Posts Tagged ‘ Bertie Ahern ’

News In Brief: Healy-Rae’s Cross And Gerry’s Not Happy Either

Mmmm Michael-Healy-Rae (image: irishecho.com.au)

Mmmm Michael-Healy-Rae (image: irishecho.com.au)

This, was the week Gerry Adams used the word “bastards” and everyone went mental but he wasn’t the only one letting his mouth work before his brain had had a chance to turn on.

Gregory Campbell a DUP politician and “b**tard” really went to town when he decided to lay into the Irish Language, poor defenceless little thing that it is. “Curry my yoghurt can coca coalyer” he told the Northern Assembly, taking the piss out of the Irish phrase: “Go raibh maith agat, Ceann Comhairle” meaning “Thank you, Chairperson”. He couldn’t see the big deal though and also said any proposed Irish Language Act would be treated, by himself, as toilet paper. Charming. Anyone that didn’t get the joke he said, needed a humour bypass. NIB doesn’t know, maybe he thought he was saying something else entirely, like; A man walked into a bar …. Or maybe he was just pissed, you’d need a drink to face the Northern Assembly. Continue reading

Review: Breaking Dad

breakingdad

I was lucky enough to be one of the audience members for the opening night of Paul Howard’s latest play ‘Breaking Dad’. The Gaiety Theatre was filled with a buzz of expectation before the curtains went up and the stars of Irish film and theatre gathered to witness the funniest play that I have ever seen. It was laugh a minute stuff from the off and it really is a testament to the writing ability of Howard. This is the third play following, ‘The last days of the Celtic Tiger’ and ‘Between Foxrock and a hard place’. The story is set in the year 2022, Ireland is on the verge of another economic boom and Charles O’Carroll Kelly has somehow managed to orchestrate the greatest political comeback of all times with Bertie Ahern being on the brink of becoming Taoiseach again at the age of seventy one. Ross, now in his forties hasn’t changed a bit, his son Ronan is now a professional soccer player with Celtic, his daughter Honor is still a pain and his wife Sorcha is still trying to save the world. Don’t worry if you haven’t read any of the fourteen best selling novels or Howard’s column in The Irish Times as this play is a very capable stand alone story. My wife attended the play with me and is somewhat of a Ross virgin, I know those two words don’t sit easy together, and there was no need for any background explanations. A combination of great writing and comic timing from the cast provide a tight production that had the audience laughing from start to finish. When it finished and I finally had a chance to take a much needed breath, the standing ovation that followed was much deserved. Continue reading

Paul Howard Reveals Ross O’Carroll Kelly Legacy To Live On

breakingdad

“The year is 2022. Ireland is in the midst of an unexpected economic boom. The country’s debts have been repaid in full, the people are once again selling houses to each other for five times what they’re worth and Bertie Ahern is set to become Taoiseach again at the age of 71. Ross O’Carroll-Kelly is entering his middle years without a care in the world. He’s got a son who’s a professional footballer, a career-minded wife who’s about to land the job of her dreams – and, like good Cognac, his looks just keep improving with age. For Ireland’s most eligible married man, life is good. Until his teenage daughter arrives home from Wesley one night with the captain of the Blackrock College rugby team – and Ross is forced to face up to the lesson that you must reap what you have sown”. Continue reading

News in Brief- Cork Ice Cream Men Brawl As President Visits UK

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Two ice cream men have themselves whipped up into a frenzy as both face charges for assault. Frederick Williams (31), of Gurranabraher, Cork and Alan O’Halloran (29), from Churchfield, Cork have begun a turf war over the best ice cream spots in the second city after things got a little out of hand. An altercation became violent and, it has been claimed, one of the men reached into the other’s van and ‘pulled his ice cream lever’. (Please insert your own appropriate ice cream pun).

Did you know?! RTE spends over €1,000 a day on hair and make-up and that’s not just on the upkeep of Brian Dobson’s coiffure! In figures revealed by The Sun, RTE haven’t been holding back when it comes to making sure their stars look radiant, glowing and like they’ve spent the last 20 minutes in a very hot oven. That’s not all though €18,682 went on food and drink for the Late Late green room in one year. That’s not just any backstage food, that’s M&S backstage food. Continue reading

News in Brief – Top College Unveils “Sex Toy” Sculpture

sculpture

Apparently we’re all €100,000 better off, on paper (NIB is actually €3 gazillion better off on this if you print off this bit of paper), due to the rise in property prices. It’s all fictional, like the figures banks trade in every day, which in reality is made up of much more meagre funds, and they’re ours. But anyway, it’s good news!

