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Transgender woman to sue over birth certificate delay


Dr Lydia Foy, the transgender woman who won a landmark High Court case for gender recognition in 2007, has issued new proceedings against the State as she remains unable to get a birth certificate indicating she is a woman.

Dr Foy, supported by the Free Legal Advice Centres, served the plenary summons against the Minister for Social Protection, Ireland and the Attorney General on the Chief State Solicitor on Monday

“I think it’s beyond belief that the State still hasn’t changed the law,” said Dr Foy at her home in Athy, Co Kildare, yesterday.

“You’d imagine they’d have dived in to fix this up. Not a huge number of people would be affected and it’s a matter of human rights.”

The High Court ruled in October 2007 that Irish law was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights for refusing to recognise the acquired gender of transgender people.

The State moved to appeal to the Supreme Court but withdrew this in June 2010.

Since then successive Governments have promised to introduce legislation to allow transgender people to get new birth certificates.

Gender identity

Dr Foy was registered as Donal Mark Foy at birth. She married and had two daughters, but struggled with her gender, attempting suicide and spending time in psychiatric care.

She was diagnosed with gender identity disorder by doctors in Britain.

She and her then wife separated in 1991 and she underwent gender realignment surgery in Britain in 1992. She was to lose her job as a dentist as well as access to her daughters following the surgery.

In March 1993 she applied for a new birth certificate reflecting her female identity, was refused and began legal proceedings in 1997.

Though the High Court initially ruled against her in 2002 it made its groundbreaking ruling in her favour five years later.

Ireland is now the only state in Europe still in breach of the Convention on Human Rights on the issue.

Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, said on a number of occasions legislation was a “priority”. Last September she promised its publication “within weeks”.

A spokeswoman for the department said the “formal opinion of the Attorney General was received . . . in December 2012 and is currently under consideration”.

The continued refusal by the State to recognise who she is is “very much a source of distress,” says Dr Foy. “It’s a constant insult. I’ve been very alone, very badly treated along the way.”

Recognition

Winning the recognition that can only come with a birth certificate that accurately reflects who she is has only become more important.

“Losing my family and my job seemed the worst, most important issues in the past. But I see everything flows from your identity. Being accepted for who I am is the most important thing. I would like to see this wrong put right as quickly and with as much dignity as possible.”

via Clerical Whispers.

via Clerical Whispers.

Local Health News


CORK

A Cork woman who suffered the tragic loss of her two young daughters after her husband took his own life and theirs revealed last Wednesday that the H.S.E. conducted an inquiry without telling her.

Almost two years ago in November 2010, John Butler killed Zoe (6) and Ella (2) and then himself in Ballycotton. Mr. Butler had been suffering from depression and had been receiving medical attention, until three months before his death.

In a statement released by a solicitor acting for Una Butler, it was revealed that she first became aware of the investigation only after meeting Minister of State with responsibility for mental health Kathleen Lynch in May.
[Source: Cork Independent

 
KILDARE

Fears that the people of Athy and south Kildare will have to wait longer for an ambulance in an emergency due to changes at the local ambulance base were expressed last week.
However the H.S.E. has moved to allay the fears and say the cost saving changes will not impact on front-line services.
Speaking at the recent meeting of Athy Town Council, Clr. Mary O’Sullivan called on the H.S.E. to provide reassurance that the present ambulance service in Athy would not be curtailed or withdrawn.
[Source: Kildare Nationalist]
LIMERICK

A Polish woman who is dying from leukaemia received her final wish last week, after donations from the public allowed her to fly home to Poland.

Marta Salacka (27), a mother of a four year-old son, needed $26,000 to fly home to Poland on an air ambulance, as she was not permitted to travel on routine flights because of her condition.

The young woman, who hails from Gorzow Wielkopolski, near the German border, wanted to be at home with all her family in her final days.

There were emotional scenes in Limerick as she and her family bid farewell to their close friends, whom they have known for the past seven years.
[Source: Limerick Leader]

 
TIPPERARY

Patients and medical staff in Cashel are “gravely disturbed” that an x-ray machine in Our Lady’s Hospital is out of action due to a mechanical defect, according to a local medical doctor and county councilor.

Mayor of Cashel Dr. Séan McCarthy also said passengers travelling through Thurles Railway Station could not use the car park without fear of being fined, or having their cars clamped, as the ticket vending machines are out of order.

 

Dr. McCarthy told the Tipperary Star the x-ray machine on the grounds of Our Lady’s has been out of order for the week or so, and there is mounting concern.
[Source: Tipperary Star]
WATERFORD

A meeting took place last Thursday evening between the Master of the City and County Infirmary Trust, Mr. Gordon Watson, and elected representatives from the city and county to discuss growing gears that hospital services in Waterford and the region could be seriously eroded.

The meeting at Waterford Institute of Technology had been called amid fears that approval is to be given for a recommendation for the complete break-up of the regional hospital network.

That would mean a downgrade of W.R.H. and Waterford networking with Cork and Clonmel while people from Wexford and Kilkenny requiring hospital care would have to travel to Dublin.
[Source: Waterford News & Star]

 

Athy councillor is called on to resign from school board


ATHY town councillor Aoife Breslin has been called on to resign her position on the board of management of a local school by an Athy resident who represents a right wing Catholic group called Catholics United for the Faith.

Mr Anthony Murphy, who along with this wife Kim, publish The Catholic Voicenewspaper, said Cllr Breslin, who is a member of the Board of Management at Scoil Phadraig Naofa, should “consider her position and conclude that the only honourable thing to do is to step down from her position”.

He claimed her expressed views that gay people should be allowed to marry were “in conflict with the ethos of the school”.

The issue was raised by Mr Murphy in the wake of the meeting of Athy Town Council last Wednesday night when a motion calling for the council to support marriage equality was on the agenda. The motion was not actually discussed at the meeting as the council opted instead to pass a motion in support of the consitutional review. In fact it was Cllr Breslin’s abstaining on a vote that resulted in the original motion not being discussed.

via Athy councillor is called on to resign from school board » Kildare Nationalist.

via Athy councillor is called on to resign from school board » Kildare Nationalist.

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