Having our Catholic cake and eating it

Image from Geograph Ireland copyright John Salter When news broke over the weekend about a Catholic school manager scuppering promotions of one teacher for being Protestant and another for being an unmarried mother, nothing was less surprising than the outrage online. Who do these nuns think they are, cried social media commentators, outraged that [...]

The NMH: it's not about money. It's about control.

It feels like not a week goes by without another GUBU moment in Irish public life. At this relatively early point in 2017, most of us already have news fatigue from what feels like a constant round of scandals, revelations and condemnations. For most of the past year I’ve been safely swaddled in the comfort blanket [...]

Tuam, the haves, and the have nots

In Rwanda in 2013, I walked among display cases full of skeletons, trying hard not to cry because it was not my tragedy. An atrocity like the Rwandan genocide diminishes each of us individually and as a part of humanity. But it was not my grief to own or display and I did not want to be [...]

Confirmation should be a conscious choice, not an automatic ritual

[polldaddy poll=8623303] The latest utterances of Pope Francis have rather ruined the reputation he was beginning to get among liberals; suggesting that Catholic women do not have to "breed like rabbits" while continuing to forbid the use of contraception confirms that yes, the Pope is a Catholic. The Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, has made the [...]

No Mater what…

This piece is from last week's Cork Independent and also appeared in the Herald - my thoughts on Fr Kevin Doran's 'ethos' comments in relation to the Mater and whether it will obey the provisions of the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act. http://corkindependent.com/20130808/news/no-mater-what-S70357.html

2013-08-12T11:38:12+00:00 August 12th, 2013|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Hand-wringing and head-shaking

Fianna Fáil Press Office Billy Kelleher TD Spokesperson on Health 13 June 2012 Symphysiotomy victims should not be barred from civil action by statute of limitations – Kelleher Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has welcomed the publication of the report on Symphysiotomy in Ireland by Professor Oonagh Walsh. Deputy Kelleher said: “This first part of this report gives a very concise history of this procedure in Ireland and across Europe. The report says that the procedure was used in the majority of cases in an emergency and did assist with saving babies lives in particular before caesarean sections became common practice. The report says symphysiotomy "was wrongly used in a number of cases". “In the larger Maternity hospitals such as the Coombe, Rotunda and Holles street it was used very infrequently, 0.36% of cases (7 out of 5,874 births) in the Rotunda. It seems to have been used more frequently in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and the last case was reported in 1984 when most of the other hospitals would have stopped using it in the 1960's. The fact that it was still being used in 1984 should be investigated further as it seems totally unacceptable when alternative life-saving treatments were in common use by then. “Judge Maureen Harding Clarke investigated cases of women in this same hospital who had hysterectomies unnecessarily and this was done in a very swift non-confrontational manner. Minister Reilly should look at this model when the final recommendations are made.” The second part of this report will contain recommendations. Deputy Kelleher concluded that “there is no doubt that that these women should not be prohibited from taking civil cases by the statute of limitations.”

Political doublespeak, waffle, spin... call it what you will. It's incessant.

Politicians moving motions of congratulations, condolence, sympathy, at local authority meetings where nobody cares and they are simply wasting time they should be formulating policy and making decisions.

Politicians making vague statements - see previous post re Enda Kenny talking about "google for trees" when visiting Cork.

And politicians issuing press releases purely to be in on something. The very odd time, they have something useful to add. More often than not they are trying to involve themselves in a story that they have nothing to do with, that they have never contributed to in any meaningful way, and that they never intend to help with, really. But it's 99% perception, isn't it?

I got a press release yesterday from Fianna Fáil health spokesperson (and my local TD, who has never once canvassed my house in 2 years) Billy Kelleher, about the symphysiotomy scandal.

I watched Vincent Browne on Tuesday night along with thousands of other absolutely horrified viewers.

The dignity of the victim on that show was almost unbearable.

And we followed up on it for today's paper, with the story of a Cork woman on the front page. Her husband was justifiably angry about their treatment by politicians, who came and went, always making sure to get their name in the story.

Now.

Saying that someone "should not be statute barred" from pursuing a claim in court, is like saying the sky shouldn't be blue, we should have ink flowing through our veins instead of blood, and eating lots of chocolate shouldn't make you fat.

This is probably the most insulting press release I've ever received.

Reciting the content of the report, indulging in some headshaking, and generally bemoaning the state of the world.

Why on EARTH would I print that, in a story about the brutality suffered by thousands of women for whom justice has never been done?

You tell me.




Changing faces

Well, some of the fuss is over. Yesterday passed remarkably calmly, for a day that, according to various political musings, tweets and bluster, could have seen the Government fall and Eamon Ó Cuív elected leader of Fianna Fáil. Neither of those things happened, and there’s a curious sense of disengagement matched with anticlimax. Of course, many [...]

2011-01-28T09:59:36+00:00 January 28th, 2011|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , |

Protest power

This is my editorial from last week's Cork Independent  As I drove to work last Wednesday, I was delighted to hear on the radio that a protest against the attitude of the Catholic Church to women is being organised, for 26 September. Finally, I thought, women are getting angry.I have been angry for quite some time [...]

2010-08-16T13:54:00+00:00 August 16th, 2010|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , |

2000 years

'I will put enmity between you and the woman...' 3:15No, that's not a quote from Joseph Ratzinger at 3.15 this morning.It's a quote from the Bible, a compilation of hearsay, rumour, innuendo, misogyny, fairytale, legend, biography, social history and advice written by various men over a period of a few hundred years. The Bible has largely [...]

2010-07-19T14:20:00+00:00 July 19th, 2010|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , |