Saturday, 25 March 2017

Free Thought Prophet and Run4Repeal

Free Thought Prophet and Run4Repeal


I recently recorded a podcast for the Free Thought Prophet where I discussed Atheist Ireland presenting at the Citizens' Assembly and #RepealThe8th in general.





I am also going to take part in the Women's Mini Marathon in Dublin this coming June to raise funds to the Coalition to Repeal the 8th. All money raised will go directly into campaigning to remove the 8th Amendment from the Irish Consitution. If you would like to donate you can do so here.

Note I said 'take part' and not run. This photo pretty much sums up my current training regime:



I will get out training, I promise. And who knows, I might even be able to manage a wobbly run on the day :-)


Sunday, 19 March 2017

How your TD voted on Brid Smith's '€1' Bill

How your TD voted on Brid Smith's '€1' Bill

Last month PBP TD Brid Smith brought a Bill before the Dáil. The Bill sought to amend the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act (2013). Under the Act punishment for "unlawful destruction of human life" from the maximum 14-year prison sentence. Brid's Bill sought to end prison sentances for womeen who have had abortions or for those who assist them. Instead the Bill that maximum punishment would be a fine of €1.

Bird was criticised for the Bill as it continues to criminalise women who have abortions. Brid explains here that she had look into introducing a Bill that would amend the PLDPAct that would remove the criminalising of women who have abortions, but she had been advised that this would be unconstitutional under article 40.3.3 (8th Amendment) of the Constitution. 
  
Leo Varadkar, completely missing the point of the Bill, commented that 'some people think the life of the unborn is worth €1'. The Bill was never about putting any 'value' on the 'life of the unborn' (whatever that means), but about not continuing to punish women who have abortions with the most draconian of measures.

The TDs who voted against this Bill were making a statement. That statement was ‘we think a 14 year prison sentence is an appropriate punishment for women who exercise bodily autonomy in their own country!’.

So how did your TD vote and how does that compare to how they voted on 'Mick's Bill' in 2016?

Bear with me, this is where things get a bit complicated.

The TD's in italics were identified by The Life Institute as being 'pro-life' candidates in the run up to GE16. The TDs in bold signed the National Women's Council's 'Breakthrough Manifesto for Women' where they pledged to support reproductive rights and to repeal the 8th Amendment.

"If elected, I will…support reproductive rights and repeal of the 8th Amendment by delivering a Referendum to remove the 8th Amendment from our Constitution and bring Ireland in line with International Human Rights Standards."


Of the TDs who signed the NWC ‘Manifesto’ inn 2016 the following either abstained, voted against the Bill or were absent from the vote:
Abstained - Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (SF), Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (SF), Pearse Doherty (SF), Denise Mitchell (SF), Mary Lou McDonald (SF), Louise O’Reilly (SF), Eoin Ó'Broin (SF), Dessie Ellis (SF), Sean Crowe (SF), Martin Ferris (SF), Fiona O'Loughlin (FF), Imelda Munster (SF), David Cullinane (SF).

Voted against - Finian McGrath (Ind), Kate O'Connell (FG), Katherine Zappone (Ind), Maria Bailey (FG), John Halligan (Ind).

Absent - Josepha Madigan (FG), Joan Burton (Labour), Gerry Adams (SF), Martin Kenny (SF).

23 out of 23 Sein Fein TDs either abstained from voting or were absent for the vote. Make of that what you will.

It is wholly unacceptable that TDs who have pledged to respect and defend women's reproductive rights would vote against a Bill that sought, given the current limitations placed by the 8th Amendment, to remove some of the hardship, fear and stigma women who have abortions face. Sinn Féin in particular must explain why they felt it was approriate not to support this Bill. 

