Ireland. No Country For Young Women.

 Posted by on November 16, 2012  Add comments
Nov 162012
 

Who remembers the dismissive words of Robert Kilroy-Silk ten years ago when he described Ireland as a country peopled by peasants, priests and pixies?

I recall it vividly, like a sharp slap in the face.  I thought he was the most despicable individual I had ever come across, and in many ways, I still do, but even a reptile like Kilroy can sometimes hit the mark, as our national behaviour continues to reveal.

As I write, and even while the country is still convulsed by the shock of Savita Halappanavar’s death in a Galway hospital, the heartless stormtroopers of ideology are on the march to shout down our misgivings.  The representatives of far-right Catholic groupings  are given equal air space with elected representatives because, simply, they demand it.

Right now, as I type this, a young woman on the radio describes how a hospital refused to induce delivery even though they knew that her child was anencephalic.  The young mother was instructed that, because there was a foetal heartbeat, they could not and would not deliver the baby, even though it had no hope of life.   It doesn’t matter to our authorities that a baby with such a neural tube defect has virtually no brain, or that the heartbeat is there simply because the mother is acting as a life-support machine.  If you happen to be an expectant mother who receives such tragic news, you will receive no sympathy in an Irish hospital.  You will be told to carry on with the pregnancy for three, four or five months, knowing that at the end you will deliver a dead infant.

You are a machine, not a person.

That’s the Ireland that claims to espouse Christian, loving values.  That’s the behaviour demanded by machines of a different kind — pro-Life hobbyists on behalf of Youth Defence and the sinister Life Institute, both of which are largely the product of one single family of extreme-Right ideologues.

Let’s be afraid of these people.  They represent a very dangerous strain of Irish society.

Thanks to these people who display no human empathy, mothers are forced to carry dead babies to full term.  Mothers are forced to wait three or more days to miscarry and ultimately to die of infection as Savita Halappanavar did.

We need to start asking ourselves why we built a society based on the flawed, enraged, judgemental, dysfunctional attitudes spawned by a religious movement with its roots in a very dark Ireland.  The attitudes that drive Youth Defence and the Life Institute are identical to the unfeeling, callous outlook that consigned so many young girls as slaves in the Magdalene laundries.  These are the very same people who ranted about wife-swapping sodomites when Ireland passed a constitutional amendment permitting divorce.

If we really believe that we have a republic, the first thing we need to do is walk away from these people and what they represent.  There are many who hold sincere and deeply-felt views opposed to abortion, but neither Youth Defence nor the Life Institute are in that category.  These people are about control, not compassion.

Of course, even if we had the maturity to dismiss the lies, the propaganda and the intimidation, we would still be left with the spineless politicians who live in fear of our pernicious electoral system: the multi-seat constituency.  This is a system that encourages clientelism, corruption and cowardice, because it sets party colleagues at each other’s throats.  If your political enemy doesn’t beat you, your ally will knife you in the back.  And that’s why our politicians are so terrified to stand up on their hind legs when it comes to legislating for abortion as they were instructed to do twenty years ago by the Supreme Court.  If the average FG or FF politician sticks his head above the parapet, it will be chopped off by his party colleague, in the interest of political advantage.

That’s why the politicians would rather see a young mother die in agony, or be forced to carry a dead child for months, or else to skulk off to England like a criminal.

It’s better to maintain the delusion that this is somehow an advanced, forward-thinking European democracy, instead of the primitive, tribal, superstitious, third-world prison island it really is.  It’s easier to live in a fantasy than do anything about changing the reality.

This is no country for young women.

For that matter, this is no country for young men, or old men or old women or anyone else with the slightest sense of decency or intelligence.  This country is broken, and we’d be better off leaving it for the lunatics to finish out their miserable existence in solitude.

I’m finished with trying to defend this failed political experiment.

 

________________

Previously

No country for young women

  20 Responses to “Ireland. No Country For Young Women.”

Comments (19) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    Ah Bock, don’t let them grind you down. There will always be lunatics (you forgot to mention Opus Dei as we’re talking monster raving crazy lunatics here). We need to start handing out our own leaflets when we come in contact with these mentalers (sorry made up word). Leaflets that say “Fuck off, no one is interested in your crazy screwed up slant on things, you daft buggers”, or words to that effect. I for one will be on protest march in Dublin tomorrow- just let one of those assholes get in my way. This is war baby.

