Monday, 31 January 2011

Ivana Bacik Needs To Have A Sit Down

I am not a chap that likes to repeat himself. I find it a frightful bore. On one occasion, while holidaying in Sub Saharan Africa, some Arab chap failed to grasp at the first time of asking what I’d asked him in my exquisite Queens Own Tongue – I stood there staring at the bloody fool for 10 whole minutes until he gave me the decorative monkeys hand I had bloody well asked him for in the first place. Repeat myself, old stick?
Yet, repeat myself I must. The nonsense has gotten too extreme, old trout! While about town this morning I stumbled upon this piece in the Paper of Record and well, I won’t inform you of the fate of the poor croissant I was marmalading at the time. Had I not put this entire issue to rest yesterday?
Far be it from me to disagree with an alumna of my dearest Alma Mater but my my, Senator Bacik, what utter nonsense have you committed to ink here? That Madam would allow such flagrant codswallop to appear on her pages is a shock, especially considering our joint affection for The Iron Lady.
The main thrust of her article is thus; mooooooaaaan.
She writes -
First, without more women TDs, our democracy is not truly representative.
I would beg to differ, Senator! There is no statute excluding women from Politics in this country (no matter how many times I push it with Dear Leader Turnip, damn his backwoodsman forehead). The fact that there are so few lady T.D’s is nothing to do with some grand conspiracy no matter how much discerning gentlemen would wish it so. She continues -
This means that voter choice in Ireland is severely restricted. In the 2007 general election, women constituted only 17 per cent of candidates overall. At least 60 per cent of constituencies had no women candidates from either of the two largest political parties; Fianna Fáil fielded no women candidates in 28 constituencies and Fine Gael had no women standing in 30 constituencies. In five constituencies out of 43, no women candidates stood, even as Independents.
A lot of numbers there, chaps, yet it’s a pity that they are utterly meaningless. Were there enough women of sufficient gumption to demand a place on the ballot then there would not be a problem.
Once again, Ivana, you have to ask yourself WWTILD? Would The Iron Lady sit there whining? No she would not! She would close the mines, literally and figuratively, until she was, not only on the stump, but sitting in Parliament like some glorious predatory bird.
This awful article – a typical lefty exercise in telling people how they should be voting – becomes slightly more understandable when you look at the electoral record of the lovely Senator. She was a repeated failure turtle at the stump in 1997, 2002, 2004 & 2009  and again most recently when Comrade Gimore and chums decided not to go with her in Dublin South East – rightly realizing that she has all the electoral appeal of a brain damaged arsonist.
Senator Bacik pictured adding psychokinesis to her long list of failures.

In fact, the only reason she has a job in politics at all, and not driving around Portobello looking for minor injustices to write to Times Letters Page about, is down to squeaking in to the Seanaid by the very skin of her teeth in 2007 on the 8th count after Norris, De Rossa and Scooby bloody Doo got in before her.
So yes, one can see why introducing a quota of female TD’s would suit her down to the ground. One can see her running around Dublin South shrieking at passers by “It doesn’t matter how rubbish you think I am! The law says I get in either way!”...

Yours etc,
Randall Harper

Bearded men wearing funny clothes

An RTE presenter showed his anti-Catholic bias a couple of days ago in a programme about a prayerful witness held by five Franciscans of the Renewal outside a family planning clinic. The Limerick Leader heads its article Monk's protest angers women. The article is generous enough to observe that Mr Duffy (the presenter) was "audibly angry" and reports a couple of the indignant and furious interventions in the radio phone-in.

Five Franciscan Friars stood outside the Limerick Family Planning clinic on Mallow Street and prayed. That's it really, but in modern Ireland this is enough to "arouse ire", "anger women" and so on. One of the main offences seems to be what children in school call "giving me funny looks" when they can't find anything else with which to to accuse their enemies.

One caller got her chance to protest at the "intimidation" of the Friars praying, how insulted she was and how "completely misguided" they were. Fr Charles tried to respond, starting off  "We live in a beautiful society and..." but he was interrupted by "Are you just going to give me your rhetoric and dogma?" which shows perhaps that it didn't really matter much what he actually had to say.

As so often on such set-up programmes, Fr Charles was facing opposition not only from the hectoring angry callers but also by the presenter who said at one point:
Do you think young women in turmoil would turn to five bearded men wearing funny clothes on the side of a street when they have no indication who they are?
That's really amateurish. Over here, anti-Catholic bias is much more polished. You set up the opposition who get a free ride with no difficult questions and then ask all the difficult questions of the priest/pro-lifer/concerned Christian in a concerned and meaningful voice. That way the ordinary viewer or listener thinks that the programme is "balanced."