A man has been banned from every pub in Dublin, after being picked up by Gardai for being drunk and disorderly. This story is not to be confused with the Bertie bashing last week, when former Taoiseach Ahern was given a whack round the earlobes by another punter with a crutch. Although perhaps banning Bertie from every pub in Dublin would prevent similar problems in the future. Just an idea. Continue reading

Tweets Of The Week

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With Twitter becoming an ever growing way of life for online users it can be difficult to keep up with all the big tweets of the week when some stories simply take over the net for a couple of days such as the recent #SlaneGirl scandal. Here at Irish News Review we aim to bring you the best tweets of the week from a wide range of sectors in our new weekly segment. Here are our selections of interest from the past seven days: Continue reading

Dáil Mourns Tuck Shop Loss

File:Leinster House, Dublin, October 2010 (03).JPG

TD’s and other visitors to Dáil Éireann will now have to stop elsewhere on their way into work to indulge their sweet tooth. Following the latest reports which indicate that Ireland is back in recession, Leinster House is also feeling the squeeze as ‘An Siopa’, the Oireachtas tuck shop, is set to close tomorrow.

The glass structure, located just inside the main gates of Leinster House off Kildare Street, cost around €1.3 million to construct under the reign of Bertie Ahern, €500,000 over budget. The shop was run by Rehab Enterprises as part of its SMILES Newsagents chain, with other locations including RTÉ, Vodafone Headquarters and the AIB Bank Centre.

Continue reading

News in Brief-Dublin Ready For Porn Invasion As Missing Shatter Report Emerges

alan-shatter“Er, lads, we’ve lost it again”.

The Russian ’ghost ship’ floating about the coast has disappeared once again. It initially turned up off Ireland in February after breaking from the tow line taking it to the Dominican Republic. It was decided it would be too dangerous to attempt to board the ship and now it seems it’s gone again. How do you lose a ship like? Even St Anthony is perplexed. Wherever the ship is, it’s said to be infested with rats and carrying the missing police report into Alan Shatter’s drink driving incident. Continue reading

Ireland And Abortion : A History Of Silence…

 Where were you on February 23 1992? Me, I was three years old and more than likely playing with my prized collection of Barbie dolls blissfully unaware of the court case that was rocking the Irish nation.

The case I’m referring to is of course The X Case and February 23 is the day the chaos eventually came to an end with the Supreme Court ruling (after a long and hardy battle) that a pregnant and suicidal fourteen year old was in fact entitled to an abortion.

Previous to this only the physical health of the mother was taken into account when deciding whether or not she was entitled to an abortion but this ruling meant that for the first time ever a woman’s mental health as well as the very real threat of suicide would also be taken into consideration.

Today, twenty years since that judgement was first handed down, I’m sorry to say Irish women are still waiting for the legislation that will allow them access to life-saving terminations.

Here, I take a look at what is perhaps the most controversial and divisive topic of our time; abortion and the Irish Governments damning history of silence…

The X Case

The X Case is without a doubt one of the most controversial and closely followed legal battles in the history of the state. Not only did it spark outrage and debate amongst Irish citizens but it also drove thousands of people – both pro choice and pro life – to demonstrations across the country.

It all began in December 1991 when a fourteen year old girl known only as X was raped by a man known to her and her family. Just one month later, following a bout of illness which forced the girl to visit her local GP, both her and her parents were informed that she had in fact become pregnant. It was then that the youth finally broke down and admitted that her attacker had been sexually abusing her for two years.

Immediately the attack and the years of abuse were reported to local Gardai and investigations began. Meanwhile, unable to tolerate the thought of carrying to full term her rapists child the fourteen year old and her parents decided it would be best for her to travel to England in order to undergo an abortion. Before doing so however they asked Gardai if the foetus could be tested in order to provide proof of paternity as the accused was denying all responsibility. The Gardai then asked The Director of Public Prosecutions if this evidence would be admissible in court who in turn contacted The Attorney General Henry Whelehan who immediately sought an injunction under Article 40.3.3 of the constitution – at the time this put the unborn child’s right to life on equal footing with that of the mother – which barred the teenager and her parents from leaving the country or terminating the pregnancy. Already in England the family were then forced to return to Ireland.

The first injunction barring the girl from leaving the state only lasted until February 10th at which point her case was then tried in front of Justice Costello. Despite hearing testimony from a clinical psychologist who felt the girl was at high risk for suicide and from her distraught mother who related how her teenage daughter had admitted wanting to throw herself down a flight of stairs and even considered throwing herself under a train while in London, Justice Costello eventually decided that the right to life of the unborn child should not be interfered with and ruled that the defendant must be restrained from leaving Ireland for a period of nine months.

