CONTROVERSIAL former bank boss Michael Fingleton is demanding a Dail apology for being described as a "gangster".
The retired Irish Nationwide chief executive and ex-Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick were both branded "gangsters" by a TD in a Dail debate. Fine Gael chief whip Paul Kehoe said the bankers were "two of the biggest gangsters ever involved in banking institutions".
But in an angry letter to Dail chairman Seamus Kirk, Mr Fingleton insisted on an apology for the "outrageous, reckless, misinformed and extremely defamatory allegations".
Mr Fingleton (71) stepped down following a sustained campaign of political pressure over his €1m bonus and pension pot. He sparked uproar after it was revealed he would receive a pension package worth €27.6m when he stepped down from the helm after 37 years' service. His departure came just weeks before the society unveiled its first loss.
Despite going in March, he has yet to hand back the €1m bonus, which he promised to do. Irish Nationwide has given up any hope of securing it.
Mr Fingleton says under the Constitution he is "entitled to defend my good name" and he believes Ceann Comhairle Mr Kirk has an obligation to uphold such rights.
"I now demand that Mr Kehoe be requested by the Chair to publicly withdraw these false allegations and to apologise to the House for his actions. I also invite Deputy Kehoe to make these allegations outside the House and if he does so my action will be swift and decisive under the law.
"I look forward to an immediate response to this letter as both my wife and my family are devastated by these false, malicious and unfounded allegations, and they cannot be allowed to stand on the record," he wrote on October 24.
During a debate on the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) Bill, on October 13, Mr Kehoe referred to Mr Fingleton and Mr FitzPatrick by name using Dail privilege, which gave him legal protection.
On foot of the comments being reported in the Irish Independent the following day, Mr Fingleton wrote to Mr Kirk demanding it be publicly withdrawn.
"The allegations suggest that I have engaged in criminal activities, which is the most serious charge and accusation that can be made about any citizen, and to be able to do it maliciously and openly under privilege without any opportunity of defending oneself is totally irresponsible," he wrote.
The letter was circulated in recent weeks by Mr Kirk to members of the Dail's behaviour watchdog after Mr Kehoe declined the Ceann Comhairle's request to apologise.
Mr Kehoe was not asked to apologise or withdraw the comments on the night he uttered them or in the following days in the Dail. The Dail's in-house watchdog, the Dail Committee on Procedure and Privileges, is to consider the matter.
Mr Kehoe has written to Mr Kirk and the committee saying he won't withdraw his remarks. But if the Fine Gael frontbench member is forced to apologise, it will be extremely embarrassing for the Dail and raise major question marks about the status of the privilege rules.
In the Dail debate, Mr Kehoe contrasted the treatment of a constituent in Wexford in danger of having his home repossessed with that of the senior bankers.
"At the same time, Messrs Fitzpatrick and Fingleton can walk away with golden handshakes, not at all worried about the people who are unable to pay their mortgages.
"I realise I am not talking about the NAMA Bill now, but I am saying what the layman on the street is saying about Fingleton and Fitzpatrick. These are two of the biggest gangsters ever involved in banking institutions and because of them we have to bring forward the NAMA legislation. There is one law for the rich and another for the poor. That is the only way I can describe this," the official Dail record
Thursday, 31 December 2009
For many, New Year’s Eve is a time to reminisce and celebrate, but for some people it is a time to protest, mourn, and bring attention to the plight of others across the world.
Though a ceasefire was reached, these people argue that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is still raging.
Elise Springuel, one of the protesters, believes: “Things need to change – what’s happening now is deplorable. It’s one of the greatest human rights issues in the world and it’s been completely ignored by most of the media.”
It is ignored by the media and, the demonstrators say, ignored by governments – including the US.
For those whose families are living in Gaza, this rally means more than showing support.
Nehed Qedin, a Gazan protester, is concerned about the situation: “Right now there is no financial aid getting in. No food, no medicine…nothing is getting in.”
A diverse crowd came out on the streets of Washington DC to call for peace and to lift the blockade. It included Palestinians, but also Israelis, Jews, and Jewish organizations.
Emily Spiegel claimed: “I just don’t agree with what the Israeli government is doing. I think, as a
Jewish American, I feel the need to speak up, because a lot of my community supports what Israel is doing.”
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
A highlight of 2009 was the great victory in Cork on Maundy Thursday night.
“Murder is murder”, the protesters shouted. “That’s the way Hitler started! – Man has no right to take a life.”
The lecture was cancelled within minutes of its opening.
On April 9, the evening of Holy Thursday, a lecture was scheduled at Cork University Hospital (CUH) in Ireland. Emeritus Professor Len Doyal professor of medical ethics at the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, was slated to speak on “Why Euthanasia should be legalized”.
Doyal is a proponent of voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. He advocates that doctors unilaterally decide to end the life of patients who are terminology ill and in great pain.
