Gerry Adams stopped at Cork city tonight as part of his tour around the country as the outgoing leader of Sinn Fein.
Speaking to the crowd of his supporters in Cork, he emphasized the importance of keeping the movement alive after his departure.
” Let’s go forward together united, with courage and hope and the very very highest expectations,” Mr. Adams said.
Gerry Adams expressed his confidence in the party members and commended the party’s Cork councilors – Henry Cremin in particular.
Adams touched on the abortion topic as well and said that the referendum would be the best solution for the ongoing debate.
” I’m not for abortion, but I am a man, women have to protected and trusted,” the 69-year-old politician said.
Gerry Adams’ career as the Sinn Fein leader expands to more than three decades.
The Belfast-native remains the most enigmatic Irish politicians of all time. Mr. Adams never disassociated himself from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) although he insists that he was never an IRA member.
While his supporters hail him as a hero, he is hated by some as an avid supporter of the IRA.
The group is known to be responsible for more than 1,700 deaths.
Adams was accused of helping the IRA carrying out attacks during what became known as the Bloody Friday.
He was later acquitted of all charges.
Adams is the survivor of several assassination attempts.
His brother’s conviction of rape in 2013 brought more unwanted controversy to the life of the seasoned politician.
He was arrested and acquitted of a 70s murder charge the very same year.
Adams has been married to his wife of 47 years Collette who does not make public appearances with her husband. Their son Gearoid is a well-known figure in the Gaelic football world.
Asked by the Logical Radical if McGuinness’s death has influenced his decision to step down as the Sinn Fein leader, the 69-year-old politician said: ” Yes, we had a bond together.”
Adams shook hands and took selfies with his Cork supporters at tonight’s event.
Cork’s housing activists gathered outside the City Hall, demanded an immediate solution to the housing problem from their local politicians.
Protestors marched from St.Patricks’s hill to Cork City Hall where the budget meeting took place.
The activists called out Eoghan Murphy, Minister for housing with slogans such as Eoghan Murphy can you sleep? People are dying on the streets.
“It’s a political choice that does not recognize housing or shelter as a human right,” said Cork housing activist Treasa DeBarra.
“We are here to urge councilors to reject the budget as it is. The budget does not allocate funding that is adequate or needed to solve the housing emergency, but it could. It could have the adequate funding, and it must have it,” said Ms. DeBarra.
The young activist expressed little hope that their efforts would block the housing budget.
“Sadly my friends, the chances are slim that the budget would be blocked.,” said Ms. DeBarra.
“It will be passed by the same forces that are watching our people get evicted and die on the streets,” said Ms. DeBarra.
T.J Hogan from the Traveller community also spoke at the event and described the housing situation direr for his community.
“Some of us like to live in houses just like settled people. Travellers looking for houses face the same problem as the settlers do,” said Mr.Hogan.
“Travellers face additional problems if they look for rental accommodation, “said Mr.Hogan.
Rent prices have increased dramatically in the past few years. According to the latest reports, the average rent in Cork city is 1,100 Euros.
The situation has led to evictions, homelessness or groups living in unsafe conditions in small homes.
Ireland came third in the list of countries which have experienced a hike in housing prices this year.
Yesterday, the housing minister Eoghan Murphy vowed to change the law to force stronger penalties on homeowners found guilty of putting people’s lives in jeopardy with unsafe accommodation.
The government has promised to the tackle the housing crisis many times.
The activists vowed to gather outside the City Council again on Monday morning at 10 A.M.
Cork residents gathered outside the City’s Grand Parade Library to demand the legalization of abortion this afternoon.
The event which lasted for two hours included a march from Grand Parade to Parnell Place, Patrick’s Street and back. Speakers from various organizations also spoke to protesters.
Union of Students in Ireland President, Annie Hoey, was the first talker of the event. Hoey compared today’s protest to marriage referendum protests in Cork and said:” We do not need to call for a referendum anymore, we are having a referendum.”
Hoey encouraged everyone to get registered to vote in the long-awaited 8th Amendment referendum.
Liz Madden of Cork Feminista was the second speaker of the protest. “ Statistic from the U.K. Government shows that 3000 Irish women have traveled to the UK to access abortion,” said Madden to the crowd. Madden counted poverty, being underage, being in unhealthy relationships, dealing with mental issues as some of the reasons for why women are willing to travel to the United Kingdom to access abortion. “There are many reasons why women want to have an abortion, and it’s not even our place to ask,” added Madden.