“The evidence also establishes that if the court grants the injunction sought there is a risk that the defendant may take her own life. But the risk that the defendant may take her own life, if an order is made, is much less and of a different order of magnitude than the certainty that the life of the unborn will be terminated if the order is not made.”

Determined to see what they believed was justice served the defendant and her parents immediately sought an appeal from the Supreme Court. The teenagers legal team argued that the High Court judge was “wrong in law” in finding that the danger to the life of the mother was less than the danger to the life of the unborn.

On the final day of proceedings the Supreme Court judge ruled that the decision of the High Court should be set aside and the youngster was permitted to undergo an abortion. It is understood, however, that while awaiting termination the girl suffered a miscarriage.

Interesting to note is the fact that the victim’s perpetrator was tried, jailed, and eventually had his sentence severely reduced on appeal only to go on to kidnap and sexually assault another teenager in 1999.

The Referendum

As a direct result of The X Case and the Supreme Courts ruling the Irish Government put forward three possible amendments to the Constitution in a referendum. These amendments were known as the 12th, 13th and 14th amendments.

The 12th amendment asked to remove suicide as grounds for abortion, the 13th amendment asked that women should have the right to travel outside the state for abortion and finally the 14th amendment asked that information about abortion should be made available in the State.

Given that we are constantly hearing how severely opposed to abortion the people of Ireland – such a devout Catholic country – are you would expect that the 12th amendment passed where the 13th and 14th failed. In actuality the opposite is true.

History Is Forced To Repeat Itself

Despite the results of these referenda, the Irish Government did not act on them, and in 1997 history repeated itself with The C Case. This time a thirteen year old girl was forced to delay the termination the courts eventually declared she was fully entitled to in line with her basic human rights and in light of the X case ruling.

Instead of tackling the issue then and granting the Irish people what they had already asked for in the previous referendum the government engaged in what many critics have called “delay tactics,” commissioning more reports and expert committees on the subject. This continued until 2002 when then Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, held another referendum asking what was essentially the same question as that of the failed referendum of 1992 – should we remove the threat of suicide as grounds for abortion. A decade later the Irish public issued the same answer, no. Once again they voted to support the X Case decision. Regrettably despite this, the second vote on the issue, legislation was still not forthcoming. Having yet again failed to address the issue of abortion the Irish Government ensured that women in need of what are in many cases life saving operations would not have access to them here in Ireland – Baffling considering the Supreme Courts ruling concerning the X case and indeed the two referendums in which the Irish public voted in favour of termination if and when the mothers life is in danger.

Dr Mark Murphy who has carried out and published extensive research into the States abortion crisis has found countless cases in which mothers threatened by a real and substantial risk to their lives were ultimately forced to travel abroad for a termination of their pregnancy. Dr Murphy found that 9% of GPs had managed a patient with a life threatening medical condition (including but not limited to cancer patients who required abortions in order to avail of chemotherapy, women with severe cardiovascular disease and those at severe psychiatric risk such as rape victims) however he recorded only one instance of an Irish doctor performing a termination in an Irish hospital – in the case of severe preeclampsia.

Savita Halappanavar

While I do not intend to belittle the pain and trauma suffered by these women who had to fight so hard simply to access the medical care that would allow them a chance at life perhaps the most shocking and heartbreaking case of all is that of Savita Halappanavar a woman who critics of Ireland’s antiquated and draconian abortion regime have dubbed a “martyr to the political cowardice” of our government. Savita, you see, did not have the opportunity to take her case to the courts.

If the X case gripped the nation twenty years ago then it is the tragic tale of Savita Halappanavar that is all but consuming the people of Ireland today. Two weeks ago Mrs Halappanavar who was 17 weeks pregnant and suffering intense back pain was admitted to Galway University Hospital where it was soon discovered that she was in fact miscarrying. As time went on it became clear that the child she was carrying would not survive and both Savita and her husband were made aware of this. Now in terrible pain Savita requested – on numerous occasions – a medical termination as did her husband Praveen only to be told that nothing could be done for her as a fetal heartbeat could still be detected. Having further questioned the hospitals decision the couple were then informed that an abortion could not be carried out as Ireland was a “catholic country”

Eventually, following three more days of agony in which the couple repeatedly begged for a termination doctors finally agreed to remove the remains of the fetus. Sadly, it was just days before Mrs Halappanavar showed signs of severe septicemia (this occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream) which later proved to be fatal and at 1.10 a.m. on October 28 the 31 year old was pronounced dead.