The speech, which was sponsored by Health Service Executive (HSE), caused controversy from its inception. In late March, a member of the HSE’s own forum, Kerry County Councilor, Brendan Cronin, called for the lecture to be cancelled saying he was “outraged by the decision.”
This outrage fanned into flames from the moment Doyal’s lecture commenced.
As professor Doyal was being introduced in Cork, an Irishman named Kieran, whose wife is terminally ill with cancer, approached the podium with the Irish Constitution in his hand and denounced Doyal’s speech as a criminal offense and against the law.
Father Paul Kramer, author of The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy, who now resides in Ireland, then took the floor. Father Kramer walked straight up to Doyal and roared, “Nazi criminal! Get out of our country! Nazi eugenicist! Get out of our country!”
Father Kramer then turned to the crowd of about 200, many of whom had come to protest Doyal’s lecture, and announced, “We say no to Nazi eugenics”.
He turned back to Doyal and bellowed, “Nazi criminal! Get out of our country! Get out of our country!”.
The hall immediately erupted with the chant, “Out! Out! Out!”
Security guards and police rushed in to the hall. After a brief standoff, security escorted Doyal from the room. The speech was shut down before it started.
One eyewitness described the scene as “absolutely unbelievable” and “very highly charged.” Newspapers report Doyal was “visibly shaken” as he was escorted from the room.
Protestors at the event had plenty to say against Doyal and against Cork Hospital's allowing the speech to take place.
John O’Callaghan, one of the protest organizers, said “Professor Doyal wants involuntary euthanasia introduced. This is murder. We fear for the lives of the elderly, the ill, the disabled and the vulnerable. These people are costing our health service money, and what could be easier than to introduce involuntary euthanasia which would solve the problem of cost?”
Another anti-euthanasia protester said “The HSE will make us out to be religious zealots, but we are not. We are individual protesters here.”
Moira O Regan from Cork said she was protesting on behalf of elderly people. “This lecture,” she said, “has nothing to do with providing care for people.”
Meanwhile, the “visibly shaken” Doyal, when asked for a comment by the Irish Daily Mail, said, “I do not wish to speak to anyone. I will write to the newspapers about what happened today.”
Three days later, the Sunday Times of London published Doyal’s lament. “I was there to debate, but the mob was beyond reason. I was compared to Hitler, called a Nazi and a murderer and there were people reciting the Rosary at me.”
“What happened at the event was not a protest”, Doyal charged, “the people weren’t protesting. It was an angry mob venting hate … What does this say about freedom of speech in Ireland?”
A number of newspapers employed the “freedom of speech” argument to disparage anti-euthanasia protesters.
“Don’t Let Mob Kill Freedom of Speech”, vented the Sunday Times
“Euthanasia Protesters Attacked Free Speech”, headlined the Irish Independent.
“Young people in their 20s and 30s are shooting down free speech with the accuracy of a sniper”, cried the Irish Examiner.
On the night of the lecture, the Irish Examiner asked Father Kramer, who received his theological training at the Angelicum in Rome, about this very point. “This is a democratic republic”, the reporter said, “Don’t people have the right to freedom of speech?”
Father Kramer responded, “This is not constitutionally-protected freedom of speech. These people are advocating murder. It is a crime. It is not a legitimate discussion. They have no right to discuss such an issue as murdering people.”
Father Kramer later told CFN, “The Irish Examiner chose not to publish my view.”
Another newspaper, the Irish Daily Mail, printed Father Kramer’s forceful denunciation of the event. “What this man is advocating is a crime. In fact, it is terrorism. What he advocates — euthanasia – is a threat to our own lives.”
Father Kramer’s accusation of terrorism is not an over-statement. Senator Jim Walsh, from the Seanad (the Upper House of the Irish Parliament) voiced a similar complaint about the terror this discussion strikes into the hearts of the elderly.
““I am sure it (the euthanasia debate) will scare every patient in nursing homes throughout the country. It is scandalous and deplorable,” Walsh warned.
Senator David Norris, a pro-abortion Irish politician, slammed Senator Walsh’s defense of the elderly, claiming such comments were “a disgrace” and “a shame on the Senator”.
Yet the late Father William Smith, professor of moral theology St. Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, NY, frequently warned about the so-called right-to-die euthanasia slogans in the United States. “The right to die”, said Father Smith, “will soon become the duty to die.”
Independent MEP Kathy Sinnot, who opposes euthanasia, and who did not commend the lecture being shouted down, attended the Cork event.
“I came to listen and to ask questions at the lecture’s end. I felt the core issue was the linking of euthanasia to the rationing of medical services.”
Elsewhere, Sinnot said she wants a debate on how people can be given better palliative care to ensure they don’t suffer when they are terminally ill. She said other ill people should be supported and their lives given “affirmation”.
