not as straightforward as just having a referendum, we have to have wording legislation, a referendum commission and a campaign. So, if we don’t have it before the summer then it’ll probably not happen until the latter part of the year.
“So we haven’t set a date yet. We have had referendums in June before. I think the Good Friday Agreement was a June referendum, if I remember correctly. So was the Fiscal Treaty and we’ve had elections in June as well.
“But I definitely take the point and get the message that younger people would like to have the referendum happen at a time when they’re in the country so that they can fully participate. So we will absolutely take that into account in setting a date.”
Watch back in full here
Pic via Queen’s University
A wee shindig to fundraise for the Abortion Rights Campaign has been announced for the Kino, Washington Street, Cork on December 12, including panel discussion with Paula Larkin, Tara Flynn and Julie Kelleher + more TBA.
Plus a screening of Dirty Dancing (1987).
— Hazel Nolan (@hazelnolan) November 10, 2016
At the National University of Ireland Galway where Taoiseach Enda Kenny was attending a conference called Ireland 1916-2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty.
Taking the trip to Liverpool today are a couple dealing with grief, and the extra trauma of having to fly to the UK for treatment, following the diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality.
The couple, who also have a disabled child, are documenting their trip on Twitter and Snapchat.
Writes the couple’s husband:
This Thursday, the 10th of November, we will travel to the UK from Ireland to have a termination. This is not by choice. Three months ago, after many attempts, we were overjoyed at the discovery we were successful.
Our first child was born with a genetic condition that meant we spent many months in hospital and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Although there is a risk any future children may carry the same condition we decided it was a risk worth taking.
At our first pre-natal appointment, we were offered a genetic screening test. Although it does not screen for the condition that affects our first child, it will for others that may inhibit the baby’s chance of survival. Of course we agreed to a simple blood test, after all the heartbeat now visible was strong and all markers pointed to a healthy pregnancy. Then we got the call that nothing can prepare you for.
A fatal foetal abnormality was discovered. We had never heard of Edwards’ syndrome before but we were told that even if carried to full term the period of life would be counted in the minutes and hours after birth. It is a crushing sentence for any person to hear, let alone for my wife who has had to give up her career to become a full-time carer for our little boy.
We went back for more tests and got confirmation. We should be telling our friends and relatives about our joyous news at just over 12 weeks; instead we are now past the point of being able to go to a hospital in the UK so we had to make arrangements to visit a clinic.
Traumatic in its own right, we also have to get someone to mind our child who requires constant monitoring throughout the day or his condition can cause him to slip into a coma and his brain can basically shut down. A lot of responsibility for us, even more putting it on someone else’s shoulders.
(Despite) what should be a simple procedure that could be carried out 20 minutes from home, in a risk-free environment, we are being forced to travel to the UK, leaving our child behind and the risks that involves to do the most humane thing possible to a baby that will never survive. That’s why we are going to document our experience from start to finish on Thursday.
We hope that this may enlighten those who do not want to listen or even allow the people of this country to decide for themselves. Our Government has continually kicked the can down the road and we, the people, must decide if we can allow this to happen. We hope that by documenting our experience it may help those that may have been through something similar or may be unfortunate enough to do so in the future.
Please share and check back on Thursday morning for updates throughout the day.
Twitter – @itstimetorepeal
Snapchat – itstimetorepeal