It is understood that had the fetus been removed earlier the life of this woman, a beloved wife and daughter, could have been saved. Multiple investigations into Savita’s tragic and seemingly needless death are currently being carried out. This, however, will do little to ease the troubles of Mr Halappanavar a man who lost both his unborn child and wife within a matter of days.

Medical Confusion

As difficult as this may be for some to hear the Irish government’s failure to create definitive legislate concerning the issue of abortion is not only unfair to the women of the country but all those in the medical profession. Doctors want to provide safe and effective care for patients but legislation is required in order for them to provide that care. In other words they need clear guidelines for managing difficult situations such as that of Mrs Halappanavar’s. Addressing the nations current stance on abortion Dr Murphy said “To delineate and categorise those medical conditions on each side of that nebulous line between ill health and life threatening illness is difficult.” Personally I would be of the opinion that it is just too difficult. When it comes to matters of life and death I think we can all agree that the last thing we need is “grey areas”

Of course this is where our politicians and legislators are supposed to step in and provide legal clarity but even now despite rulings from the Supreme Court, referendum results, the European Court of Human Rights ruling that the Irish State is continuing to breach the human rights of every woman in the country due to their failure to implement a legislative or regulatory framework outlining their abortion rights, and countless medical professionals leaving them in no doubt as to what is required those in power have failed to take action and ultimately failed to protect the women of Ireland and their families.

Enough

Just what is it that our leaders are waiting for? Another fourteen year old rape victim to test her rights within the courts? A desperately ill cancer patient to beg for a shot at life or perhaps another unnecessary death such as that of Savita Halappanavar? The people have spoken and they have said, enough. We have had enough of the antiquated and draconian notion that a living breathing woman’s right to life is valued even below that of an unviable fetus, enough of exporting dying women to England in order to undergo the lifesaving abortions they should have access to within their own country, enough of women like Savita dying needlessly and others in similar situations enduring days of agony simply because this is a “catholic country.” Yes, we the people of Ireland have had enough.

A debate is scheduled to take place in The Dail today – Wednesday 28th of November – let’s hope a real effort is made to eliminate medical confusion and find a solution to the abortion crisis in our country. Maybe then the almost 21 year wait will somehow seem worth it.

News in Brief-When The Council Gets Tough Boyzone Bertie Gets Going

Bertie Ahern (remember that man with all the money from last week) has been lobbying Dublin City Council for a posthumous statue of Stephen Gately to be erected following some words from the rest of Boyzone. Isn’t it a wonder.The Love me for a Reason singer died in 2009 whilst abroad with his partner. No matter what, Bertie and the boys may want however, the council’s policies set out procedures preventing a statue being placed until twenty years after the singer’s death. I love the way they love Steve, but when the council get’s tough Bertie gets going.
Bank of Ireland’s new post-graduate loan scheme comes attached with a higher rate of interest than loans being offered by Ulster Bank and Allied Irish but has still been “warmly welcomed” by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn. The new loan follows the withdrawal of maintenance grants for post-grad students. So now if you want to continue your education you will be required to pay only interest on the loan for the duration of their studies with capital repayments starting three months after completion of the course. You don’t need a PhD to realise post-grad study for some will now be out of the question.
If you didn’t get enough of American Michael Phelps, the world’s greatest swimmer in his trunks at the Olympics never fear. He could be swapping swimming for swinging (not like that) in a new movie version of Tarzan. The film is reputedly to be re-made by director, David Yates responsible for the last four Harry Potter films. The news brings a whole new meaning to ‘wet and wild’.
If the chances of winning the lotto are one in fourteen million imagine being the Donegal family that won twice in one day. This week two members of one family each bought a ticket with the same numbers at different shops both scooping part of the cool €250,000.
The Baltimore whale stuck in a west Cork harbour since Tuesday has breathed its last. The fin whale died after becoming stuck in the harbour and injuring itself as it anxiously thrashed. The giant mammal’s corpse which faces the same fate as similar creatures – that due to their size have had to be left to naturally decompose causing quite a stink – is now to be moved to Waterford. Seems a bit unfair, what did Waterford do?
In international news in Vatican City everyone is asking what the pope’s butler saw. Paolo Gabriele the pope’s personal butler is being charged with aggravated theft after reportedly taking and photocopying documents from the desk of Georg Gaenswein, the pope’s private secretary. Gabriele was one of the few with access to pope Benedict’s “private chambers” and at any time could be pardoned by his holiness. To err is human, to forgive – well actually for God’s ultimate representative on earth forgiveness is apparently unlikely and Gabriele is almost certain to face jail time.