“It is not a case of working out how best to kill people,” notes Sinnot, “It should be about working out how best to manage natural death without suffering.”
Sinnot argues that euthanasia is supported by some governments because it cuts the medical cost of caring for terminally-ill people.
This selling out of the terminally-ill was forcefully reiterated at the Cork lecture. Moments before the police arrived, one protester took over the podium to accuse CUH of betraying the “sick and old” people of Ireland.
“I have 30 pieces of silver to give the ethics committee on behalf of these people,” he said, “That’s very significant because Judas took 30 pieces of silver. They are selling out the sick and the old, and what I would say is that this ethics committee has no ethics at all. Who would hold a meeting on Holy Thursday in Catholic Ireland to murder people?”
Though Doyal claims he felt threatened by a mob “venting hate”, Father Kramer insists Doyal was never in any danger.
“If Doyal left the room ‘visibly shaken’”, Father Kramer told CFN, “he was afraid, as a pick-pocket or a burglar is afraid when he’s caught in the act – not because of a threat, but because he was caught committing a crime.”
The Irish Examiner asked Father Kramer what he thought the protesters accomplished at the Cork lecture, claiming the debate will continue in Ireland elsewhere.
“When the battle is set in the battlefield,” Father Kramer answered, “we have to fight. We have stopped this discussion tonight and we will stop it again.”
In fact, the HSE stated Doyal’s lecture would not be rescheduled; Doyal himself complained that since the group stopped the lecture once, “they know now they can do it again”; and the Irish Examiner sobbed, “after yesterday’s farce [on Holy Thursday], a discussion on euthanasia in Ireland may be the only issue to have died.”
Father Kramer told CFN, “It is good for readers to know that they don’t have to cower in their houses. People can protest. The euthanasia advocates are afraid ever to introduce this topic in Ireland.”
Sources: CFN telephone interview with Father Kramer; “HSE is Criticized over Pro-Euthanasia Lecture”, Irish Catholic, March 25, 2009; “Safety Issue Led to Decision, says HSE”, Irish Times, April 10, 2009; “Rosary Chanting Protestors Force Euthanasia Talk to be Abandoned”, Irish Independent, April 10, 2009; “Euthanasia Talk Ends in Seconds Amid Verbal Attacks”, Irish Examiner, April 10, 2009; “Excuse Me... You’re Talking about Killing of Patients. Get Out!”, Irish Examiner, April 10, 2009; “Euthanasia Talk Shouted Down by Protesters”, Irish Daily Mail, April 10, 2009; “Death Man Walking Out”, The Sun (England), April 10, 2009; “Mercy Death’s Debate Silenced by ‘Mob’”, Sunday Times (London), April 12, 2009; “Don’t Let Mob Kill Freedom of Speech”, Sunday Times, April 12, 2009,; “Euthanasia Protestors Attacked Free Speech”, Sunday Independent, April 12, 2009
Monday, 28 December 2009
The recent budget didn’t hike the price of booze and many are inclined to think the Irish government want Irish men and women to lull themselves to oblivion, boozed out of their minds whilst the country goes to shambles. Sound advice would be to cut down on the “few pints”. You will have more money at your disposal and you will have better health. The tyrants who run the country are only delighted for Irish youths to get boozed up and fight each other outside the fast food shop. Their tyranny increases and the chain of slavery grabs another generation of our people.
Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. The number of little children, massacred by order of King Herod in Bethlehem and its neighbourhood is unknown. Our Novena for Life concludes today. Thank you for praying with us.
As with the slaughter of the Holy Innocents at the behest of Herod, the slaughter of babies through abortion must be fought and stopped.
Let us also be reminded that the so called "morning-after pill" is an abortifacient. It is the same as other forms of abortion. This is the deliberate taking of human life. Birth control is not of God. It is of the Devil for sure.
2010, will see us continue to defend and promote the family based on Christian marriage. A large family is the key to a healthy society. A society not promoting the family is far from God and is sick. Marriage is between a man and a woman.
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894)
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Friday, 25 December 2009
ELEISON COMMENTS CXXIX (Dec. 26, 2009) : CHRISTMAS FEAR.
So Christmas Day has come and gone once more, reminding us of the great joywhichOur Lord brought to the entire world by His Incarnation and Birth, but especially to his Mother. At last she holds him safe in her arms where she tends to him like a mother, but where she also adores him as her God. Alas, who that has an inkling of religion cannot lament how the world around us cashes in on the joy, but in large part forgets the God ?
