Luke Ming Flanagan (left) and Gino Kenny flank Vera Twomey at Dublin Airport in April after she obtained medicinal cannabis for her daughter Ava in Barcelona. Vera, her husband Paul and Ava are now living in Holland.
Further to the halting yesterday of the Medicinal Cannabis Bill from proceeding in the Dáil with bill sponsor Gino Kenny TD calling the chamber “a kip”…
Luke Ming Flanagan MEP writes:
Vera Twomey and family have been forced to leave Ireland and Gino Kenny’s Medicinal Cannabis Bill has been thrown out of the Dáil.
There’s something amiss! The system is failing to even look after itself.
Political parties like Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have a great reputation for surviving. Their first instinct has always been to ensure that they do not introduce something that will jeopardise their power base. But now they have taken their eye off the ball.
While the FG/FF/SF brigade are a conservative lot at the best of times, it seems that they are allowing the machinations of the Dublin bureaucracy to run the show now – much to their own detriment.
The support for medicinal cannabis is overwhelming. When Vera Twomey walked to the Minister’s office in Dublin, form Aghabullogue in Co Cork, she had tremendous support.
School children came out and marched with her. School brass bands marched with her. Parents shook her hand. Everyone could see that she was fighting for the good of her child Ava. An honest battle, a humane request.
But now Vera, her husband Paul and their 4 children have left Aghabullogue and are living in the Hague in the Netherlands.
I spoke with Vera yesterday. She was extremely sad. Not because she has had to move away from Ireland, from her mother and her family. Not because she has been forced to set herself and her family up in a new country and a new culture (they are managing very well thankfully). None of these reasons.
Vera, like most Irish people, had faith in the ‘system’. She always reckoned that eventually common sense would prevail and that the political parties who run our country would see the light. Unfortunately she has been betrayed by the same system.
What has brought sadness to Vera was the news that Deputy Gino Kenny’s Medicinal Cannabis Bill was brought to a halt in the Dáil. Despite all the evidence presented to the Health Committee on medicinal cannabis, in face of the fact that country after country are making provision for medicinal cannabis, our TDs and Senators have let Ava and thousands of other Irish citizens down.
Those who suffer chronic pain, glaucoma, MS, arthritis, epilepsy and other ailments have been let down.
What amazes me is that the political parties have nothing to lose. This is not a contentious issue. Children in national schools have asked me about medicinal cannabis. They can see that it’s a humanitarian issue. How then has this come to such a sorry state?
The Minister and the other public representatives have not done their job.
They have abdicated their duty to a faceless institution called the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). We need politicians to represent the people of Ireland.
For as long as the Oireachtas is peopled with abdicators it will be a ‘Kip’.
Luke Ming Flanagan
Previously: Vera Twomey on Broadsheet