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Unexpected Galway anti-abortion protest chills government

Harris under pressure to introduce emergency exclusion zones to block future public protests around abortion clinics and hospitals.

New abortion law “must be resisted” by Catholics, says Primate of All Ireland.

Bishop of Elphin says Catholic politicians who had advocated for abortion had “chosen a position which is clearly out of communion with the Church”.

Warning protests against the killing of preborn infants will intensify.

Sligo News File

An anti-abortion protest at a medical centre in Galway has been criticised by pro-choice campaigners.

 

Now,  Harris, the Health Minister, is being urged to rush in measures to prevent future public protests at abortion sites.

Although he has already said he will come up with legislation to outlaw protests in the vicinity of abortion clinics, there is, however, every likelihood such a restriction will harden public opposition to the horrendous programme and possibly will also be fought out as unconstitutional in the courts.

Commenting on the recent, very early anti-abortion protest in Galway where a group held up signs reading ‘real doctors don’t terminate their patients’ and ‘say no to abortion’, Varadkar, the Taoiseach, a doctor, reportedly said abortion was a very private, very personal thing, and those trying to access a medical service
should not be impeded.

Varadkar, the Taoiseach

He observed on work done by Harris regarding exclusion zones.

However,  throwing cordons around abortion providers or aiders could result in regular medical service patients transferring away from a GP clinic involved in the abortion programme. It’s believed this is one of the reasons names of abortion facilitators is being kept secret.

Businessman and founder of the Irish Libertas party Declan Ganley tweeted that “abortion providers are going to be protested &

Declan Ganley

picketed in Ireland, it happens in other democracies it will happen here & it will intensify. It is a democratic right to protest, picket & strike. All of these things will happen. If you want to ban it, you’re no democrat.”

 

If reports are correct, some 20 women were seeking assistance on the first working day abortion services legalised by the Dail and Senate became available.

To date, however, less than 200, around 5% of Ireland’s approximately 3,500 GPs have signed up to provide abortion services. As far as is known, no GP in counties Sligo, Leitrim, Carlow
and Offaly is on the list.

The Catholic Herald meanwhile reports that the Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin has insisted the new abortion law has “no moral force” and it “must be resisted” by Catholics.

Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin

The paper also reports that in a New Year message Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin told Massgoers that Catholic politicians who had advocated for abortion had “chosen a position which is clearly out of communion with the Church”, and there was “no point in pretending otherwise”.

Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick it said has criticised the limited right to conscientious objection in the new legislation. It quotes him as saying that forcing doctors not to choose life “would be a most inglorious watermark for this country“.

“It goes against the deeper demands of our common humanity to force anyone to do so.”

Doctors are offered fees of upwards of €450 per patient to facilitate abortion procedures. At the same time, the government is providing abortion services to the public free of charge, meaning taxpayers are footing the bill for the entire controversial programme.

Office of Sligo Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin where walls were daubed with anti-abortion slogans

Gardai are said to be still investigating an incident where slogans including ‘Fine Gael baby killers’ ‘Herods Killers’ and ‘Scum Bags’ were daubed on the constituency offices of Sligo Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin soon after the abortion Bill finished its final stage in the Senate.

 

 

Proposed carbon tax increase on households could rocket to €1,500 per person

Huge impact on income of rural dwellers.

Sligo News File

The Government is proposing to jack up taxes to punish users of household fuels.

Int. tax

Carbon levies are to be also imposed on a slew of other lines, including petrol and diesel, costs which will have a significant impact on incomes of rural dwellers in particular.

The purpose of the levies is to force people to stop using regular carbon-rich fuels because scientists claim the fuels produce greenhouse gases that are threatening the future of the planet. Many eminent experts disagree with the measure.

In many places, the levies are viewed as a scam. They do nothing for climate change – millions of euros annually taken from the pockets of the people end up as part of government finances. That’s it.

Premier of Ontario Doug Forde – banished carbon levies

A few months ago, Ontario’s rightwing government halted a carbon pricing policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Premier, Doug Ford branded carbon tax schemes as “no more than government cash grabs that do nothing for the environment, while hitting people in the wallet…”

Cancelling the tax “will result in lower prices at the gas pump, on your home heating bills and on virtually every other product that you buy,” he told residents of the region.

Just last month, people of France took to the streets in their thousands to face down a government hell-bent on driving up carbon levies. They succeeded; Macron, the president, dropped the plan like a hot potato.

In Ireland, the call is for taxes to be hiked to a new record level. The ERSI has projected that to meet legally-binding targets rates will have to increase from €100 per person a year to €1,500 a year.