In this respect the joy of Christmas today resembles the smile of the Cheshire Cat, especially in capitalist lands (but Pius XI observed back in 1931 that capitalism was extending all over the world -- "Quadragesimo Anno", 103-104). Readers of "Alice in Wonderland" will remember how the smile of the Cat could still be seen when the rest of the Cat had disappeared. The substance is gone, but the effects linger, at least for a while. Belief in the Divine Child is being killed off all the time, thanks especially to Vatican II, yet the joy of Christmas is lingering. This is partly because God, being supremely generous, commemorates each year the Birth of his Son amongst men with a flood of actual graces, to which many souls respond by being a little nicer than they are at any other time of year, but it is partly also because joy is enjoyable. This is rather less secure.
For as the true worship of God continues to disappear, and with it any true grasp of what the coming of the Saviour meant, indispensable for our eternal happiness, so the joy of Christmas is being reduced to the commercialism and carousing we all know. The smile cannot indefinitely survive the Cat. Even the nicest of NIFs (Nice Internal Feelings) cannot survive indefinitely without their object. If Jesus Christ is not God, let alone the one and only Saviour of mankind, why rejoice in his birth ? I love my Nifs, but if they are based only on themselves, sooner or later they will collapse, leaving only a sour taste of disillusion behind them. I may love feeling all "Christmassy", but if I am reacting to my feelings instead of to what they are based on, I am heading for some emotional collapse or other.
It is the difference between sentimentality and sentiments. Our Lord was full of sentiments, when for instance he met the widow of Naim, distraught over her only son being carried to the grave (Lk. VII, 11-15). But there was no trace of sentimentality in Our Lord (nor, I declare, in "The Poem of the Man-God"), because the sentiments are never being sought out for their own sake. His sentiments were always stirred directly by a real object, eg the widow's grief, which put him vividly in mind of what would be his own Mother's desolation when he himself was being carried to the grave.
Subjectivism is the plague of our times, i.e. man shutting out objective reality in order to re-arrange it how he likes it subjectively within himself. Subjectivism is the heart and soul of the Neo-modernism now desolating the Church. And subjectivism cutting off the mind from its outside object necessarily engenders sentimentality in the heart, because it takes away from the heart all outside object for its sentiments. Capitalist Christmas will finally be killed by sentimentality. Either men return to the true God, to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to the true importance of his Birth, or the collapse of some of their nicest Nifs, the "Christmassy" Nifs, risks leaving the little that remains of "Western Civilization" with one more reason for suicidal sourness.
Monday, 21 December 2009
It has come to the moment of extending greetings this Christmas season. Many thanks to all our contributors and all involved with bringing you Thought & Action during the year. Many thanks to our loyal readers all over the world. Your support is very much appreciated. It is our desire for you to celebrate and share the real meaning of Christmas.
Everybody is mindful that for many people, Christmas will be a difficult and indeed a lonely time for a variety of reasons. Spare a prayer for them and indeed be helpful to them. It is a perfect time to discover the real meaning of Christmas and Catholic Social Action.
Many thanks to all who participated in our events and gatherings during the year. Many thanks to those who bought and helped distribute good literature and information during the year. It was well received.
It was a very successful year for us. 2010 looks very promising with new projects and events taking place. Twenty new contributors will join the blog team also. Watch this space. Thank you all for being our friend!
Sunday, 20 December 2009
It is hoped that you enjoy the latest column from Bishop Williamson.
ELEISON COMMENTS CXXVIII: CHRISTMAS CHEER.
Here is some good news for Christmas, drawn from England's "Catholic Herald" of Dec. 11: a report from the United States tells that the present economic recession is helping marriages. The recession began towards the end of 2007. In that year the divorce rate in the USA was 17.5 for every thousand married women. In the following year it was 16.9. Lessons at what Americans call "The School of Hard Knocks" are costly, but they sure teach !
"Marriage in America : The State of Our Unions 2009" is the title of the Report published jointly at the Institute for American Values, University of Virginia, by the Center for Marriage and Families and the National Marriage Project, whose director, Brian Wilcox, wrote the Report. He says that millions of Americans have adopted a "homegrown bailout strategy", and "are relying on their own marriages and families to weather this storm". As our new-fangled world collapses, so the old proverbs come back into their own : "Every cloud has a silver lining"; "Blood is thick and water is thin"; "There's no place like home".
Another piece of evidence quoted by Wilcox to prove that the economic crisis is helping marriages is the decision of many married couples to get rid of credit card debt. As reported by the Federal Reserve Board, Americans have reduced their collective revolving debt by $90 billion over the past year. Wilcox says the recession has revived the "home economy" as more and more Americans are growing their own food, making and mending their own clothes, and dining out less often : "Many couples appear to be developing a new appreciation for the economic and social support that marriage can provide in tough times".
Husbands, behave like men, and lean on your wives for support. Wives, glory in your womanly gifts which men do not have in anything like the same measure, and lean on your husbands for strength. A man without a woman is normally a zero (yes, zero!). A woman without a man is normally even less, an incomplete zero, or an open U. But put the U as support beneath the zero, and you suddenly have 8 ! On the Miraculous Medal, is not the Cross of Our Lord shown resting on the M of Mary ? To go through with his Passion Our Lord chose to renounce all his divine Strength. But could his humanity alone have performed our Redemption without the human support of his Mother ? Never !