Actress, comedian, and writer Tara Flynn also spoke to the crowd. Flynn said that since her experience with abortion (having to travel to Netherlands to access abortion) she has become involved in this campaign.
“Anti-choice rhetoric has had the floor all to itself. That’s why we need to let people know what exactly pro-choice means. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. It is pro-facts, pro-reality, and pro-kindness. It is pro-pregnant people from every class and background,” added the Irish comedian.
After the rally, more people spoke to the crowd including a South African asylum seeker who had traveled to Ireland while pregnant and was shocked to find out that abortion was illegal in the country. “ It was a huge culture shock for me because where I come from in South Africa, abortion is legal. It has been since 1994.”
Eli Doliver from University College Cork’s feminist society was the last speaker of the gathering. “ The government fails the women who leave the country to seek medical help. Last year alone more than 3000 women went to England and Wales to access abortion. Doliver called the fact that Irish women have to travel to England to seek abortion “an international disgrace” for the country.
Pro-life activists also stood behind with their banners and displayed their objection throughout the event.
One Pro-life activist crashed the pro-choice rally and was trying to convince the protester that they are wrong. Abortion rights in Ireland were specially brought into the spotlight in 2015 and after the death of Savita Halappanavar. Halappanavar was a young dentist who died due to complications of a septic miscarriage after being denied an abortion.
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Independent Councillor for Cobh, set the EU flag on fire in front of the City Hall this evening.
Ó Cadhla who was surrounded by dozens of his supporters and bystanders spoke to them before setting the EU flag on fire.
Counting examples of other Europen Union countries Councillor Ó Cadhla said:” We’ve seen the heated debate in France and Holland, we know European Union membership is a red hot issue,” before going to praise Italy’s nationalist party for promising to hold a referendum on leaving the EU (Italexit) if elected in the next general election.
Ó Cadhla counted the entrance of the United Kingdom the main reason behind Ireland’s joining the EU back in 1973. ” We are going to modernize you, they said. What has happened? We now have the highest levels of homelessness since the Great Famine,” said O’Cadhla blaming country’s housing crisis on the European Union Membership.
” We have a lack of future for young people, every day is filled with anxiety. Senior citizens are afraid to get sick, so they’d be left on hospital trolleys. This is what modernization has brought us!”
Ó Cadhla finished his speech in Gaelic language and set the EU’s flag on fire in front of the City Hall to his supporters’ delight. He then invited his supporters to his office at 99 Douglas Street to have ” many cups of tea.”
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla who considers himself an independent politician had made news recently when he got arrested on charges of vandalism while painting on British street signs in Cork. Ó Cadhla was released after a couple of hours of questioning by the gardaí.
He was also briefly jailed for refusing to disclose his campaign donations for his unsuccessful run in Ireland’s 2011 general election. The jail time was due to his refusal to pay a 300 Euro fine.
He is currently serving as Councillor for Cobh in Cork County Councill.
Last night, the Maldron hotel in Cork, was the meeting place of those Irish activists who are lobbying for the legalization of medicinal marijuana.
What went Down at the Meeting
Vera Twomey, the mother of little girl named Ava was the first speaker of this meetings. She started her painful story by remembering the day when she was told by doctors that her daughter was suffering from Dravet’s syndrome , a condition that can cause severe and sometimes fatal epileptic seizures.
No medication seemed to alleviate little Ava’s fits. Mrs. Twomey’s eyes were filled with tears as she talked about her daughter’s 15 consecutive fits, that led to a heart attack and how she somehow managed to survive it. ” She is a fighter, without even knowing it.”
After trying every prescribed painkiller with no luck, Vera Twomey and her Husband finally decided to try marijuana [in form of oil and capsules] which they’ve obtained from Dublin. That was the end of Ava’s horrible seizures. Now they are doing everything in their power, to legalize medicinal marijuana in Ireland. ” We don’t want to break the law.”
Everything changed when they met Gino Kenny, a Teachta Dála from Dublin . Mr. Kenny is an Anti Austerity Alliance (PBP ) TD.
TD Kenny , was so touched by their story that drew up a bill with his colleagues in the Dáil Éireann (lower house of Irish Parliament)to legalize the use of medicinal marijuana in Ireland.
TD Kenny said that this whole experience changed his entire view points about the issue. ” Before hearing Ava’s story I knew nothing about marijuana use , except smoking a couple of joints,” said the 44 year old PBP TD.
Mr. Kenny described what he learned at the Global Cannabis Conference in Dublin as life changing . ” It was one of those events that you come out of like a changed person.” He was happy to announce that due to their hard campaigning the decision on the legalization of medicinal marijuana will be made earlier.