While all of this is happening, Fianna Fail is moving a Dail Bill to make it a criminal offence for a householder or other person to be in possession of solid fuel, including turf, they haven’t purchased from a registered supplier.

An authorised official will be empowered to arrest and detain the householder or any person unable to account for goods, alcohol or tobacco product in their possession or control. The authorised person will also be empowered to seize other goods. A person alleged to be in breach of the regulations may be taken by the investigating official to a garda station.

Those allegedly guilty of an offence will be liable to on-the-spot fines or fines or imprisonment on where convicted by a court.

Michael Healy-Rea, TD…for God’s sake government cannot go after man or woman selling turf or timber to supplement income a little.

Michael Healy-Rea wasn’t happy. For God’s sake, he said “the Government cannot go after the man or woman who might be supplementing his or her income a little by selling timber or turf. We cannot throw common sense out the window.”

Deputy Mick Barry and Deputy Paul Murphy voted against the second reading. They had concerns about the emphasis of the Bill on criminalising buyers of goods rather than those making profits from goods. The two were also concerned about the increased power of arrest and search without warrant contained in the Bill which has the potential to be misused.

The Bill is sponsored by TD’s Declan Breathnach, Robert Troy and John Lahart. It has been voted for by among others Marc MacSharry, Eamon Scanlon, Dara Calleary and Michael Fitzmaurice.

Breathnach said he was delighted the bill had passed the second stage “despite government opposition.”

Have Irish border controls been sacrificed in bank and global corporations-backed UN immigration pact?

Fears that agreement destined to open Ireland to mass of foreign economic migrants.

TD says public representatives being “inundated with emails and phone calls” from people concerned about the immigration pact signed by Justice Minister Flanagan in Morocco.

Sligo News File.

A United Nations agreement on immigration signed by Ireland could lead to Irish border controls on immigration being switched to UN bureaucrats resulting in countless thousands of foreign economic migrants flooding into the country.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan

Although claimed to be non-binding, several EU and other states have refused to endorse the pact which two weeks ago Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan went ahead and signed on behalf of the people of Ireland in Marrakech.

The UN pact, known as the Global Compact on Immigration, has already led to violent street demonstrations in Brussels where last weekend thousands marched against the controversial accord set among other things to make even criticising migration a criminal offence.

Concern

Commenting in the Dail last week Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice said public representatives across the country are being “inundated with emails and phone calls” from people concerned about the agreement.

He referenced “a ferocious debate” on the Compact that had occurred between two candidates for the leadership of Angela Merkel’s party in Germany.

Michael Fitzmaurice TD

“I would have thought,” he said, “that there would have been statements or a debate in the Dáil on such an issue before the Government would sign this compact with other countries.”

Responding on behalf of Justice Minister Flanagan Minister of State David Stanton said he was happy to provide some background and context to the pact on “safe, orderly and regular migration.”

Ireland, he revealed, has been closely involved in the development of the global compact on migration “and, alongside Jordan,” “co-facilitated the 2016 New York declaration on refugees and migrants, a direct precursor to the compact.”

He said it was clear that “mass migration across the world cannot be managed by one country alone.

“Migration is a global issue, which requires global co-operation.”

He said the global compact, “is a legally non- binding document” that looked at migration from a global perspective.”

However, he failed to explain why the government had locked the people of Ireland into such a highly controversial agreement with implications for border controls without, it seems the knowledge or approval of the Dail.

‘I want answers’

Deputy Mattie McGrath said the governments of “United States, Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia have all pulled out of the UN migration pact process.

 

Mattie McGrath TD

“While I have listened to the Minister of State’s reassurances, I must ask why those countries have pulled out.

“I want answers.

“What do those states see or know that we do not see or know?

“The most important issue, however, is the total lack of engagement with the people or with this House. Surely such a decision should be debated here.”

The migration agreement is heavily backed by banking and international business corporations. Ireland’s apparent unconditional support for the pact is understood to be
driven by a government plan designed to ensure a ready-made manpower resource is available to global corporations setting up base in the country.

The UN economic migration agreement is separate from the refugee programme under which Ireland has already become a haven for thousands of people from countries across the world.

Refugees arriving in Ireland have a right to access health and education facilities; they can work, set up business, must be provided with a house and can have their wives, children and relatives travel to live with them in Ireland.

Economic migrants

Economic migrants, on the other hand, are people who travel from one country to another in search of improved employment and to better their standard of living. The agreement signed by Flanagan provides that they should be entitled to take their wives and family with them, that they should not be discriminated or spoken against, and that it should be a criminal offence to criticise a government’s policy on immigration.

