Tag: Irish Politics

Huge Turn up for the Repeal the 8th Rally in Cork

Cork residents gathered outside the City’s Grand Parade Library to demand the legalization of abortion this afternoon.

Cork Library Grand Parade Repeal the 8th
Repeal the 8th Rally in Cork City

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.

Cork Abortion Rights Rally
Cork People Mach for Abortion Rights

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.”

Annie Hoey Cork Abortion Rally Mick Barry
Annie Hoey President of Student Union in Cork Speaks to the Crowd

Hoey encouraged everyone to get registered to vote in the long-awaited 8th Amendment referendum.

Abortion Rally Students Cork UCC
Students Showed up in Large Numbers

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.

Liz Madden Cork Feminista Abortion Rights Rally
Liz Madden of Cork Feminista Speaks to the Crowd

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.

 Tara Flynn Cork Abortion Rights Rally
Actress Tara Flynn Speaks to the Pro-Choice Crowd

“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.

Pro-life vs. Pro-choice Cork Face off
A Pro-Life Activists Crashes the Pro-Choice Rally

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.”

South African immigrant pro choice cork
South African Immigrant and Pro-choice Activist Speaks to the Crowd

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.

Eli Doliver Abortion Rights Rally Cork Library Grand Parade UCC Feminists
Eli Doliver of UCC Feminist Society Speaks to the Crowd

Pro-life activists also stood behind with their banners and displayed their objection throughout the event.

Pro life Christianity Virgin Mary
A Pro-Life Woman Holding a Picture of Virgin Mary

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.

Pro life Anti Abortion Activists Cork Ireland
Pro-Life Activists Stood behind the Whole time

 

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Cork County Councillor Sets EU Flag on Fire on Europe Day

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Independent Councillor for Cobh, set the EU flag on fire in front of the City Hall this evening.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, EU Flag Burning , City Hall, Europe Day
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla sets the EU Flag on Fire on Europe Day

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.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Eu Flag Burning City Hall Cork
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Speaking Next to EU’s Burnt Flag

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.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Cork City Hall Irexit
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Standing in Front of Cork’s City Hall

” 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.”

Irexit Ó Cadhla Cork City Hall
Anti-EU Banner left Outside Cork City Hall by Ó Cadhla Supporters

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.

 

 

 

Irish People Call for the Legalization of Medicinal Marijuana

Last night, the Maldron hotel in Cork, was the meeting place of those Irish activists who are lobbying for the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

Ireland for Legalization of Medicinal Marijuana
In Hope of Getting Rid of Pain , People Gathered at Maldron Hotel Last Night

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.

Vera Twomey, Medicinal Marijuana
Vera Twomey and her Husband Campaigning for the Legalization of Medicinal Marijuana for the Sake of Sick Children like their own Daughter

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.

Gino Kenny Medicinal Marijuana Bill
TD Gino Kenny Listening to Audience Members

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.

Medicinal Marijuana Meetings Maldron Hotel
In Pain this man Demanded Decriminalization of Cannabis from TD Kenny

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.

Medicinal Marijuana Meeting at Cork's Maldron Hotel
This Woman Spoke of a Pain her Teenage Son used to go through before Trying Cannabis

 

Anti Austerity Alliance

Anti Austerity Alliance (People before Profit)
Anti Austerity Alliance (People before Profit) Banner at Maldron Hotel Meeting

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Anti Establishment Revolt in Ireland: will there be an Irexit?

“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.

#Irexit, Anti EU
An Irexit Ad from the People’s Convention’s Promotional Paper

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.”

Irexit Referendum Ad
The People’s Convention holds Discussion Groups Every Tuesday to Plan for a #Irexit Referendum

 

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.”

Diarmaid O'Cadhla Ireland Elections
O’Cadhla ran as an Independent Candidate in Ireland’s General Election

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.

Diarmaid O'Cadhla Working at 99 Douglas Street
Diarmaid O’Cadhla working at his Office Located at 99 Douglas Street, Cork

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.