  2.  

    Ronan Mullen. Can anyone think of a better reason to abolish Seanad Eireann?

  3.  

    I think he’s a reason to reform it.

  4.  

    Kilroy-Silk could have paedophiles,plagiarists,pompous pontificating politicians,
    and purveyors of plamas. I could go on.

  5.  

    What is the difference between carrying out an abortion\terminating a foetus that will not survive and turning off the life support machine of a terminally ill relative in a hospital? If we allow for one surely we should allow for the other.

  6.  

    I can’t stop meddling. I emailed Fine Gael earlier, response below. Start from the bottom.

    ME: “I appreciate the speedy reply. However…I do not recall mentioning contraception in my email.

    And leaving a woman whose cervix was fully dialated untreated would result in a lawsuit here in the States. The staff would face negligent charges. I understand that you have a “danger” clause that allows for an exemption if the mothers life is endangered. Why was this not invoked?

    I think were it up for popular vote…abortion would be safe and legal no matter the circumstance.

    Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

    From: Jim Duffy ;
    To:>;
    Subject: RE: Savita
    Sent: Fri, Nov 16, 2012 4:06:54 PM

    Thank you for your email.

    Your email is incorrect on a number of points.

    1. Ireland liberalised its laws on contraception many years ago. You are seriously outdated in your impression of what Ireland’s contraceptive laws state. Members of the current government were at the forefront of campaigns of campaigns to liberalise Ireland’s contraception laws. Ireland now has the same contraception laws as elsewhere.

    2. The state policy on abortion was decided by Irish people in a series of referendums and by a series of court cases. No government can override the people’s decisions on the issue. The people decided that (i) there would be no automatic right to choose, (ii) information on abortion could be provided, (iii) people may travel to access abortion. A limited right to abortion, based on the people’s vote, was given by the courts in 1992. Irish governments’ hands are tied by the decisions of the people.

    3. The full details concerning Savita are not known publicly which is why an investigation is taking place. In all states there are times were a termination cannot take place when requested if the woman has another medical complication which means she is not in a suitable condition to undergo any surgical procedure because of fears by her doctors that the surgical intervention may put her life in danger. Her doctors argued that in her case they should let the miscarriage which was happening continue rather than carry out a termination. Until the report is published that clarifies precisely what complications there were in Savita’s case and why the doctors made that decision, we will not know why that decision was taken. Many leading liberal campaigners in Ireland have repeatedly pointed out that until the full facts are known conclusions cannot be drawn on what happened.

    JIM DUFFY
    Fine Gael Headquarters cid:image001.gif@01CDAB9A.93734210
    51 Upper Mount St
    Dublin 2

    Email: Jimd@finegael.com
    Web: http://www.finegael.ie

    Supporting The Gathering Ireland 2013.
    Go to http://www.thegatheringireland.com and Be Part of it!

    Regards,

    Vincent Gribbin

    Head of Communications & Media

    Fine Gael Headquarters

    From:
    Sent: 16 November 2012 14:06
    To: finegael@finegael.ie
    Subject: Savita

    You really want an total ban on all abortions in Ireland do you?

    You are all accountable for the death of Savita, and you should be ashamed. I’ve been to your country, met your people and like most southern American am descended from a few. Your politics regarding conception and abortion are neanderthal and anti woman (obviously, a woman cannot make the right decision about her body, her family, or her health only the government is smart/moral enough for that decision).

    You murdered her just as much as the doctors who refused treatment did.

    FOR SHAME

  7.  

    Nice work, Jennifer. You seem to have annoyed that intern. Unfortunately, it shows the standard of people Fine Gael are using.

  8.  

    Brian — There is no difference.

  9.  

    One get’s ones jollies where one can.

    I was just surprised to get a reply.

  10.  

    Bock,

    This case and the ensuing comments from government ministers are more depressing than all the banking and finance stories. Ireland remains in the firm control of fundamentalists.

  11.  