The Franciscans of the Renewal chose to go and live in one of the more notorious areas of Limerick which had been in the news because of gang feuds and related shootings. Here is a quotation from one report:
The road where the friars live was in the front line of Moyross’ gang violence; a killing occurred within yards of where we talked – there had been no Christmas celebrations in 2006. Last Christmas (2007) 500 people came to celebrate at the live crib. Visitors from outside Moyross – from outside Limerick – came. A busload of handicapped kids came to join in the festivities. Local people put up Christmas lights, brought in provisions and “borrowed” the live animals.
When it comes to poverty, an ascetical life and commitment to prayer, these men "walk the walk."

They are popular among the ordinary people of the Moyross estate but they have offended the guardians of the dogmas of the new Ireland by quietly praying outside a family planning clinic. The venom directed against them speaks volumes.

Monday, 31 January 2011

New study shows that artificial birth control doesn't reduce abortions, pregnancies or infections among minors

David Paton, professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University Business School, has co-authored a new study into the free provision of morning-after pills via pharmacies. Dr Paton told today's Telegraph:
“We find that offering the morning-after pill free of charge didn’t have the intended effect of cutting teenage pregnancies but did have the unfortunate side of effect of increasing sexually transmitted infections. By focusing on sexually transmitted infections, it allows us to test whether there is an impact on sexual risk-taking, and that seems to be the implication.”
And as Dr Paton says in the study itself:
"Empirical studies to date suggest that schemes to increase access to [morning-after pills] have failed to result in observable decreases in unwanted pregnancy or abortion rates ... [O]n average, the presence of a pharmacy [morning-after pill] scheme in a local authority is associated with an increase in the rate of STI diagnoses amongst teenagers of about 5%. The equivalent figure for U16s is even larger at 12%."
Time and again we see how the culture of death does young people a grave disservice, telling them that:
  • losing their virginity before marriage is inevitable
  • sex using artificial birth control is consequence-free; and
  • abortion is always there as a back-up.
As a result the UK has stubbornly highest rates of teenage pregnancy, teenage sexually-transmitted infection and teenage abortion.

Dr Paton has provided a reliable basis upon which David Cameron's government can safely throw the Labour government's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy - which emphasised increased morning-after pills access (personally endorsed by Tony Blair*) - into the dustbin of history marked "Failed".

*foreword, Teenage Pregnancy Report, Social Exclusion Unit, 1999.
Divorced People Top Table in Psychiatric Care
Divorced people had the highest rate of hospitalisation in Irish psychiatric units last year, new figures reveal. A census is carried out in March each year by the Health Research Board of people resident in psychiatric units across the country. It found that 2,812 people were resident on the census night and nearly half of the long-stay group were over the age of 65 years.

Men accounted for 53 per cent of all residents, a percentage which has remained almost unchanged over the last 40 years. One third were aged 65 years or over, 12 per cent were aged 25-34 years and six per cent were under 25. When they calculated the rate of hospitalisation among various groups they found that divorced people topped the table. Divorced people had a hospitalisation rate of 115.9 per 100,000, followed by those widowed at 90.9 per 100,000.

Dublin psychiatrist Dr Siobhan Barry denied the figures showed that being divorced is bad for a person’s mental health. “Some folk may be in hospital because they simply don’t have someone at home to provide them with support. The hospitalisation can be to get them over the roughest part,” she said.

“Often being married or in a relationship is protective because there is also support at home. Whether someone has another person to look after them can influence whether they end up in hospital or not.” Irish Independent. January 11.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Jack Murphy TD and Archbishop McQuaid

Many years ago I was asked to write an article about Jack Murphy, the TD for the Unemployed Protest Committee. Not knowing very much about the man other than that he had been elected to Dail Eireann in 1957, but had resigned a year later taken his family to Canada, I asked around among people who were of the same political family as Mr Murphy (republican socialist), but since they belonged to a later generation and knew as little as I did, I drew a blank.

Until, that is, I spoke to a man named Sean Doyle who had, as it transpired, worked for Jack Murphy during his time in Dail Eireann. Sean Doyle was only a young lad at the time but he recalled Jack Murphy with affection and admiration, and he told me that the man could not leave his house in the morning without some poor woman asking him for the price of a loaf or a bottle of milk. And Jack Murphy never refused.

If memory serves me right the weekly wage of a TD at the time was fifteen pounds (those were the days of noblesse oblige) and that wage would only be pocket money to most TDs. But when you were trying to support a family and a multitude of truly deserving neighbours in Ballyfermot, it didn’t go far.