Not many economists have any common sense, but the few that are not living in la-la-land all see this recession getting much worse yet. Mothers, re-learn domestic skills. Fathers, re-learn vegetable gardening. All lovers of truth and reality, strengthen not only family ties, but also neighbourhood ties. It is going to be a question of survival, and our governments and media are not going to help, on the contrary, unless they seriously change direction. "Our help is in the name of the Lord", figuring at this time of year as a powerless human baby. Yet this baby is the Almighty !
Friday, 18 December 2009
20th December 2009 to 28th December 2009In lingua latina:
Deus, cuius hodiérna die præcónium
Innocéntes Mártyres non loquéndo,
sed moriéndo conféssi sunt: ómnia
in nobis vitiórum mala mortífica; ut fidem
tuam, quam lingua nostra lóquitur, étiam
móribus vita fateátur. Per Dóminum nostrum
Iesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit
et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per
ómnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.In English:
O God, whose praise the martyred Innocents
on this day confessed, not by speaking, but
by dying: destroy in us all the evils of sin,
that our life also may proclaim by deeds Thy faith
which our tongue professes. Through our Lord Jesus
Christ, thy Son, who together with Thee liveth and
reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world
without end. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.
This article is also worth noting again. http://rencesvals.blogspot.com/2009/11/is-pro-life-movement-catholic.html
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
The past three articles in the series are questions that various Catholics ask today. Priests who say the New Mass really need to question their motives. Many priests adhere to the Traditional Latin Mass. It is best also to stay clear of anything with the Vatican II stamp on it. Stay with the Traditional Faith but without compromise.
It has taken three issues of "Eleison Comments" to disentangle why the alleged death-bed testimony of Cardinal Lienart (EC 121) could easily be true, given that it corresponds exactly to how the validity of the Catholic sacraments has been imperilled by the Conciliar sacramental Rites introduced after Vatican II (EC 124, 125, 126). A friendly critic thinks that I have been too concerned to defend the validity of the Conciliar sacraments. But I no more want to exaggerate their validity than their invalidity.
For indeed no reasonable person who loves the truth wants to do anything other than conform his mind to reality, because truth is defined as "the matching of mind and reality". If a situation is black, I want to call it black. If it is white, I want to call it white. And if it is varying shades of grey in between, I want to make that grey in my mind no more grey-black nor grey-white than it is in reality.
Now it is true that any one sacrament administered in real life will have been either valid or invalid. There are no more shades between valid and invalid than there are between pregnant and not pregnant. But if we consider the Conciliar sacraments being all the time administered throughout the Newchurch as a whole, we can only say some are valid, some are invalid, but they have all been placed on a slide towards invalidity by the Conciliar Rites' total thrust to replace the religion of God with the religion of man. That is why the Newchurch is on its way to disappearing altogether, and why the Society of St. Pius X can in no way allow itself to be absorbed into it.
But at what exact point on that slide any given priest or priests, for instance, so lose the true idea of the Church that they can no longer Intend to do what the Church does, God alone knows. It may well be that to reach that point takes more than I suggested in EC 125. Maybe it takes less, as our critic suggests. In any case, since only God can know for sure, I do not need to know. All I need to have clear in my mind is that the Conciliar Rites have put God's sacraments on a slide away from God, and once it is clear to me that they are helping to destroy the Church, that they were even designed to destroy the Church, I should stay away from them.
Meanwhile, as to just how far down the slide is this or that priest, or even the Newchurch as a whole, I will apply the great principle of St. Augustine: "In things certain, unity; in things doubtful, liberty; in all things, charity". And within the framework of certainties such as, within the Newchurch neither already nothing, nor everything still, is Catholic, I mean to extend to my fellow-Catholics the same liberty to judge of things uncertain as I hope they will extend to me. Mother of God, obtain the rescue of the Church !
THE GOVERNMENT is expected to hold a referendum on the rights of the child next year following all-party agreement on the wording of an amendment to the Constitution.
Mary O’Rourke TD, chairwoman of the Oireachtas committee on children’s rights, said yesterday the committee had finalised the wording of the amendment. She said all-party consensus had been achieved and the proposed wording would strengthen the rights of children in Ireland.
“We feel this text is more robust than the previous proposal and will give an aura of certainty regarding the rights of children,” said Ms O’Rourke, who added that €3 million had been set aside by the Government for the referendum.
The wording of the amendment to Article 41 of the Constitution will not be published until the end of January when the committee will hold its next meeting.