    “Nice work, Jennifer. You seem to have annoyed that intern. Unfortunately, it shows the standard of people Fine Gael are using”
    And unfortunately this forum highlights exactly the standard of people emailing Fine Gael.

  12.  

    Brian said: “What is the difference between carrying out an abortion\terminating a foetus that will not survive and turning off the life support machine of a terminally ill relative in a hospital? If we allow for one surely we should allow for the other.”

    Brian and Bock,
    There is actually a HUGE difference. The “pro-life” crowd are interested only in embryos and foetuses until the moment of birth. After that, they really couldn’t give a fuck what happens to anyone. They are overjoyed if a woman has a baby that is terribly physically and/or mentally handicapped and the family is left with, possibly, decades of horrendously expensive care in a State that does virtually nothing for such victims. And, of course, all the money these “pro-life” individuals have is ploughed into their obscene, misogynistic attack on women’s fundamental human rights with not a cent going towards paying for the pain and suffering that their interference helps to create.

    I rather like Fintan O’Toole’s take on Ireland; it’s time for a new republic. Tomorrow, I shall be marching in Dublin. My placard will have, on one side, “Ratify ALL European & UN Human Rights Legislation And Put It In The Constitution – Above All Else. TELL YOUR TDs –- It’s All About Human Rights, Stupid”, and on the other side, “Implement Articles 2, 3, 6, 7, 17 and 24 Of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. End The Vatican Suppression Of Women’s Basic Rights.”

    Irish people are ignorant of the dreadful human rights abuses that successive governments have inflicted upon us, as, indeed, was I until I took my law degree. The Universal Periodic Review of Ireland by the UN is full of repetitive human rights abuses, They’re well worth a look if only to read the weasel words of our political masters.

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to implore everyone to consider joining Atheist Ireland (www.atheist.ie). It is campaigning for a secular State and for secular education (another human rights abuse reported by the UN, by the way), amongst other things. We must throw off the shackles of Joey Ratzinger and his Vatican mob before we can hope of progressing.

  13.  

    You’ll need to do a little work on the devastating put-downs.

  14.  

    Went to protest rally in Dublin. I have to say my favourite placard was one carried by a young man which simply said, MY MOTHER IS A WOMAN.

  15.  

    Well, Enda Kenny is a Country Member, remember.

  16.  

    Let’s be afraid of these people. They represent a very dangerous strain of Irish society.

    Let me play Devil’s Advocate here. How do we know that these people do not represent the predominant strain of Irish Society?

    On the face of it, Ireland is a pretty brutal and amoral society. As I’ve said elsewhere, it’s a place where you can be left to slowly die in a hospital bed while millionaire consultants refuse to treat you on legal advice from a court system which lets rich sex offenders off with a fine an a suspended sentence. It’s a place where children were and probably still are fair game for abuse and molestation by religious orders. It’s a place where no-one important is ever, ever held accountable for anything but where petty criminals are still expected to defecate into buckets in the nation’s largest prison.

    Unfortunately Ireland is also a democracy. The people have the freedom to choose how their country is run and for 90 years we have chosen to run it like a dystopia.

    It might be easier to believe that it is only a minority of hardcore nutcases and crooks who are behind the calamities of this country, but is that a logically consistent position? How bad and how egregious to these outrages have to get before Irish people need to ask themselves to what extent their own choices and culture have caused such outrages in the first place.

    I expect no resolution of this issue, and another similar case to emerge in 20-30 years time.

  17.  

    Good point OMF, however this bit “The people have the freedom to choose how their country is run and for 90 years we have chosen to run it like a dystopia.” isn’t quite right I feel.
    The people do have freedom to choose, true, but only from a small cadre of gobshites who will then, based on the advice of their “elite” friends, run the country for primarily for their own benefit whilst ignoring the wishes of those that actually elected them. If that’s truly a democracy, if that’s what democarcy was actually supposed to be, then fuck it, I’d rather live in a dictatorship.

  18.  

    They may well represent the majority of irish society and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, considering the damage that has been done to our people over the last century and a half.

  19.  

    There are, unfortunately, idiots in every country. And every victory they have in one country emboldens them in others.

    Running away is not the answer. Fighting back is.

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