‘We Still Have A Lot Of Questions’


From top: The late Sylva Tukula; Cameron Keighron

We still have a lot of questions and a lot of answers that we need to find out and we’re hoping that over the next couple of days, or weeks, that we’ll get those answers.

“…How systems like these are put in place and how groups and relevant persons fall through the cracks?

“No one should have to go through what we went through.

“No one should ever have to feel live we’ve felt over the last couple of days and to know that someone that they were so close to was buried by themselves without any sort of appropriate arrangement, and without anyone present, to mark the end of their life and to celebrate it…

We’re calling for an investigation into these systems and to ensure that the failures that happened this time aren’t repeated and that provisions are put in place to protect the dignity of people, irrespective of their status in this country.”

Cameron Keighron, chairperson of the Amach LGBT charity in Galway, speaking on RTÉ One’s Morning Ireland this morning about the late Sylva Tukula.

Sylva, from Cameroon and who identified as a transwoman, was living in the men-only Great Western House Direct Provision centre in Galway when she died last August.

She was subsequently buried unbeknownst to her friends on May 9 in a HSE-owned plot at the Bohermore cemetery – despite her friends being told they would be informed of her burial arrangements.

Listen back in full here

Yesterday: ‘We Have Still Yet To Know The Actual Cause Of Death’

Buried Alone

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10 thoughts on “‘We Still Have A Lot Of Questions’

  1. postmanpat

    Perfect storm of grumpy Galway Garda , religious Galway Coroner & good old “were a catholic country” Galway HSE. Its hardy surprising this happened. The entire west of Ireland is very much a backward thinking community . The odds of the civil servants across multiple department would have been sensitive to the enquiries of Sylvas friends was always slim to none. I can well imagine the coroner looked at the autopsy first page tick boxes and shrugged his shoulders , rolled his eyes and ticked “male” . Rushed through his work and called it a day. Any Galway civil servant who picked up the phonecall from any of the LGBT resource centres enquiring about it would have urggghh’ed when the LGBT centres announced themselves and gave them the fob off or run around.

    1. Panty Christ

      GDPR / data protection would have precluded the release if any information from any public body or not in relation to this hmm unfortunate case. I don’t buy the fact that Interpol could not assist on this matter either.

      1. SOQ

        So if I phone up a hospital to inquire about a friend, the HSE are not allowed to tell me if he or she is even alive? I don’t think that is the case somehow.

        1. postmanpat

          No, they are only “not allowed” if you mention that your friend is trans and you are ringing from an LGBTQ recourse centre. Then why would they help you? Your lifestyle is evil and you’re all going to hell in their eyes. West of Ireland dude. The will just isn’t there. It wouldn’t have happened in Dublin. We are more progressive over here , less history of inbreeding too. so the IQ is a little higher.

        2. Panty Christ

          They would be divulging a persons medical history over the phone. That’s verboten.

          1. Cian

            I’m not sure it they are legally a person.

            However, recital 27 of the GDPR says “This Regulation does not apply to the personal data of deceased persons. Member States may provide for rules regarding the processing of personal data of deceased persons.” So GDPR no longer applies..

  2. Bebe

    Alive and in death Sylva should have been treated with dignity. Those who formed friendships and relationships with her during her time here should have been afforded the opportunity to pay respects and gather respectfully to share memories of Sylva as is the custom here in Irelabd and in her home country. Religion and sexual orientation aside, Sylva was ‘one of us’ : she was not ‘the other’ we are part of a human family. I hope we can as a community, in solidarity and friendship come together to remember her life in a manner that supports those who feel her loss more acutely.

    Thank you Broadsheet for highlighting. It is only when you exposed that the Journal and mainstream media took up the case. You’re an invaluable resource to the marginalized.

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