THE TEACHERS’ UNION OF IRELAND (TUI) has voted in favour of a motion that instructs its executive committee not to re-enter talks on Croke Park 2 with either government or management and to reject any imposition of proposals on its memebers.
One of the emergency motions voted on today instructs the executive committee to withdraw from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) if attempts are made to impose proposals on members.
In the event that the government or ICTU tries to impose the proposals under the new Croke Park deal on TUI members, the union has voted to ballot for industrial action including strike action.
Over 80 percent of TUI members, made up of post-primary teachers and higher education lecturers, voted to reject the proposals under the new agreement in the union’s first ballot last month.
Today the union proposed that should the government move to impose any change to conditions already rejected by members of TUI in the democratic ballot of members, members will immediately desist from participating in any or all of the following:
Croke Park discussions
School development planning
School self evaluation
Half in/Half out meetings
Any or all teacher-based assessments
Speaking to TheJournal.ie this evening Deputy General Secretary of the TUI Annette Dolan said it was now a matter of waiting for the outcome of other ballots to get an overview of members’ opinions.
Quinn is due to speak at the TUI conference in Galway tomorrow and Dolan said she expects he will be “received courteously” by members. She said the union always “made a point of engaging in a dialogue with the minister”.
Galway S2S and Rossport Solidarity Camp members challenged the head of SEPIL, Michael Crothers, to answer for the crimes Shell has commited.
The Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland, Michael Crothers, came to the NUI Galway Energy Night on the evening of Feb 28th. He was part of a PR delegation that promoted Shell’s progress in attempting to bring the Corrib Gas Project on-stream. A group of local Galway Shelltosea activists and Rossport Solidarity Camp members with ethical objections to the Gas Project staged a peaceful protest to express their concerns. Shell has been allowed to remove 125,000 tonnes of peat bog from an area directly including, and surrounded by, EU Special Areas of Conservation. The Irish government has failed in its legal duty to protect the natural habitats upon which Shell are currently working. In relation to the negative environmental consequences of the CGP, Crother’s response was to praise Shell’s environmental record as “exemplary”.
Protesters raised their banners in solidarity with all of the global communities that have been, and still are, subject to Shell’s immoral and illegal activities, be they environmental, social or economic. Shell and partners have been subjecting the community of Erris, North County Mayo, to the building of an experimental & highly dangerous gas pipeline for the past 13 year experimental.
During a Q&A session, one person asked Crother’s about Shell’s activities in Nigeria. It has been well documented that in the mid 1990’s Shell colluded with the Nigerian Military in the murder of environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists? Crothers was asked to comment on a 2009 court settlement in New York; relating to the murder of the Saro-Wiwa, in which Shell agreed to pay $15.5m in compensation to the relatives of Ken Saro-Wiwa. To many objective observers, this was a clear admission by the Shell corporation that it is guilty of murder and human right violations? Crothers claimed to be unaware of what has happened to Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria and wouldn’t, even though the case made international headlines at the time. The protest was successful because it prevented SEPIL from presenting an inaccurate and in many cases, totally untrue, account of Shell’s activities in Ireland and in other parts of the world.
Here’s a flava:
One could perhaps call the revelations about Savita’s death coincidental, but the resultant media outbursts and overwrought reactions seem too opportunistic for that. From being a weapon to try to force the Government’s hand, I hope that calm will prevail and that this report will be assessed and viewed in an independent light. However, I am anxious that any legislation should not be rushed through in a knee-jerk reaction to the report, the death of Savita and the other matters that are impacting on it.
Having had major reservations about the timing of the news of Savita’s death, the publication of which came as a shock and surprise to her family, the fact that there is now a question mark over some of the reporting of the facts of the case only serves to add credence to the opportunism of the exposure of this tragic death. I am shocked to read that the sequence of events may have been at least muddled but, at worst, distorted. That what was reported or not reported, whatever way one looks at it, prompted a recent independent inquiry into the death of Savita, was inexcusable.
…We have come a long way in this country since the days when a husband would be told in the same breath that his wife had died and that he had a beautiful baby girl or boy. The reality was often indescribably tragic. A family might already consist of six or more children who would be left without a mother and a grieving husband without a wife. Sense has prevailed and directed our actions. I hope that will continue to be the case.
Dail debate: Expert Group (Oireachtas.ie)
Breathtaking. I had to remind myself this isn’t Ireland of the 1950s. He explicitly implies that the exposure of Savita’s death was “opportunistic”. Maybe it’s just the way he was ‘braw hup”. He also expresses his admiration for Hillary Clinton in his 2011 campaign video. Now that’s just a tiny bit ironic.
’6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls’
I assume he was one of the 6 who were neither boys nor girls.
