Tag Archives: Ireland

Global Climate Movement Celebrates as Ireland Set to Become First Country to Fully Divest From Fossil Fuels

“Countries the world over must now urgently follow Ireland’s lead.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-12-2018

Fossil fuel divestment activists displayed a sign outside the lower house of Ireland’s legislature. (Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland/Trócaire/350.org)

Climate activists across the globe celebrated Thursday after the lower house of the Irish legislature passed a divestment bill with support from all parties, effectively ensuring that Ireland will become the first nation in the world to fully divest public money from the fossil fuel industry.


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Irish Women Turn Out in Droves to Repeal Constitutional Ban on Abortion

“This vote can change Ireland into a more caring, compassionate place.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-25-2018

For nearly three decades, reproductive rights advocates have fought to overturn a ban on abortion in Ireland. (Photo: Abortion Rights Campaign)

Ireland expected the higher-than-usual voter turnout to continue into the evening on Friday as Irish citizens headed to ballot boxes in droves and women living abroad returned to their home country to weigh in on a measure that would repeal the Eight Amendement of the Irish Constitution, which bans abortion unless a pregnant woman’s life is at risk.

Reproductive rights advocates have created the pro-choice Together for Yes campaign to repeal the amendment, which grants equal rights to women and fetuses, and was added to the constitution in 1983. Votes will be counted beginning Saturday morning, with an announcement expected during the afternoon. Continue reading

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2015: When Global Governments Trampled Human Rights in Name of National Security

Rights ‘are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-24-2016

Protesters in London take part in a November 2015 action to protest a visit by Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/cc)

Protesters in London take part in a November 2015 action to protest a visit by Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/cc)

Governments worldwide in 2015 capitalized on supposed national security threats to trample over human rights.

That’s Amnesty International’s assessment of global human rights in its latest report.

“Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International. Continue reading

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Where Have All The Children Gone?

Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place for over 1.2 million of Ireland's dead. Today the area called the Angels Plot is the resting place for more than fifty thousand infants and children. Photo By William Murphy from Dublin, Ireland [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place for over 1.2 million of Ireland’s dead. Today the area called the Angels Plot is the resting place for more than fifty thousand infants and children. Photo By William Murphy from Dublin, Ireland [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ireland is known for hills of green and fields of flowers, children laughing and running gleefully in the glory of the lush countryside. So what happens when the greatest natural resource a country has is abused, both in life and in death? In the case of Ireland, it seems turning a blind eye and calloused cheek is the preferred option.

Over a span of 35 years, the Tuam, County Galway home for unwed mothers, established by the Catholic Church of Ireland, took in the most vulnerable of Ireland’s unsupported, unwed and uncared for pregnant women. Incest, rape and other horrid circumstances often were the event that meant being sent to “the home.” But what happened next remains shrouded in mystery and coverup, as truth fights to find the light of day.

Evidence shows 796 children, from newborns to a nine-year-old, died in a home run by the Bon Secours order of nuns in Tuam between 1925 and 1961. Historian Catherine Corless, who made the discovery, says death records from the home show the children died from malnutrition and infectious diseases, such as TB and measles. There are no burial records for the children, leading to conclusions and rumors that most were dumped in unmarked graves with little or no notification to families. Only children that had been baptized were allowed to be buried in cemeteries or consecrated ground. The stillborn, premature and unbaptized children of these women at the homes were not being buried in any proper way.

The Telegraph explains it best. “The Irish government has bowed to pressure to set up an official inquiry into deaths and abuse at homes for unmarried mothers after it found 4,000 infants had been buried in unmarked graves at institutions where morality rates ran as high as 50 per cent. The inquiry was announced with anger growing over official inaction in the face of revelations that infants had been buried in a mass grave behind a convent-run mother and baby home in Tuam, County Galway where 796 children died over a 30-year period. Enda Kenny, the prime minister, said unmarried mothers were treated as an “inferior sub-species” as he declared the investigation would revealed a shameful past.”

As if that is not appalling enough, there is also evidence that those children who did manage to survive at first were then subjected to medical vaccine experiments prior to any approval for human use. Salon reports “In a related story, GSK — formerly Wellcome — revealed…on Newstalk Radio that 298 children in 10 different care homes were involved in medical trials in the ’60s and ’70s that left “80 children ill after they were accidentally administered a vaccine intended for cattle.”

Ireland has a great challenge if this is to be sorted out in a way that is sensitive – not sensationalized – in order to bring peace to the families who have lost so much. Based on the track record of the Catholic Church in rectifying past crimes within its walls, we can only pray the Church is not allowed to participate in or influence the outcome of any and all investigations into this matter.

My reflection on this stems from confusion. The position that all life is sacred and therefore must be allowed birth is acceptable, until it is considered with the view of what happens once those children enter the world when their world is not prepared to accept them. Poverty and austerity means these children are fortunate if they have sufficient food, shelter and health care to flourish their first years. Provided they do, they are then challenged to fight for education that does not begin to equal that of their well-off peers. This does not seem exclusive to Ireland; we see abuses of vulnerable children in nearly every country on the planet, including the United Sates.

What Occupy World Writes believes is that it is time for the world to recognize that the Church is not above sin by the members it allows to hide behind its stained glass windows. We believe any accusation of crime against any church or religious body should be investigated as all other crimes, without any influence or limitations set by the very accused. We also call on the government of Ireland to pursue this investigation to its full completion and hold all parties fully accountable.

I am haunted by the children who have perished at the hands of those entrusted with their care. Images of Kurdish children, Gazan youth, Syrian infants, Nigerian teenagers, all the victims of politics they will never grow up to understand. I must ask you how a blind eye and silent voice can give compassion and understanding so that an end to the carnage can be found.

THESE ARE CHILDREN.

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