Tag Archives: Leinster House

Do it

Now!

This evening.

At 6pm.

To mark International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Sex Workers Alliance Ireland will host a candlelit vigil outside Leinster House. The group writes:

Together we will honour those who have suffered violence and lost their lives due to the dehumanising stigma and marginalisation created by criminal laws.

This year the extent to which our laws both actively harm sex workers and fail to protect us have come into sharp focus. Two workers have been prosecuted and sentenced to jail for the crime of working together for safety. One of these workers is pregnant.

We now know that violent crime against sex workers has increased by 92% since the law came into effect in 2017. Less than 1% of sex workers would report crime against them to the police. Recent spates of attacks and robberies on sex workers show that the law is failing to protect us.

Every sex worker we speak to wants to work with another worker for safety. Our so-called brothel-keeping laws prevent us from keeping ourselves safe.

This is the final IDEVASW before our law is reviewed in 2020. We must be listened to as the experts in living and working under this law.

Candlelight Vigil: End Violence Against Sex Workers (Facebook)

Previously: “It Is An Extremely Dangerous Piece Of Legislation”

On Saturday, December 14.

Outside Leinster House, between 1pm and 4pm.

A Rally for Peace On Earth, Against The Politics of Hate will be held. To wit:

In this season of peace and joy, we – faith groups, trade unions, community groups, ordinary working women and men, children, families – are coming together on Saturday December 14, to sing and eat mince-pies in the spirit of the festive season, and to stand up for an Ireland where everyone feels safe and welcome, where we don’t give airtime to those who seek to divide us and where we can benefit from the richness that all cultures, and all people bring to this island we are proud of.

Rally for Peace on Earth – Against the Politics of Hatred (Facebook)

Alternatively:

Yellow Vest Ireland writes:

Non-partisan rally to take place on Saturday 14th December outside Leinster House on Kildare street. 1pm

All parties and all people welcome. Fight Charlie Flanagan and Fine Gael’s attempt to control what we can and cannot say. No pretext is justifiable to limit speech, “hate speech” or otherwise.

Freedom of expression

You have a right to freely express your convictions and opinions (Article 40.6.1.i). However, the Constitution asserts that the State should try to make sure that the radio, the press and the cinema are not used to undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State. It also states that it is an offence to publish or utter blasphemous, seditious or indecent matter.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has said he would like to see new legislation on freedom of speech introduced next year.

A public consultation has been launched to update Ireland’s law regulating hate speech.

The consultation phase will run to 13 December, while a second phase dealing with hate crime will be published in the new year.

Mr Flanagan said it is important that our legislation in this area is fit for purpose.

There have been about 50 prosecutions under the existing hate speech legislation in the 30 years it has existed, with a handful of convictions.

The fear is the government will introduce hard-line legislation to prosecute political decent to the FG/FF governments that have caused such calamity across Irish society

Protect Free Speech Rally (Facebook events)

Tonight.

Kildare Street, Dublin 2

The switching on of the Christmas tree lights outside Leinster House with political luminaries including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin, President of Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald, Leas-Cheann Comhairle Pat The Cope Gallagher, Soc Dem co-leader Róisín Shortall and a festive-hatted Minister for Sports Shane Ross.

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

RTÉ’s Agriculture Correspondent Fran McNulty tweetz:

Protesting farmers block the exit to Leinster House in Merrion Square, several Oireachtas members and staff unable to leave.

Ongoing road closures in Dublin says An Garda Síochána. Kevin Street, Cuffe Street, Kildare Street, Merrion Square South, Dawson Street & Merrion Row will remain closed tomorrow as farmer protests continue.

Farmers’ protest causes major disruption in Dublin (RTÉ)

Earlier: What’s On The Grill?

This lunchtime.

Outside Leinster House.

Cyclists held a ‘die-in’ demonstration following the death of Neeraj Jain (top) who was cycling to work last Friday morning when his bike collided with a cement mixer at the back of the building site of the National Children’s Hospital.

Mr Jain, from Faridabad, India, moved to Ireland in 2018 to pursue a Masters degree in Engineering in UCD and was working with Deloitte in Dublin.

Last week in the Shankill area of Paulstown, Kilkenny, a cyclist in his 70s died after he suffered serious injuries following an incident with a parked lorry.

Today’s ‘die-in’ is the second such ‘die-in’ in as many days.

Rollingnews

Meanwhile

Neil Fox (above) – whose sister Donna (above inset) died when she was hit by a lorry turning left at the junction between Seville Place and Sheriff St Upper in September 2016 – has written a blog post about today’s “die-in”.

From this post…

“‘Die-Ins’ have a very clear purpose and the fact they horrify is the real reason for them, they bring the harsh reality across in a way nothing else quite can.