Name & Party
Mick’s Bill (2016)
Brid’s Bill (2017)
Carlow-Kilkenny


Bobby Aylward (FF)
Against
Against
Patrick Deering (FG)
Against
Against
Kathleen Funchion (SF)
For
Abstained
John McGuinness (FF)
Against
Against
John Paul Phelan (FG)
Against
Absent



Cavan-Monaghan


Heather Humphreys (FG)
Against
Against
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (SF)
For
Abstained
Brendan Smith (FF)
Against
Against
Niamh Smyth (FF)
Against
Absent



Clare


Pat Breen (FG)
Against
Against
Joe Carey (FG)
Against
Against
Timmy Dooley (FF)
For
Absent
Michael Harty (Ind)
Against
Against



Cork East


Pat Buckley (SF)
For
Abstained
Kevin O’Keeffe (FF)
Against
Against
Sean Sherlock (Labour)
Abstained
For
David Stanton (FG)
Against
Against



Cork North-Central


Mick Barry (AAA)
For
For
Billy Kelleher (FF)
Abstained
For
Dara Murphy (FG)
Abstained
Absent
Johnathon O’Brien (SF)
For
Abstained



Cork North-West


Michael Creed (FG)
Against
Against
Michael Moynihan (FF)
Against
Against
Aindrias Moynihan (FF)
Against
Against



Cork South-Central


Simon Coveney (FG)
Against
Absent
Micheál Martin (FF)
Against
Absent
Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (SF)
For
Abstained



Cork South-West


Michael Collins (Ind)
Against
Against
Jim Daly (FG)
Against
Against
Margaret Murphy O'Mahony (FF)
Against
Against



Donegal


Pearse Doherty (SF) 
For
Abstained
Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher (FF)
Against
Absent
Charlie McConalogue (FF)
Against
Against
Joe McHugh (FG)  
Against
Against
Thomas Pringle (Ind)
For
For



Dublin Bay North


Tommy Broughan (Ind for Change)
For
For
Richard Bruton (FG)
Against
Against
Sean Haughey (FF)
Against
Against
Finian McGrath (IND)
For
Against
Denise Mitchell (SF)
For
Abstained



Dublin Bay South


Eoghan Murphy (FG)
Against
Against
Jim O'Callaghan (FF)
Against
Against
Kate O'Connell (FG) 
Against
Against
Eamon Ryan (Green)
Abstained
For



Dublin Central


Paschal Donohoe (FG)
Against
Against
Mary Lou McDonald (SF) 
For
Abstained
Maureen O'Sullivan (Ind)
For
Abstained



Dublin Fingal


Clare Daly (Ind)
For
For
Alan Farrell (FG)
Against
Against
Darragh O’Brien (FF)
Against
Absent
Louise O’Reilly (SF)
For
Abstained
Brendan Ryan (Lab)
Abstained
For



Dublin Mid-West


John Curran (FF) 
Against
Against
Frances Fitzgerald (FG)
Abstained
Against
Gino Kenny (AAA/PBP)
Absent
For
Eoin Ó' Broin (SF) 
For
Abstained



Dublin North West


Dessie Ellis (SF)
For
Abstained
Noel Rock (FG)
Against
Against
Róisín Shortall (SD)
For
For



Dublin Rathdown


Josepha Madigan (FG) 
Against
Absent
Catherine Martin (Green) 
For
For
Shane Ross (Ind)
For
Against



Dublin South-Central


Catherine Byrne (FG)
Against
Against
Joan Collins (Independents for Change)
For
For
Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF)
For
Abstained
Bríd Smith (AAA/PBP) 
For
For



Dublin South-West


Colm Brophy (FG)
Against
Against
Sean Crowe (SF) 
Abstained
Abstained
John Lahart (FF) 
Against
Against
Paul Murphy (AAA/PBP)  
For
For
Katherine Zappone (Ind) 
Against
Against



Dublin West


Joan Burton (Labour) 
Abstained
Absent
Jack Chambers (FF) 
Against
Against
Ruth Coppinger (AAA/PBP) 
For
For
Leo Varadkar (FG
Against
Against



Dun Laoghaire


Maria Bailey (FG) 
Against
Against
Sean Barrett (FG)  
Against
Absent
Richard Boyd Barrett (AAA/PBP)
For
For
Mary Mitchell O'Connor (FG)
Against
Absent



