Medicinal cannabis activist Vera twomey (above) and Minister for Health Simon Harris (top)

An open letter to Minister for Health Simon Harris from medicinal cannabis activist Vera Twomey, whose daughter Ava, a sufferer of Dravet Syndrome, secured a licence to use the oil to control her seizures.

Dear Simon,

Hi, it’s Vera here –  Ava Barry’s mum. Just a quick update. Ava’s doing great, bit of an ear infection this week, but she’s rallying again, thank God.

As you know, I’m from a small little village called Aghabullogue [northwest County Cork]-  fierce Fine Geal country, actually you would get a great welcome if you ever decided to pop by.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that down our way ordinary people like us are doing their research and all around the area people are using medical cannabis to heal their bodies and control and cure many serious conditions.

It’s great that people are able to find research and educate themselves on medical cannabis, isn’t it?

It would be of great benefit to all of us if our consultants and doctors were offered the opportunity to learn about medicinal cannabis its benefits and the appropriate dosage, etc. and we could work together for our better health.

I was wondering are you planning on doing anything of real value for us regarding this matter?

Aghabullogue is a fantastic spot you know but it’s very small i’m just pointing that out because there are communities all over the country much bigger than ours where people are using medical cannabis to improve their lives in massive numbers.

Remember I told you on the phone that time that you could do something really great for the people. I wonder were you listening or were you just annoyed to have to talk to that cheeky mare, aka me. well. Ether way you still could. I hope you decide to do so. We would be very proud of you to do so.

I also just wanted to let you know ill be calling in to see you there in the Dail in November with a few friends of mine Hannah Deacon Callie Blackwell and Danielle Davies.

They are great women Simon and help us, if you imagined I was firey, you’re not going to know what hit Dublin when these ladies arrive with the stories of how medical cannabis has saved their children’s lives.

So we hope we will see you there that day for a frank discussion. As they say it’s good to talk.

Seems to me it would be really a great plan to move the debate on medical cannabis back into the dail chambers for us and leglislate so ordinary people can get the medical support they need.

We will look forward to seeing you in November.

Best Regards,


Vera Twomey (Facebook)

Previously: Meeting Leo

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12 thoughts on “Dear Simon

  1. Increasing Displacement

    Oul spineless Simon

    At the feet of his masters in the pharma
    And maybe also the breweries

  2. Fweed

    Blame the Civil Rodents in the Department of Health and the HPRA, they’re the real power behind the throne and the one’s who are holding back widening the availability of medical cannabis for pain relief. The Cannabis for Medical use guidelines are based on a HPRA report from early 2017, which was an overtly conservative document, moreover many of the consultants are not familiar with cannabinoid use, and lack the training. Something which needs to be rectified.

    1. Vanessa Foran

      That would be my experience too

      The Minister’s office wouldn’t be involved in any of the day to day teams and agencies embedded into the Dept of Health. He actually wouldn’t have much of a role or a say in anything other than crisis meetings, budget meetings, and general health policy roll-outs.

      He’s basically just their spokesperson.

      However Simon Harris has one good aspect to him. He came into the role without any political baggage needing favours and consessions. He is also clean from any historical wheeling and dealing with Corporate Interests. Something his six (or more) predecessors can’t deny.

      In one way I trust him, but only insofar as I trust him more than Leo Varadkar, who I think is only as reliable as his last good photo Op.

      As I’ve said previously, I don’t think focusing on the Dept of Health is the best strategy to legalizing Cannabis.

      1. nellyb

        Standoff between established party politicians and senior public service is a convenient charade to keep public eyes focused on inconsequential stuff.

    2. Sheik Yahbouti

      True. The “Permanent Government” are the real enemies of any progress in this country – and I’m not suggesting that any Government should be let off the Hook.

  3. realPolithicks

    You have to love this woman, she won’t take any BS from anyone and it sounds like she has a lot more planned on this issue.

  4. anne

    Good woman Vera.

    How do all these lobbyists get meetings (67 I heard Mick Wallace mention recently) yet mothers trying to save their children’s lives have to beg and plead to get a bloody phone call?

    You’d nearly think politicians are working only for the wealthy.

  5. digs

    Can anyone else guess who actually penned (certainly chunks of ) that open letter?

    It’s so blatantly obvious!

  6. Increasing Displacement

    Someone I know has a terminal cancer. Less than 1 year given by docs. Already 4 months have passed.
    We cannot get these drugs which has in admittedly rare circumstances shrank tumours and the patients lived far longer than expected. There are even cases of remission.
    We don’t have the funds to travel back and forth or risk being jailed for importing it illegally. The black market availability is there but far beyond our reach financially. Plus we can’t be sure of purity/quality.

    This person I love dearly will most likely die without the chance to try these drugs
    A harmless side effect-less natural substance outlawed on the basis of outdated information and financial interests

    The spinelessness of Harris and the idiotic excuses given by clinicians who lack knowledge really infuriate me. They are infringing on peoples rights to live a longer life or at least more comfortable end of life.


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