Our babies were people and not foetal abnormalities
We are parents who lost our babies to conditions such as anencephaly and Trisomy 13. Our children’s lives were too short, but we made sure they knew nothing but love.
These babies were our children. They had a severe disability. They were not a ‘fatal abnormality’, nor were they less than human. Their lives mattered, because every child matters, whether we have two hours or ten years to cradle and love them, to make memories and heal ourselves.
It is disturbing and distressing to see abortion campaigners repeatedly use our children’s conditions to further their own agenda, in regard to repealing the 8th amendment. The phrase ‘fatal, foetal abnormality’, as every doctor knows and as many have publicly certified, is not a medical term, since no doctor knows how long a baby will live after birth, whatever condition is diagnosed. Many children defy the odds and live far longer than expected. Even when that is not the case, our children were alive and kicking when their condition was diagnosed and that should be respected.
We have asked public representatives and the media, again and again, to bring some honesty to this issue, and to stop misinforming the public. They have ignored that request for honesty and fairness.
Now, Mick Wallace, TD, is proposing a bill to have sick babies described as ‘incompatible with life’. This ugly phrase, which uses the language of discrimination, is misleading and dishonest, yet it is repeated ad nauseum by the media and abortion campaigners.
If Mr Wallace and others believe in legalising abortion as a matter of choice, please be honest about that. And please stop dehumanising our children and using their disability to justify abortion.
Give Iceland their footballing due
Many negative comments have been made about the England national soccer team’s lack of passion against Iceland.
I suggest more emphasis be placed on the determination and footballing skills of the Icelandic team.
From the kick-off until the final whistle, Iceland played their hearts out. They harried the England players.
An excellent all-round performance. A victory deserving of their work-rate.
Well done, Iceland.
US abortion clinic ruling is worrying
This paper’s editorial, ‘US abortion ruling - Stark reminder’, concerning the US Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, misrepresents, I think, some of the salient facts (Irish Examiner, June 28).
It gives the impression that undue burden was being placed on abortion clinics in Texas; in fact, what the state asked of the clinics was that they adhere to the same building standards as other ambulatory surgical centres and that abortionists have admittance privileges at a nearby hospital, in case of a medical emergency.
Instead of improving the standards of care at their facilities, abortion providers took legal action.
That the Supreme Court decided to find these basic safety requirements an undue burden is worrying, as it is indicative of the triumph of ideology, not only over law, but common sense.
As Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the dissenting opinion to this judgement, this “decision exemplifies the Court’s troubling tendency to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue.”
EU still arrogantly issuing diktats
The EU Commission has said that it considers the application of water charges as Ireland’s so-called “established practice” under the Water Framework Directive. This clarification means that it is now probable that the EU Commission will take action against the Government, if it abandons water charges.
The EU Commission has learned nothing from BREXIT. They issue diktats, impose fines on governments, and ignore the harsh reality that it is now politically impossible to implement water charges in Ireland. But, nonetheless, the Commission will continue with this pig-headedly stupid diktat.
The people of England and the UK have led the way. We now need Eirexit
Celibacy excluding willing priests
Re the problems of Cork’s Sunday’s Well church. It is untrue that there are not enough priests. I am aware of dozens of priests, some in the Cork area, who would gladly serve, but are not allowed to. This is because they married.
They are kept out by a daft celibacy law that has never worked, since it was forced on the priesthood in the 12th century.
Nor does it work now — I am aware of 80 women involved with ‘celibate priests’. They continue to get in touch with me, since I published Shattered Vows all those years ago.
The problems at Sunday’s Well church are directly due to an intransigent Vatican bureaucracy, which is as out of touch with the real Church as the pre-Brexit British government was with its own people.
Young people failed Brexit by not voting
What have the Brexit and same-sex marriage referendums got in common? The decisive role of young people in both, but in contrasting ways.
In last year’s same-sex marriage referendum here, young people played a pivotal role in the outcome.
They got involved in canvassing, and third-level institutions actively supported same-sex marriage, while carrying out voter registration drives.
The home-to-vote campaign was successful in bringing many young people back to Ireland to cast their ballots.
In a YouGov poll analysing the results of the Brexit referendum, 75% of young people aged 18 to 24 voted for ‘remain’. Yet it’s estimated that only 36% of people in this age category actually voted.
Perhaps the ‘Remain’ campaign in the UK should have taken a leaf out of the ‘Yes’ campaign here and mobilised more of these young people to get out and vote. Maybe the result would have been different.
This illustrates, for different reasons, the importance of young people getting involved in the democratic process. Unless you go out and cast your ballot, you have no right to complain afterwards about the result.
Ireland will bloom without England
There are many reasons for the people of Ireland to be happy that the UK is to leave the EU.
The so-called United Kingdom is no longer united. It is likely that Scotland will become independent in a few years.
Ireland should welcome this, as it will mean the creation of a friendly, neighbouring state with which Ireland has much in common, far more than with the existing UK.
When Scotland becomes independent, it will cause many in the north to question their constitutional status and it will bring the unification of Ireland closer.
Already, there has been a rush for Irish passports, even from people in the unionist community.
Who could have imagined Ian Paisley junior encouraging people to get Irish passports?
When the UK leaves the EU, the English language will have a significantly reduced status in the EU.
English will be the main language of only six million people, less than Dutch, Hungarian, Romanian, Polish, Portuguese and other languages.
Having worked in the European Commission, in Luxembourg, I have seen that a national language, being used inside the corridors of power, is far more important for an EU member state than having its flag flying outside.
Ireland is lucky to have Irish as an official language of the EU. Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, and Luxembourg are overlooked, due to sharing official languages with other member states.
The Irish government would be wise to use Article 8.3 of Bunreacht na hÉireann and declare Irish as the only language it will use when dealing with the EU.
Lastly, the exit of the UK will allow Ireland to improve its independence. For too long, Irish businesses exported to the UK and did not expand into other markets on mainland Europe.
With the UK out of the single market, Irish businesses can focus on countries in the single market and the euro zone. They will have less bureaucracy and currency differences to overcome by doing business with the EU states, rather than with Britain.
Since joining the EEC, the Irish government often let the UK government do the heavy lifting, regarding policies, and then supported the UK’s positions at the Council of Ministers. With the UK gone, Ireland will have to take clearer positions and contribute more to policy formation.
This will increase Ireland’s independence. Things are looking bright for Ireland.
Kelly is one in need of ‘consolation’
On the Console charity issue, and suggestions of misuse of public funds, it could be that Paul Kelly, the group’s founder, has been the one most in need of its services. It is only money, after all.