Galway East


Seán Canney (Ind) 
Against
Absent
Ciaran Cannon (FG)
Abstained
Against
Anne Rabbitte (FG)
Against
Against



Galway West


Catherine Connolly (Ind) 
For
For
Noel Grealish (Ind)
Against
Absent
Seán Kyne (FG)
Against
Against
Hildegarde Naughton (FG)
Against
Against
Éamon Ó Cuív (FF)
Against
Against



Kerry


John Brassil (FF)
Against
Against
Martin Ferris (SF) - Yes
For
Absent
Brendan Griffin (FG) - No
Against
Against
Danny Healy Rae (Ind)
Against
Against
Michael Healy Rae (Ind)
Against
Against



Kildare North


Bernard Durkin (FG)
Against
Against
James Lawless (FF) 
Against
Against
Catherine Murphy (SD) 
For
For
Frank O'Rourke (FF) 
Against
Against



Kildare South


Martin Heydon (FG)
Against
Against
Fiona O'Loughlin (FF) 
For
Abstained

Laois


Charles Flanagan (FG)
Against
Abstained
Sean Fleming (FF) 
Against
Against
Brian Stanley (SF)
For
Abstained



Limerick City


Michael Noonan (FG)
Against
Against
Willie O'Dea (FF)
Against
Absent
Jan O'Sullivan (Labour) 
Abstained
For
Maurice Quinlivan (SF)
For
Abstained



Limerick County


Niall Collins (FF)
For
Absent
Tom Neville (FG)
Against
Against
Patrick O'Donovan (FG)
Against
Absent



Longford-Westmeath


Peter Burke (FG)
Against
Against
Kevin Boxer Moran (Ind)
Against
Absent
Willie Penrose (Labour)
Abstained
For
Robert Troy (FF)
For
Against



Louth


Gerry Adams (SF) 
For
Absent
Declan Breathnach (FF) 
Against
Against
Peter Fitzpatrick (FF)
Against
Against
Imelda Munster (SF) 
For
Abstained
Fergus O'Dowd (FG)
Against
Against



Mayo


Dara Calleary (FF)
Against
Against
Lisa Chambers (FF) 
For
For
Enda Kenny (FG)
Against
Absent
Michael Ring (FG)
Against
Against



Meath East


Thomas Byrne (FF)
Against
Against
Regina Doherty (FG)
Against
Against
Helen McEntee (FG)
Against
Against



Meath West


Shane Cassells (FF)
Against
Against
Damien English (FG)
Against
Absent
Peadar Tóibín (SF)
Abstained
Abstained



Offaly


Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (FG)
Against
Against
Barry Cowen (FF)
Against
Absent
Carol Nolan (SF)
Abstained
Abstained



Roscommon-Galway


Michael Fitzmaurice (Ind)
Against
Against
Eugene Murphy (FF) 
Against
Against
Denis Naughten (Ind) 
Against
Against



Sligo-Leitrim


Martin Kenny (SF) 
For
Absent
Marc MacSharry (FF)
Abstained
Against
Tony McLoughlin (FG)
Against
Absent
Eamon Scanlon (FF)
Against
Absent



Tipperary


Jackie Cahill (FF)
Against
Against
Seamus Healy (Workers & Unemployed Action Group)
For
For
Alan Kelly (Labour)
Abstained
For
Michael Lowery (Ind) 
Against
Absent
Mattie McGrath (Ind)
Against
Against



Waterford


Mary Butler (FF)
Against
Against
David Cullinane (SF) 
For
Abstained
John Deasy (FG)
Against
Against
John Halligan (Ind) 
For
Against



Wexford


James Browne (FF)
Against
Against
Michael D'Arcy (FG)
Against
Against
Brendan Howlin (Labour)
Abstained
For
Paul Kehoe (FG)
Against
Against
Mick Wallace (Independents for Change
For
For



Wicklow


John Brady (SF)
For
Abstained
Pat Casey (FF) 
No
Against
Stephen Donnelly (FF) 
For
For
Andrew Doyle (FG)
Against
Against
Simon Harris (FG)
Against
Against