Tag Archives: resigns

This afternoon.

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín, from Meath, has resigned from the party.

He has tweeted:

It is with a heavy heart that I resign from Sinn Féin today. I have been a member of the party for 21 years. In that time I poured all my efforts into achieving Irish Unity & Economic Justice. This clearly is no longer enough. I will now help to build a new 32 County movement.

Peadar Tóibín

From top: Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone; Pope Francis and Paul Redmond, a message left for the pope in his book The Adoption Machine which Mr Redmond gifted the pope during his recent visit to Ireland

This morning.

Paul Redmond, chair of the Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors and author of The Adoption Machine, has resigned from the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone’s survivors’ forum.

Mr Redmond has released a statement, saying:

“I am absolutely heart sick at Zappone’s latest, cynical, time wasting farce which is of no benefit to living survivors. CMABS biggest demand since 2014 has been the full inclusion of ALL survivors in the current Inquiry into Mother and Baby homes.

“However, Zappone has fought this at every opportunity and has now excluded them from the remit of the so-called Survivors Forum as well as excluding any discussion of the long delayed Adoption Bill to open the adoption records.

Attempts to have these issues included in the agenda of the forum have failed and it is clear the civil servants running the forum have their own agenda to limit and frustrate the survivor and adoption communities at every turn.

Zappone has cold heartedly refused to release the funding for memorials promised to the community in January 2015 and has instead frivolously spent our memorial funding on advertising a forum to discuss the memorials over the course of at least a year!

“It’s simply unbelievable. This is beyond hypocrisy and a complete waste of hundreds of thousands of euros of taxpayers money to stall instead of taking action.

“Minister Zappone’s two and half years in office has seen progress for the living survivor community stop dead and it is clear she needs to resign immediately and allow a decent and compassionate person do the job she point blank refuses to do.

My biggest regret is not listening to Derek Leinster of the Bethany Home Survivor’s Group ’98 who boycotted this forum from the beginning declaring it would be of no benefit to our community. He was correct.

“I decided to participate and try and turn it around and transform the forum into a fast tracked series of recommendations to the minister for the urgent issues our community needs addressed but, the forum was perverted and warped from the start by Minister Zappone and her civil servants to ensure the survivor community could make no progress on the substantive issues.

“Zappone is guilty of one of the lowest, dirtiest, most mean spirited political tricks seen in recent years.

“CMABS has engaged an eminent lawyer to bring a formal complaint to the United Nations Committee Against Torture about Zappone’s complete lack of action on survivor issues as well as this disgusting forum designed to sidetrack and divide the survivor community and subvert progress.”

The Collaborative Forum of Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes and Related Institutions was set up separately to the ongoing Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

At the time of its establishment, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs said:

“The establishment of the Collaborative Forum is a new approach in the State’s response to the theme of ‘nothing about us without us’ which has emerged from the former residents who have participated in consultations to date.”

In a letter to Ms Zappone announcing his resignation, Mr Redmond wrote:

I am hereby tendering my immediate resignation from the Consultative Forum on the Mother and Baby homes.

I believed at the outset – and stated it publicly – that I believed the forum would be a a talking shop and achieve nothing. Sadly this is the way it has turned out.

In accepting the invitation to the join the forum, I believed that I would be able to achieve something for the survivor community who were treated horrifically in the Mother and Baby homes in what was a form of ‘internment without trial’.

However, I did have very serious misgivings about the way the forum was set up and constituted. Nevertheless, I did go ahead and accept the invitation to join the forum in the hope, as I said above, of achieving something for the living survivors of the homes as well as our fallen crib mates who were effectively neglected to death by uncaring nuns while the State turned a blind eye and handed over the cheques.

Sadly for the survivors I represent, my concerns have been borne out as regards how the forum is being conducted.

In particular, the manner in which the forum is chaired by an ex-Secretary General of a government department [Community, Equality and Gaeltacht affairs] was a source of great concern to me.

Regardless of the calibre of the individual involved (and I accept Gerry Kearney is a very decent and capable person), the chair should have been a genuinely neutral outsider.

In addition I do not think that the chairman, a former senior civil servant, could be independent in a situation where the State is culpable for what happened in the mother and baby homes regardless of his personal integrity.

I also note for the record, that you Minister Zappone, have also politically limited the agenda of the forum from the start and have excluded the three most important issues on which many survivors, as represented by the Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS), have campaigned; namely the full inclusion of ALL survivors in the current inquiry into mother and baby homes and, an immediate acknowledgement, apology and redress for an aging survivors community as recommended by the inquiry itself in its interim report in 2017.

CMABS also notes that the urgent issue of illegal adoptees has also been excluded from both the inquiry and, now from the forum.