But it is understood to address the issues raised in the “Baby Ann” case in 2006. In this case the Supreme Court ruled that a two-year-old girl should be returned to the custody of her birth parents from her adoptive parents when they withdrew consent for her adoption. The case highlighted that the rights of children are subordinate to the rights of the family under the Constitution.
The proposed constitutional amendment should make it possible for people to adopt the children of married couples, sources told The Irish Times last night.
The Oireachtas committee was set up in November 2007 to agree recommendations for a referendum on child protection and children’s rights. A previous proposal for an amendment to the Constitution on the rights of children was deemed insufficient.
But getting all-party consensus on the wording of an amendment has proved difficult, with Fine Gael pushing for it to restore the law on statutory rape.
The law, which made it impossible to put forward a defence of mistake as to the age of a child, was found to be unconstitutional in a landmark Supreme Court case in 2006. Fine Gael initially argued that a referendum was vital to restore the statutory rape law and maintained the age of consent should be kept at 17 years.
However, the committee has recommended that rather than seek constitutional change, legislation should be introduced to protect children from adult sex predators. This difficult debate caused a lengthy delay to the work of the committee, which is expected to be disbanded following its meeting in January.
Fine Gael TD Michael Noonan, who is vice-chairman of the committee, confirmed yesterday that agreement had been reached on the wording of the amendment.
Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan announced in this month’s Budget that €3 million had been set aside for the Department of Health and Children to hold a referendum. A final decision on the referendum will be taken by the Cabinet when it formally receives the text of the amendment from the Oireachtas committee next month. But this is expected to be a formality.
The Government is expected to consider holding a referendum on reducing judges’ pay at the same time as the proposed referendum on the rights of the child
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
We're all living in America,
America is wunderbar.
We're all living in America,
Wenn getanzt wird, will ich führen,
auch wenn ihr euch alleine dreht,
lasst euch ein wenig kontrollieren,
Ich zeige euch wie's richtig geht.
Wir bilden einen lieben Reigen,
die Freiheit spielt auf allen Geigen,
Musik kommt aus dem Weißen Haus,
Und vor Paris steht Mickey Maus.
We're all living in America...
Ich kenne Schritte, die sehr nützen,
und werde euch vor Fehltritt schützen,
und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss,
weiß noch nicht, dass er tanzen muss!
Wir bilden einen lieben Reigen,
ich werde Euch die Richtung zeigen,
nach Afrika kommt Santa Claus,
und vor Paris steht Mickey Maus.
We're all living in America,
America is wunderbar.
We're all living in America,
We're all living in America,
We're all living in America,
This is not a love song,
this is not a love song.
I don't sing my mother tongue,
No, this is not a love song.
We're all living in America,
Amerika is wunderbar.
We're all living in America,
We're all living in America,
Coca-Cola, sometimes WAR,
We're all living in America,
Monday, 14 December 2009
A very interesting article. A 500 acre commune for Distributists would be fantastic here in Ireland and around the World. Our own chapel with the Mass of All Time (Traditional Latin Mass) and an alternative to the failed systems of both Socialism and Capitalism. The return to the land or atleast a healthy balance between Urbanism and Ruralism. Of course Ruralism is by far the healthier. How many families are self sufficient in Ireland today? How many families are experiencing the ball and chain of those advocating usury and feel the whip of those who manipulate our financial system.? The alternative is there and no doubt more and more families will be seeking that alternative.
City dwellers are spurning capitalist culture for a more relaxing and fulfilling lifestyle at a Twin Oaks commune in rural America.
All the residents of the commune work in the 500 acre commune in rural Virginia, growing and eating their own food and promoting self sufficiency and egalitarianism.
Keenan and Rowan Dakota seem like a typical father and son working together to rebuild a barn, but their lives are far from ordinary because they live at Twin Oaks.
“In mainstream society there is a class system, and we do everything in our policies and in our culture to have a classless society, so it’s important that we all live here equally,” shares Keenan Dakota.
Thirteen-year-old Rowan has spent his entire life in Twin Oaks. Regarding the residents, he says “I like the people here. They’re all very nice people.”
The community has an organized labor system where residents maintain a 42-hour work quota each week. That quota can be met by putting in hours caring for children, making furniture, milking cows and more.
Keenan Dakota believes “There are hardly any other communist societies in the world which haven’t collapsed. The few communist places that are left are Twin Oaks and Cuba.”
However, if a person does not pull their weight in this communist society, they can be exiled back to capitalist America to fend for themselves.
“We have a pretty strong commitment to working and making the place work,” says Keenan, “and if there’s somebody who is consistently not pulling their weight, we have a single sanction that says: You’re outta here.”
As more Americans are losing their jobs in the real world, places like Twin Oaks are becoming more popular.
“With the recession this has become much more popular, this type of living situation, and that could be part of it over the last decade or two,” says Twin Oaks resident Elsa Spencer. “The real income has been dropping and it has been harder for middle class people.”