There was a light-hearted exchange between senators in the Seanad (Senate) during a discussion on the new killer ash dieback disease.
Galway Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh suggested as a pre-budget submission that the to balance the competition across the country. Senator Ó Clochartaigh also thanked Kilkenny Senator Pat O’Neill for stopping the rumor going around Galway that Brian Cody and his team had something to do with the spread of the disease in Galway, Tipperary, Meath and Leitrim.
[Source: Kilkenny People]
The husband of the late Savita Halappanavar wants employees of Galway University Hospital removed from the inquiry established by the Health Service Executive into her death.
Praveen Halappanavar said last night he would request through his solicitor that Prof John J Morrison, a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology; Dr Catherine Fleming, consultant in infectious diseases; and Dr Brian Harte, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care at the hospital, be removed from the inquiry.
The HSE announced details of the membership of the inquiry team at a press conference in Dublin yesterday.
Ms Halappanavar died at the Galway hospital on October 28th of septicaemia seven days after she presented with back pain. She had been 17 weeks pregnant and her husband says she asked repeatedly for a termination over a three-day period but was refused as there was a foetal heartbeat present.
Mr Halappanavar arrived back in Ireland from India on Sunday and met his solicitor in Galway yesterday to discuss the draft terms of reference for the independent inquiry.
Asked what he wanted from the inquiry, he said: “The truth to come out. As long as it is a fully independent inquiry so that the truth will come out. It does bother me that there are people from Galway hospital on the inquiry. I would prefer no Galway people on the inquiry. I will basically request that there be no-one from Galway on it.”
The inquiry team has seven members. Its chairman, Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George’s Hospital, University of London, said it was important to have representatives from Galway University Hospital on it to allow the panel to compare the guidelines in use there with the national and international guidelines.
He said the three consultants from Galway on the inquiry team had not been involved in the care of Ms Halappanavar.
“The main reason to have internal people involved is not for them to give specific directions but to find out about their standard practice,” he said.
The HSE said the inquiry would seek to establish the facts surrounding the death of Ms Halappanavar, to identify any contributory factors, draw conclusions and make recommendations. It said Galway University Hospital had committed to co-operating fully.
Mr Halappanavar also said there were five members of medical staff, as well as a family friend, present in the room with him and Savita when they were told on Tuesday, October 23rd that she could not have a termination of the pregnancy she was miscarrying because “this is a Catholic country”.
Mr Halappanavar also said he believed no inquiry would have been established if his wife’s death had not been brought to public attention.
“I was in India for nearly two weeks and I never heard from the hospital . . . So I had to see people became aware . . . I don’t think there would be any inquiry if there was not the public pressure. I think there would have been an inquest and no one would have known this happened. It is a pity because I thought Ireland would care more for someone so young who died. That let me down. I was not happy about that.”
Asked whether Ms Halappanavar’s parents would come to Ireland for the inquiry or inquest, he said if her father was not “convinced with the investigation” he was “very keen to come over”.
“The law has to change. Maybe Savita was born to change the laws here.”
Irish laws and Catholic church and political cowardice kill women in Ireland
The forces in Ireland who have blocked the right to have an abortion in Ireland are now scurrying to try and cover up their responsibility for the death of the young woman in Galway. It is not an attractive sight. Cowardice and hypocrisy are everywhere. What should we think about this?
On this blog we have explained that the Catholic church is the dominant church of capitalism. It was once the church of feudalism but it adjusted when capitalism became dominant. However it kept many of the most backward elements of its old traditions. Amongst these are its male dominated anti women policies. It believes that women are inferior to men. They cannot become popes, cardinals, bishops, priests. Part of this is that this male dominated hierarchy wants to control women and this includes women’s bodies. And this includes telling them what they can do and cannot do about their reproductive rights.
In Ireland the capitalist class were and are weak. They have needed and depended on the Catholic church to support it. In return for this the Catholic church have managed to accrue enormous power in that society, running the schools and hospitals and intimidating the majority of the politicians. So laws remained in place which allowed the health system to continue to be ruled by the all male Catholic anti women hierarchy. This is why this poor women died in Galway.
Every politician that voted to keep these Catholic anti women laws in place which enforce women to do the bidding of the all male Catholic hierarchy is a disgrace. They have blood on their hands. They should be drummed out of office. These laws have to be put off the books and these bishops put in their place.
But what about the membership of the Catholic church. We have said on this blog that we cannot understand how any progressive thinking person could belong to this church. We stand by this. We see the evidence of our position everywhere. The church’s right wing policies on the world economy where it unconditionally supports capitalism, its position on women’s rights, the degeneration of its internal life with its epidemic of sexual abuse, this is a rotten right wing corrupt organization. No progressive person should belong to it.