Years later—by one of those quirks that fate sometimes throws up—I found myself working alongside the man himself. He had returned from Canada and was working as a self-employed carpenter in Cadbury’s, and I can say without any hint of exaggeration that Jack Murphy was one of the most highly principled men it has ever been my good fortune to meet. He was quiet and well-read, an autodidact with more learning, I suspect, than most of the TDs who occupied the Dail during his time there.

He told me that his brother had at that time won a house in a Canadian lottery and had prevailed upon him to take his family there. Being the man he was he never complained about the financial pressure he was being put under by his unfortunate neighbours, and I would never have learned of that had it not been for my conversation with Sean Doyle. He did, however, tell me about his meeting with the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid.

I recalled those conversations when I heard the name of Jack Murphy being mentioned on the Live Line of January 26th. The impression given on that radio programme, it seemed to me, was that John Charles had summoned Jack to Archbishop’s House in Drumcondra to persuade Jack to give up his seat in the Dail. Whether that was mentioned openly or not, that was the impression created in my mind. I can unequivocally say that not even the Pope himself could have expected obedient attendance had he summoned Jack to a meeting in the Vatican. Jack Murphy told me the story of what actually happened.

A meeting had been arranged between a delegation from the Unemployed Protest Committee and the Archbishop (at whose instigation I do not recall), and a delegation had been selected with John Charle. The delegation was to consist of Pronsias MacAonghusa, Seamus Sorohan, a Dublin barrister, and Jack himself. The other two failed to show up and Jack Murphy alone ended up meeting with the Archbishop. He told me that the meeting had been cordial and at no time during the course of it had John Charles attempted to exert pressure on him.

I suspect that, though Jack did not say it, that it was the non-attendance of the other two that may have tipped the balance in favour of his going to Canada.

During the course of the Liveline programme, Anthony Cronin, the writer, phoned in to say that it was his impression that Jack Murphy had been “confused” at the time. The following day a contributor phoned up to give it as his opinion that, having met him in the Dail, he thought that Jack Murphy was “swamped” and “out of his depth”. I can assure Jack’s family that their father would never been either of those things. He was a cool, lucid thinker, modest but certain in his beliefs.

I have long suspected that Joe Duffy has a pronounced animus against the Catholic Church. During the course of the programme he mentioned John Cooney’s biography of the Archbishop. I have read it, and the book is filled with supposition and rumour. I suspected that even now Joe Duffy and John Cooney collaborating on the theory that John Charles McQuaid was responsible for bringing bubonic plague to Ireland.

Peadar Kelly

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Embryo Research Advocate Leads FF Race

 Micheál Martin, the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, is believed to be the front-runner in the race to succeed Taoiseach Brian Cowen as leader of the Fianna Fáil Party. As Minister for Health in 2000 it was Martin who set up the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction. This body was stacked with representatives of the IVF industry and produced a hugely unbalanced report which ignored most of the submissions made to the Commission. In 2006, when he was Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin spoke out in favour of permitting research in Ireland involving the destruction of human embryos. He voted in favour of EU funding for embryonic stem cell research and said that he would support such research in Ireland once the constitutional status of unimplanted human embryos was clarified. The new leader of Fianna Fáil will be elected tomorrow afternoon. While the party is widely expected to fare badly in the upcoming general election, the prospect of a leader with Micheál Martin’s record on life issues will likely raise additional concerns for many supporters which they may wish to raise urgently with their local Fianna Fáil TDs.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

'Abortion is not a treatment...' Prof Dundon - Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics at the Royal College of Surgeons

Abortion Is Not Treatment - Professor

Professor Jim Dundon, Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, has intervened in the ongoing debate on abortion in Ireland to remind people that abortion is not a medical treatment. "In what is termed a 'crisis pregnancy' all of us would feel for the mother to be, but apparently some would go so far as to advise termination of the pregnancy, ie, abortion," he writes.

"Abortion is not a treatment. It kills an innocent defenceless human being. Human life begins at conception and ends at natural death." The professor points out that "Any life-threatening disease or disorder arising during a pregnancy can and should be treated." But "Abortion is not a treatment of any disease or disorder."

Prof Dundon deplores those who, "At a time when such a 'mother to be' needs all the help and support she can be given" would abandon her and offer her "only one option – abortion."

"Apart from the aggressive trauma of abortion, which is considerable," he concludes, "she has to face the rest of her life with the knowledge she has destroyed the life of her own baby. The Irish Times. January 14.