Even though the community is primarily self-sufficient, they do have a hammock business. The money they make from the hammocks goes into a communal checkbook and used to pay for things like car repairs, clothes and electric bills.
It is their way of conforming capitalism to their communist lifestyle.
“I think an interesting difference between communism and capitalism is that here in our communal society, the people are happier but maybe a little less productive,” explains Keenan. “Out there in the mainstream capitalist society, people are productive – but not as happy.”
That is exactly why Keenan decided to raise his son in Twin Oaks, far away from mainstream America.
He says that “Basically the thing that most parents want for their kids is to be in a safe environment with loving people – that’s what Twin Oaks provides.”
Thought & Action is delighted to learn that an event will take place in Tullamore, Co. Offaly on Saturday 19th December to mark the 6th Anniversary of the taking of human life at the behest of the Midland Health Board. Do take note of the following notice. People are encouraged to attend this memorial service and information service.
We will attend a memorial service and information session in Tullamore to remember the young pregnant girl and her unborn child sent to England for an abortion by the Midland Health Board in 2003.
11:00 - 13:00
Tullamore Shopping Centre
Sunday, 13 December 2009
This has been an objective of the Irish government for many years.
The Irish Medical Council has issued new guidelines on fertility treatment which doctors say will allow them to destroy surplus human embryos for the first time in Ireland.
The guidelines, issued last month, drop a long-standing prohibition on doctors deliberately destroying embryos. The old rule required the freezing of all embryos not used in treatment. The 2004 guidelines said: “Any fertilised ovum must be used for normal implantation and must not be deliberately destroyed.” This has been cut.
In Britain, clinics may destroy embryos if couples decide not to proceed with implantation, but in Ireland clinics store them indefinitely. Unlike Britain, there is no legislation in Ireland covering fertility treatment, despite calls for the issue to be addressed.
David Walsh, a doctor in the Sims Clinic, said letting embryos be destroyed was the biggest change in medical ethics in the history of the state.
“We have generally had a pro-life bias in the Medical Council but that appears to have gone,” he said. “We have never destroyed embryos and we haven’t experimented using them because the medical guidelines have always said we couldn’t, so I’m amazed this has come out like this.”
Walsh said his clinic would review its procedures after an expected ruling this week on a case involving embryos stored at his clinic. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will rule on an appeal by Mary Roche, who wants permission to use embryos against the wishes of her ex-husband. Embryos in this case have been kept in storage since 2002. The ruling could have implications for fertility clinics.
“Realistically, we are not going to change what we do immediately,” said Walsh. “But this is a big thing for the future. For example, genetic tests are on the way that will allow us to test embryos and identify the ones more likely to become a baby. Up until this point we would have said, ‘what will we do with the other embryos?’ ”
A spokesman for the Medical Council said that in the absence of legislation, it was no longer able to take a position on the status of frozen embryos. The government has not enacted any legislation to regulate assisted human reproduction, despite it being recommended in a report by the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction in 2005.
The Medical Council said it would work with “relevant experts” to develop further guidelines in the area.
Donal O’Mathúna, a lecturer in ethics in Dublin City University who is against embryo destruction, was disappointed by the move: “It was one of the few protective barriers for embryos so it is concerning that the prohibition is gone.”
Senator Rónán Mullen said: “In light of this development, we need legislation to protect human embryos and that is true regardless of what the Supreme Court says.”
Geoffrey Shannon, a solicitor specialising in family law, said the council’s decision highlighted the need for legislation.
Friday, 11 December 2009
December 16th, 2009 will mark the 6th Anniversary of the murder of an unborn child at the behest of the Midland Health Board in Ireland. The young girl in their care was 14 years old and 24 weeks pregnant. The Health Board, and its members facilitated this murder. The teenager became pregnant while in their custody. 2003 also saw the East Coast Area Health Board and the South Eastern Health Board each take a girl in their custody to England for abortions.
The Health Board took a life and used this 14 year old girl in their care.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
“If I were in any country and this were to go against Ireland, I would be very concerned that the Europeans feel they can step into domestic law.”
Today in the Strasbourg based European Court of Human Rights a case, backed by the Irish Family Planning Association, attempted to challenge the laws criminalising abortion in Ireland.
The Association of Catholic lawyers of Ireland warned during the run upto the Lisbon Treaty referrendum that, even with the guarantees that the Irish Government had put in place to assure the Irish people of the safely of the Unborn Child, the criminal laws could still be attacked. The ACLI contacted all TDs with their opinion, without the law criminalising abortion, pro life sentiments are nothing.
Today Mrs Higgins of the ACLI was interviewed by the BBC World Service and BBC Five Live where she stated that this case would have ramifications for all member states if the ECHR decided to interfere with domestic criminal law.