This is disgraceful behaviour by a minister supposed to represent survivors and adoptees in these difficult times.

Furthermore, the way certain aspects of the forum have transpired is a cause for further concern. For example, chairpersons of sub-committees were not appointed by objective criteria and, my efforts to have certain matters of the utmost importance moved onto the agenda, were dismissed without cause.

There are several other flaws in the fundamental operation of the forum.

CMABS are aware that a formal complaint has already been submitted to the United Nations about this forum and, we have retained the expertise of an eminent lawyer to take our further complaints directly to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.

This current political stalling and disingenuous delaying tactics cannot be allowed to continue.

I sincerely hope, as a survivor of a Mother and Baby home, that all survivors will get justice at the end of the day.

However, this forum is certainly a hindrance to that aspiration and of no practical help to the living survivor community.

Meanwhile Minister Zappone, as the forum fiddles, survivors continue dying

I remain, etc.,
Paul Jude Redmond.

Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes (Facebook)

Previously: ‘I Hope This History Informs Your Response’

Rollingnews

Noirin O’Sullivan

Earlier this evening.

At 5.45pm.

An Garda Siochana released the following statement:

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan today announced that she is retiring from An Garda Síochána after 36 years of privileged, enjoyable and proud service.

Ms. O’Sullivan notified Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan this afternoon, thanking them for their continued confidence in her.

She also thanked former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

“The support for me to continue in the role is evident,” the Commissioner said today.

“However, I devoted much of my summer break to considering if continuing would be the right thing to do.

“It has become clear, over the last year, that the core of my job is now about responding to an unending cycle of requests, questions, instructions and public hearings involving various agencies including the Public Accounts Committee, the Justice and Equality Committee, the Policing Authority, and various other inquiries, and dealing with inaccurate commentary surrounding all of these matters.

“They are all part of a new – and necessary – system of public accountability. But when a Commissioner is trying – as I’ve been trying – to implement the deep cultural and structural reform that is necessary to modernise and reform an organisation of 16,000 people and rectify the failures and mistakes of the past, the difficulty is that the vast majority of her time goes, not to implementing the necessary reforms and meeting the obvious policing and security challenges, but to dealing with this unending cycle.”

The Commissioner expressed the hope that her successor would be given the space and necessary supports in which to do the job, build on the platform that has been developed over the last three years, and move forward the Garda Modernisation and Renewal Programme, which will see An Garda Síochána become a beacon of 21st century policing.

She also said that she was not leaving her role to take up another job.

In early summer, international colleagues, she said, had encouraged her to apply for the top job in Europol. Because it would have been a prestigious appointment for an Irish citizen, she agreed to consider it, but did not proceed with the application.

“I may decide to take on some other interesting and exciting challenge down the line,” she said, but for now her intention is to retire and take some time with her family and adapt to the new phase of her life.

Simultaneous with the press release announcing her retirement, the Commissioner placed on the Garda’s internal portal a message to all staff which pointed out that despite the controversies of the past few years, the general public still registers a high degree of confidence in An Garda Síochána.

The Commissioner thanked staff for their hard work and commitment in protecting and serving our communities during what has been an unprecedented and difficult time for policing.

The Commissioner said that despite the unprecedented challenges, controversies and criticisms of the last few years, she looks back on her 36 years in the service with enormous pride.

“Being a Guard is the best job in the world. You’re committed to the public good. You’re encountering people at the lowest points in their lives. You can make a difference. As long as you avoid cynicism, you can make a profound difference – for the better – in other people’s lives”

The Commissioner said that she would be making no further comment at this time.

Previously: Absence Of Malice

How Did He Get Here?

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

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This afternoon.

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness announces his resignation.

More as they get it.

Earlier: Fostering Mistrust

Pic: Rollingnews/letter via Mark Davenport

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 10.01.42

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis

The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.

Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.

Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.

And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.

We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office. I shall support fully Prime Minister Tsipras, the new Minister of Finance, and our government.

The superhuman effort to honour the brave people of Greece, and the famous OXI (NO) that they granted to democrats the world over, is just beginning.

Minister No More! Yanis Varoufakis

Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis resigns despite referendum no vote (The Guardian)

Previously: ‘We Are A Proud People…Like The Irish’

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Senator Averil Power announcing her resignation from Fianna Fail today

 

Last weekend we witnessed politics at its finest.

In the marriage equality campaign, we saw what can be achieved when people dare to believe progress is possible and work together to make it happen.

We saw that bravery, vision and leadership can win people’s hearts and help deliver major social change.

And we saw that politics can make a real difference to people’s lives.

I’m not in politics for the sake of it.

I ran for election in 2011 because I wanted to make a difference.

I believed our country needed a strong opposition to hold the Government to account.

I wanted to champion issues I care about such as education and social justice.