We understand that people have been in this organization their whole lives and their ancestors before them. We understand that the Catholic church has enormous power with its buildings, its full time apparatus, its art and music, and its insistence that only it can bring the child into the world and send the dying out of the world if they are to have a chance of not “going to hell.” and “burning there forever.” However we stand firm. We do not think that any progressive thinking person should be in this extremely reactionary organization.
For those who cannot bring themselves to leave we have this to say. It is utterly unacceptable to stay in this organization without fighting within it for change. Such changes have to include equality of the sexes, the right to elect the full time apparatus, the right to full discussion and to speak out at all the gatherings of this organization.
Either leave it or change it. If neither of these options are taken then members of this organization are also responsible for the death of this poor woman in Galway and all the women who die in childbirth and due to lack of access to contraception and abortion.
In closing we which to extend our admiration and support to Clare Daly TD and Joan Collins TD for moving their bill in the Dail to legislate on the X case. They have shown leadership on this issue. They are heroines. If the rest of the members of the Dail had acted as they did this woman would be alive today.
Savita Halappanavar- The view from India
BANGALORE/BELGAUM: Praveen Halappanavar has decided not only to fight for justice, but also to lead a campaign to change the abortion laws in Ireland. The issue, which has been pending for years there, gained momentum following the death of his wife Savita.
Praveen said several organizations and Indians working in Ireland, especially doctors, had asked him to lead the campaign. A hospital in Ireland refused to abort his wife Dr Savita’s fetus, though she had miscarried, citing medical council guidelines which ban abortion. “I’ll do my best, for no religion favours death. I know my wife will not return. But the campaign’s objective is to ensure no other woman undergoes the pain, trauma and meets the tragic end like my wife,” Praveen told TOI.
Dr CVR Prasad, orthopaedic surgeon, Galway Clinic, Galway, Ireland, told TOI over the phone: “It’s ironic that people from outside the country are putting pressure to change the laws and by-laws of Ireland. Savita’s case is a focal point for people here. I think she was born to change Irish law. The demand for change in abortion laws has taken a momentum. The laws may not become as liberal as in India but I hope it pushes the law further.”
He added the government has been dithering on this issue for about 20 years.
“India has an Act, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. But, there is no such legislation here. The administrators keep talking about it every few months, but nothing has been done. Religion shouldn’t influence medical practice,” he said.
Prasad said meetings and demonstrations were happening across the country and there was public anger.
MEA EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER DEATH
The outrage over the death of a pregnant Indian woman, Savita Halappanavar, in an Ireland hospital drew India into the controversy with the government stating that it was awaiting the outcome of the enquiries being carried out by Irish authorities.
“We deeply regret the tragic death of Halappanavar; the death of an Indian national in such circumstances is a matter of concern,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
“Our Embassy in Dublin is following the matter closely. Our sympathies have been conveyed to the next of kin who our Embassy has been in touch with. We understand that the Irish authorities have initiated two enquiries. We are awaiting the results of the enquiries,” he added.
MOTHER WANTS CHANGE IN LAWS
Savita Halappanavar had planned to celebrate her baby’s first birthday in Belgaum to coincide with her parents’ wedding anniversary. Savitha shared this dream with her father Andaneppa Yalagi a week before she died. “She had shared with me her wish to celebrate her child’s first birthday and our 40th wedding anniversary in a grand way in Belgaum,” Yalagi said. Though Savita’s condition had deteriorated a week later, she had not to reveal anything to her family. His wife Akkamahadevi said, “She never tolerated injustice and if anybody wants her soul to rest in peace, the injustice that happened with her should not be repeated. Everybody should force Ireland to amend their law.”
The debate in the Western world on abortion is often portrayed as one between the ‘pro-life‘ and ‘pro-choice’ camps. As this case should illustrate to those who view an anti-abortion position as pro-life, that can often be a dangerously misplaced notion. In this specific case, it appears clear that the yet-to-be-born child’s life was doomed whether or not an abortion had taken place. The mother’s life, on the other hand, could have been saved had the abortion been done. The ban on abortion therefore ended up taking a life that need not have been lost. How does that square with viewing the ban as pro-life
The death of Savita Halappanavar must be the subject of an independent public inquiry, according to a Galway-based surgeon who is a close friend of the 31-year-old woman and her husband Praveen.
The Government is not ruling out an independent inquiry into the tragic death of Ms Halappanavar, who presented on October 21st with back pain at Galway University Hospital where she was found to be miscarrying at 17 weeks. She died of septicaemia on October 28th.
Her husband, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, had described how she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated, given that she was in pain and was miscarrying. He said the request was refused by medical staff who said they could not do anything because there was still a foetal heartbeat. He said they were told that this was the law and that “this is a Catholic country”.