“As someone who had to wait days before I could see my sister, one might imagine I’d never need a reality check on the horror.

“But I do, and if I do, how much more others who have thankfully never been directly effected by the tragic brutal violent death of a loved-one in a cycling collision.

“I’ve recently been thrilled by the new dangerous overtaking of a cyclist regulation which Minister Ross will bring in next week, but of course the other key ingredient is: infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, so I am in total solidarity with those protesting today in our shared vision for a safer Ireland, in particular a safe Dublin for cyclists.

“…I call on the Government as ever, to wake up, to do whatever possible to curb such carnage. Carnage, lives lost, lives destroyed. Real people. Not mere statistics.

“…I really hope some good comes of today’s demonstration. It is heartbreaking but perhaps a re-enactment, dramatic as it is, is needed to bring our government to act. Really act.”

“Die-In” by Neil Fox

Yesterday: Extreme Steps

Top pic: Muiris Ó Conchúir

This afternoon.

Outside Leinster House.

Members and supporters of Extinction Rebellion hold a protest in response to comments about climate change made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the launch of the government’s first progress report on its Climate Action Plan last Thursday.

Yesterday the Sunday Business Post reported that Mr Varadkar said:

“One thing that we definitely face as a result of climate change is warmer winters. We’re already experiencing warmer winters, and that actually means using less energy because it’s warmer and people need less heating, and it also means fewer deaths as a result of cold weather.

“It’s interesting that when you do look at those things, that there is a ledger, and there are benefits and there are downsides. The downsides outweigh the benefits but we need to be aware of them too.”

Meanwhile…

The group tweetz:

“… let’s take a look at Leo Varadkar’s ledger.”

Fewer deaths and warmer winters due to climate change: Varadkar (Aiden Corkery, Sunday Business Post)

Pic: Extinction Rebellion Ireland

This afternoon.

Members and supporters of the Mental Health Warriors demonstrated outside the gates of Leinster House.

The group, which is calling for 24/7 mental health services and more funding for mental health services, included Fiona Twomey (red coat) whose 11-year-old daughter Milly from Templeogue, Dublin, took her life in 2016.

Kathy Maguire (third picture), from Newbridge, Co Kildare, also took part in the protest.

Kathy’s daughter Maxine, aged 25, died by suicide in February 2017.

Meanwhile…

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar; Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald

Earlier today, during Leaders’ Questions, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the protest would be taking place today.

She also recalled the death, by suicide of Grainne Gault’s daughter Elisha on St Patrick’s Day last year, and told him Grainne would be taking part in the protest.

Ms McDonald told Mr Varadkar that, over the past two years, 744 people in Ireland died by suicide.

She added:

“The Government’s failure is most evident in the child and adolescent mental health service, CAMHS, which is on its knees.

“It is crumbling while families and communities cry out for help, which the Government is not providing. Staffing shortages have led to CAMHS beds lying empty and children waiting months for mental healthcare.

“In August, 2,440 children were waiting for mental health services. Half of those children were waiting at least 12 weeks to be seen, while 748 were waiting six months. That is far too long to wait when a young person’s health, and possibly life, hangs in the balance.”

In his response, Mr Varadkar told Ms McDonald:

“Since 2012, the budget for mental health services has increased by 44%.

“I doubt one could find such a large increase in mental health funding in any seven-year period in Irish history.

An additional €40 million for mental health was announced in the budget last week, which brings the mental health budget to over €1billion for the first time.”

He added:

“The Deputy will be aware that the rate of suicide in Ireland has fallen by about 30% in recent years.

“Of course, any suicide is one too many, but we all welcome the fact that suicide rates in Ireland are dropping. It also reminds us that there is more to do.

“The Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, who has responsibility for mental health, informed me last week that the CAMHS waiting list is down 25% and still falling.

“That is a very positive development, on which we need to build. We have also invested in improving psychological services in primary care, by hiring an additional 114 assistant psychologists, for example.”

The Taoiseach added that, last week, a 24-hour mental health helpline was established for the first time.

He said:

“People often do not know how to access the 1,000 or so different mental health services out of hours, whether in the evening, at nighttime or on weekends. That helpline, which is based in the National Ambulance Service, is making a real difference.”

Ms McDonald, during her response, said:

“The death of Elisha Gault, the child I mentioned, was not captured in the official statistics.

“She is not officially recorded as a death by suicide. Instead of claiming – I believe erroneously – that deaths by suicide are falling, the Taoiseach would be better served by looking at those real live statistics and understanding that they do not represent the full picture.

“The Taoiseach rattled off figures to me, citing a figure of €40 million. However, only €14 million of that is new money. That is a fact.”

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews and Mental Health Warriors (second pic)