And I thought Fianna Fáil would learn from its mistakes and work hard to rebuild the trust of the Irish people by showing it had changed for the better.

Over the past four years, I have tried hard to help deliver that change.

However, I have repeatedly been rebuffed by my own party.

When I called publicly for Bertie Ahern to be expelled from Fianna Fáil in 2011, I was reprimanded by the party leader. It would be another year before he was prepared to recommend that course of action.

The strategy I was asked to develop on improving female participation in the party has largely been ignored.

And I have become increasingly uncomfortable in a parliamentary party that is out of touch with the needs and concerns of ordinary people.

I stuck with it because, despite everything, I still believed I could help deliver change from within. I was encouraged by the support of like-minded members. And I thought things would improve over time.

They haven’t and I no longer believe they will.

The party’s cynical and cowardly approach to the marriage equality referendum was the last straw.

For me, a referendum on equality went to the core of what real republicanism should be about. Our members knew that when they voted for a motion calling for the party to support marriage equality at the 2012 Ard Fheis.

Despite this, the vast majority of the party’s public representatives refused to campaign for it. In fact, I was the only TD or Senator who did a proper canvass for the referendum in their constituency.

Some Fianna Fáil representatives declared publicly that they were voting No. Worse still, others told me they would be voting Yes but were afraid of campaigning for it in case they would lose votes.

Fianna Fáil’s overall approach to the referendum symbolized everything that is wrong with the party.

Fianna Fáil lacks vision, courage and leadership.

It doesn’t know what it stands for and lacks credible policies on most major issues.

It is afraid of taking clear positions in key debates for fear of losing support.

And Micheál Martin has become a leader without any followers. His frontbench are all pulling in different directions and prioritising their personal political success over the needs of the party and the country.

Having lost my faith in Fianna Fáil, I cannot in good conscience knock on doors in Dublin Bay North and ask people to vote for the party. In my view, they are simply not fit for government.

I know I would have a strong chance of being elected for Fianna Fáil in the next election. But I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want to be a Fianna Fáil TD. I want to be true to myself and have the courage to walk away from the party.

I am therefore resigning from Fianna Fáil, effective immediately.

I am doing so with a heavy heart as I have many good friends in the party. I am also immensely grateful to everybody who has supported me over the last few years.

It was not an easy decision to make but I am convinced it is the right thing to do.

I intend to serve out my term in the Seanad as an Independent Senator.

I feel I have made a strong contribution there and would like to continue to do so.

The day my Adoption Information Bill passed the Seanad with unanimous support is one of the proudest days of my life. I was delighted to secure the support of the Seanad, and later the Dáil, for the motion I initiated calling for Ireland to formally recognise the State of Palestine. I have also enjoyed working with members of all parties and none on issues like education, health and mental health.

I look forward to continuing this work and also taking other initiatives to help address the struggles people are facing in their daily lives.

I have not made any decision yet about whether I will run in the Dáil election or not. I will discuss that with my supporters over the next few weeks.

Today’s decision was a big enough one for now. But I know I have done the right thing.

Senator Averil Power announcing her resignation from Fianna Fáil this afternoon.

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)

UPDATE:

Meanwhile, in Cork…

And in University College Dublin’s Ógra Fianna Fáil…

Related: UCD political societies united on marriage equality (College Tribune)

Pic: Mary Minihan

Nulty
[Independent and former Labour TD Patrick Nulty last June]

“I am today resigning as TD for Dublin West and will take all the steps necessary to do that immediately this week. I sent inappropriate messages via Facebook. This included inadvertently sending one to a 17-year-old woman. To the best of my knowledge I have never met this woman and the message was sent while under the influence of alcohol.”

“I apologise wholeheartedly to the woman involved and to her family. It was never my intention to upset anyone in this way but it was totally wrong. The message was entirely inappropriate and I take full responsibility for my actions. For this reason I have decided to resign my seat in the Dáil. I set myself the highest standards personally and politically. Unfortunately due to personal mistakes I have not met those standards in this matter and I will take responsibility for that. I still believe passionately that Ireland can be a fairer and more just society based on equality and social justice but at the present time I believe to resign is the correct and right course of action.”

“I would like to extend my deepest thanks and gratitude to all my family, friends and supporters who have given me so much support over the last five years as a public representative. In politics people very often do not take responsibility for their actions. I hope I am doing that. I would further like to apologise to my constituents in Dublin West for my mistake. I hope they will understand my reasons for resigning and accept my apology. I hope that as I have taken decisive and direct action on this matter my privacy will now be respected in what has been a very difficult decision for me personally.”

Independent TD Patrick Nulty resigns unexpectedly (Journal.ie)

TD sent ‘spanking’ Facebook messages to girl (17) (Sunday World)