He said she spent more than three days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped. The dead foetus was removed, but Ms Halappanavar’s condition deteriorated and she died.
The HSE said last night an independent external expert in obstetrics and gynaecology would be appointed to strengthen the incident management team it has asked to investigate the circumstances of Ms Halappanavar’s death.
Next of kin
The terms of reference for this review and the members of the team were currently being finalised, a spokeswoman said. The team would liaise with Mr Halappanavar as next of kin.
“The process of incident review seeks to ascertain the facts relating to the incident, draw conclusions and make recommendations in relation to any steps that may need to be taken to prevent a similar incident occurring again.” She extended the HSE’s deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ms Halappanavar. Both the hospital and the HSE said they would not be commenting on the circumstances of the case.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny did not rule out an independent inquiry when it was suggested by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. He said it was appropriate for Dr Reilly to first receive the reports of the hospital and the HSE.
The case, which attracted worldwide media attention yesterday, has increased pressure on the Government to legislate for the implications of the X case 20 years ago.
Dr Prasad, who visited Ms Halappanavar in hospital before she died, said: “Any inquiry should be public. That is the way it should be, it should not be conducted by the HSE or the hospital. It should be independent.I hope that might save the life of another women. This should never happen to another woman. Religion and medicine should never mix.”
Mr Halappanavar yesterday repeated his belief that his wife would not have died if she had been given the termination that the couple repeatedly asked for in the hospital. Asked whether he thought things could have turned out differently if a termination had been carried out, he said: “Yes of course.”
Speaking to The Irish Times from Belgaum in southwestern India, his wife’s home region, he said Ireland’s reputation for being a “good place to have a baby” was among the factors in their decision to start a family here. “All our friends had great stories to tell about the babies they had in Ireland. So we decided we’d go there. We had heard Ireland was a good place to have a baby. Most of our friends there had babies there and they’re all fine and so we decided: have a baby in Ireland.”
A postmortem has been carried out on Ms Halappanavar and the coroner has been notified. The couple came to Ireland in 2008. She had a dental post in Westport, Co Mayo.
Several hundred people gathered at Leinster House last night to demonstrate in favour of abortion legislation, while candle-lit vigils were held in Cork, Limerick and London. Further protests are planned in Dublin, Limerick, Belfast and Galway in coming days.
Minister for Health Dr James Reilly said it would be an extremely serious matter if there had been any hesitation in relation to Ms Halappanavar because of moral or religious beliefs. However, he said he had no evidence of the application of a Catholic bias in relation to treatment and he warned against prejudging the circumstances surrounding the death.
Dr Reilly said it was a terrible tragedy for the family involved. For the staff involved, it was an emotionally traumatic time and they were entitled to due process.
Speaking in the Dáil, he said he had asked his officials to consider the report of the expert group on abortion, which had been submitted to his department on Tuesday.
Independent Senator Ronan Mullen described the case as deeply tragic but said it should not be “used as a wedge by abortion campaigners”
He added: “Its regrettable that some people are seeking to use this tragedy as an argument for legislating for the Supreme Court decision in the X case”.
Two years ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ireland had failed to provide for abortion in circumstances where the mother’s life is at risk. The decision means Ireland has to legislate but Dr Reilly is facing resistance from within Fine Gael to any liberalisation of the laws on abortion.
Cash-strapped Galway City Council will reveal a full list of proposed cutbacks to services in the coming weeks – already the local authority has spent most of its funding for 2012.
Interim City Manager Joe O’Neill told councillors this week that he will be presenting them with a list of proposed cuts ahead of their meeting next month.
So far this year, €19.4m of the €51.2m owed to the Council has been collected, leaving a shortfall of €31.8m.
Councillor Padraig Conneely said he was told this week that €16.4m was carried over to 2012 and invoices for rates due, totalling €34.8m, were sent out this year.
“As the City Council is heavily reliant on rates to run services in the city, this is a matter of great concern. “I’m told that in the region of €5m will be written off as ‘uncollectable’ – this arises because of businesses that are in liquidation or receivership.
“The rates are the biggest source of income for the Council and are used for services all around the city. Without the money, the city will suffer,” said Cllr Conneely.
Sligo Borough Council (SBC) elected members are among a group of town and borough councillors that have made an 11th-hour plea to Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan not to abolish their local authority. SBC has been in existance for 400 years since it was granted a Royal Charter by King James I in 1613.
The publication of long-delayed plans for local government reform is expected next week. The Minister is due to address the annual conference of the Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland (AMAI), which represents town, borough and city councils, in Ballinasloe, Co Galway tonight, Friday 14 September.