The Irish Republic’s strict abortion law is being challenged in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The legal action has been brought by three Irish women who say the effective ban on abortion in Ireland violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
All three have travelled to Britain to have abortions.
The Irish government has engaged two leading lawyers to argue its case that the country has a sovereign right to protect the life of the unborn.
The three Irish women will be identified only as A, B, and C during the Strasbourg court hearings.
They argue that being forced to travel abroad for abortions endangered their “health and well-being” as safeguarded by the European Convention on Human Rights.
The two constitutional lawyers representing the government of Ireland argue that the convention’s safeguards cannot be interpreted as endorsing the right to abortion.
Abortion is illegal in Ireland, a deeply Catholic country, unless the life of the woman is in danger.
The Irish constitution was amended in 1983 to include the “Pro-Life Amendment”, which asserted that the unborn child had an explicit right to life from conception.
The case is the first challenge to Ireland’s abortion laws in more than 15 years, the BBC’s Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond says.
Almost 140,000 Irish women have travelled to Britain over the past 30 years to have abortions, our correspondent adds.
The Irish Family Planning Association welcomed the challenge to the laws, which it described as “draconian”.
It said they violated international human rights norms “because they inflict such grievous harm to women’s health and well-being”.
But Johanna Higgins, co-founder of the Association of Catholic Lawyers of Ireland, told the BBC’s World Today programme that a ruling against Ireland would be an infringement of its ability to decide its own laws.
“Whatever the human rights aspects are of this, abortion is illegal in Ireland because it is a criminal offence,” she said.
“If I were in any country and this were to go against Ireland, I would be very concerned that the Europeans feel they can step into domestic law.”
The Minister for Finance has just announced the Budget for 2010. He said the ‘worst is over’.
- Dole payments cut by €8 a week (with additional cuts for under 23s)
- Child benefit (lower and higher rate) reduced by €16 per month
- Excise duty on alcohol reduced - 12c cut on beer and cider, 14c cut on a measure of spirits, 16c cut on a bottle of wine
- No change on tobacco tax
- 50c charge for every medical card prescription from April
- Carbon tax of €15 per tonne
- Hospital consultants will see their pay cut by up to 15%
- Irish domicile levy of €200,000 per year for high net worth individuals
- New 'universal social contribution', which will replace employee PRSI, the Health Levy and the Income Levy
- Public servants' pensions to be linked to average salary across career, rather than final salary
- Tiered pay cuts for public servants from 5% for the first €30,000, all the way up to 15% for those earning €200,000 or more
- Taoiseach's salary to be reduced by 20%
- Mortgage interest relief - Extended to 2018 for those who now find themselves in negative equity
- Flood relief - More than €70m to be given to help victims and stop future floods
- Taoiseach's salary to be cut by 20%
- National Solidarity Bond aimed at small investors to be launched
- Discounted rail vouchers to be given to senior citizen tourists to Ireland
- Scrappage scheme announced - Get around €1,500 off your Vehicle Registration Tax on a new low-emission car, if you trade in a car at least 10 years old
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible
Monday, 7 December 2009
THE SWINE flu vaccination programme will begin in schools on Monday, the HSE has confirmed.
A spokeswoman said larger schools would be visited first by vaccination teams “to get higher numbers done in the first batches”.
The HSE has written to the first schools being targeted and others will be written to in coming weeks. All school staff will also be offered the vaccination.
The move marks the extension of the programme from at-risk groups, women who are more than 14 weeks pregnant and up to six weeks after birth, people over 65 and children aged between six months and five years.
By the time this phase of the programme is completed, some time early next year, everyone under the age of 18 and over six months will have been offered the vaccination.
The letters to schools will outline arrangements and vaccination packs will be provided to be sent home to parents with a consent form. Children over 16 will be able to sign their own consent forms.
A HSE spokeswoman said it would not be possible for teams to go into every individual school and in some instances a number of schools may be invited to bring their pupils to another school on the day vaccinations are being administered there.
In other cases pupils and staff will be advised to attend a HSE vaccination clinic and appointments for these children should be made by their parents or guardians.
Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe has urged schools to co-operate, acknowledging that it will mean some disruption to school timetables.
Medical advice is that children under 13 will require two doses of the vaccine and that those 13 and over may need a second dose.
“The HSE is, therefore, initially focusing on vaccinating all children and arrangements for how the second dose will be given, to those that require it, will be advised by the HSE at a later date.”
Separately, a number of parents of under-fives who have received HSE letters inviting them to bring their children for vaccination, have complained of being unable to access HSE clinics in the Dublin area.
One father of two said yesterday that the clinic he had been advised to attend, Cabinteely Health Centre, was fully booked.
A HSE spokeswoman advised parents to bring children to the local HSE clinic with their letter, adding “they won’t be turned away”.