An activist whose partner used to obtain marijuana capsules illegally in order to alleviate her pain caused by MS disease, also spoke at this meeting.
Audience members also shared their stories about how medicinal marijuana saved them or their loved ones from a lot of pain.
If this Bill would Pass…..
With the legalization of medicinal marijuana , Ireland will join the list of countries who have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, such as the United States and some European countries.
Anti Austerity Alliance
Anti Austerity Alliance – People before Profit- is campaigning for different key issues such as abortion rights , legalization of cannabis and homeless crisis these days.
Are you a concerned Cork resident in favor of legalization of medicinal marijuana? Drop me a line if you want more information on the issue.
“Stop the EU/US Corporate Takeover, Demand a Referendum!” these are written in a bold typeface on an anti-EU pamphlet that invites Cork residents to gather every Tuesday afternoon at No.99, Douglas Street. This is the address to the office of Diarmaid O’Cadhla. He is in his late 50’s, but gets excited as a young man when talking about his visions for his country. O’Cadhla has numerous plans for the future of Ireland, but leaving the EU is the first in his list of priorities.
Why an Irexit?
As the time for the final goodbye of Britain to the European Union approaches, activists like O’Cadhla try to unify their compatriots, in pressuring the government for a referendum that can get Ireland out of the European Union. They demand an Irexit: an Irish version of the Brexit that would put an end to an almost 44 years old EU membership. In O’Cadhla’s words:“British people are dead right to assert themselves and we should assert ourselves in a similar manner.”
On the back of O’Cadhla’s yellow vest, one can read the number: 1916. This is the year that Ireland revolted against British rule, something O’Cadhla is most certainly proud of. He is not reluctant to condemn Britain and expresses his disinterest in Ireland’s dependency to this country, but why does he want his country out of the EU, a move that might enforce their ties with the United Kingdom? “It is entirely logical for us to have a relationship with the UK, but we should have proper “trading relationship”, and one of “equality”, which hasn’t been in the past.”
However, O’Cadhla believes that Ireland can get on fine even without any significant trading relationship with the United Kingdom. Even though food and drink industry does account for 7.6% of Irish economy, O’Cadhla has confidence that this is sufficient to take care of all the economic needs of the country. “If the Germans don’t want our fish or beef, fine, the Chinese and Russians will buy it.”
The supposedly huge reservoirs of gas and oil in the Irish waters is another resource that has been pointed out before. O’Cadhla also believes there are “massive quantities of unexplored gas and oil” laid on the grounds of Irish waters, part of which has been discovered and pumped, a wealth he deems Ireland gets nothing from, as long as they are sharing everything with the European Union.
While so many believe that the impact of economic recession on Ireland’s economy has been so severe that it cannot tolerate another economic instability , such as the initial and potential consequences of an Irexit; O’Cadhla believes that such move is not going to create a massive economic crash. He describes Ireland’s EU membership one of the outer layers of many layers of problems in Ireland, which should be “getting rid of”, as soon as possible.
The presence of many corporations and multinational companies in Ireland is another issue that people like O’Cadhla believe that the EU membership has brought on. According to him “All these multi nationals came in and they are only offering short-term jobs with low wages.” Like most Cork citizens who gather together every Tuesday at his office to discuss an Irexit referendum, he thinks that multinational corporations in Ireland “have destroyed the local industry”, in this country.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has repeatedly assured Ireland’s European allies that Ireland would not “terminate their 40 years old EU membership” but O’Cadhla believes that Mr. Kenny will change his mind.” The economic reality of the country will force him to do so”.
Do All Irish People Support an Irexit?
However, the numbers coming from the most recent polls show that 70 percent of Irish citizens are not supporting a referendum on such issue. Mr.O’Cadhla is not denying this fact, but believes that this will change and more people would agree with him and his supporters in the coming years.
Meanwhile, him and his group of supporters try to do everything in their capacity, from weekly meetings, to setting up information stalls every weekend, to attract more supporters for their anti establishment cause. “We get mixed reactions from people, some people think we are mad but I think an increasing number of people appreciate it,” says the former general election nominee.
The revolt against what has been tested and used, has been observed in form of Brexit, Trump’s presidency in the United States, and the potential rise of far right in France, will Ireland be the next in this anti-establishment domino effect or not? O’Cadhla believes that since the “population of Britain shocked the world by voting in favour of Brexit and Americans did so by electing Trump” an Irexit cannot be an outlandish concept.