Belgium protests against UN migration pact

According to the 2016 Census, there were 535,475 non-Irish nationals from 200 countries living in the State in 2015. More than 121,000 foreign nationals were granted citizenship between 2005 and 2015. It is not known how many undocumented or illegal immigrants are currently in the country; it is thought the figure could be in the several thousands.

Countries that have refused to sign the UN Compact or agreement on immigration include Austria, Australia, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United States.

The Belgium government has been left fighting for its survival after the largest of its partners broke away from the Coalition in a row where it declared it would not back a global U.N.-backed migration pact.

The pact lays down 23 objectives to open up legal migration and better manage a global flow of 250 million people.

Violent clashes

There were violent clashes during a mass protest in which an estimated 8,000 marched against the UN pact in Brussels on Sunday.

Australia, the first country to reject the pact said it was not in its national interest to sign their border protection over to the United Nations.

Austria said it feared the pact would lead to a human right to migration. Its decision to join Hungary in not signing the pact has been strongly criticised by Brussels.

Chile has refused to sign, stating that migration was not a human right and that countries had a right to determine the entry requirements for foreign citizens.

A spokesman for the government of the Dominican Republic said that although the pact was not binding, “its adoption would engender commitments vis-à-vis the Dominican State likely to compromise its ability to apply its rules in matters of migration and to effectively implement its migration policies.”

The pact would also “create international commitments that would prevent, or severely limit, the Dominican State from dealing with situations that may occur at our land border due to structural conditions and processes,” he said.

Latvia voted against the pact saying it might in time be recognised as a source of international law and restrict Latvia’s rights to decide on its own migration policy.

Identity

The pact was also rejected by Italy where a parliament member and former Minister said: “it is exactly what is needed by those who have used illegal immigration in recent decades to complete the grand plan of financial speculation to deprive nations and people of their identity.”

A press release issued by the Polish government said the pact failed to meet its demands “regarding the confirmation of adequately strong guarantees of the sovereign right to decide who the countries accept in their territory and the distinction between legal and illegal migration.”

Conference to adopt migration pact in Morocco

At the close of the Conference in Marrakech, at least 29 countries had not signed the pact.

U.N. Special Representative for International Migration Louise Arbour called moves to shun the pact “regrettable and mistaken.” The compact simply aimed to improve the management of cross-border movements of people, she said.

Already, however, there is growing uneasiness that the pact will be used to block deportations from Europe and Ireland.

Dail consultation

The decision of the Irish government to sign the agreement without consultation with the Dail, an agreement which many countries have said amounts to giving the UN control of national borders regarding the movement of economic migrants from Africa and other economically impoverished parts of the world is being viewed with alarm.

Even at this point, it is not sure the issue will be tabled for debate by the Oireachtas.

Public protest in Castlerea following incident in which local men were allegedly assaulted by a Garda

Upwards of 700 took part in the event.

Sligo News File.

Hundreds of people took part in a protest in Castlerea in support of local men whom it’s alleged were assaulted by a garda.

The Garda Press Office released a press statement on Thursday saying gardai were investigating a “public order incident” in the Rose Lawn area of the town on December 9th.

It’s understood that during the incident, which is said to have occurred at about 1 am, a garda and two men suffered injuries which needed hospital treatment.

Gardai were reportedly investigating a burglary and a break-in at the time.

Upwards of 800 marched in the protest organised by a local man who said those participating wanted to show their support for the two men and their families.

In keeping with procedure, garda management has referred the matter to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

Property repossessions are a daily occurrence in the North West, says a spokesman for Land League

Practice condemned by the ICSA.

Sligo News File.

Property repossessions are happening on a daily basis in the North West, according to a spokesman for the Land League Gerry O’Boyle.

His comments follow an incident where eight security workers were allegedly injured during the repossession of property in Strokestown last week.

O’Boyle said the eviction was not an isolated incident and is occurring across Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has called on financial institutions and vulture funds to cease what he called “the draconian act of forced eviction.

He said: “The unfortunate scenes at a Roscommon farmyard over recent days were reminiscent of something from the turn of the century. Nobody wants to see families being dragged and beaten out of their homes by security personnel.”

The ICSA, he added, is at the forefront of dealing with people in debt and has seen a sharp rise in the number of people seeking help with their efforts to restructure their debt issues with their lenders.

“Violence at farm gates is not the answer; meditation is the only show in town and ICSA are here to assist farm families who are making a genuine effort to honour their commitments, he said.

Abortion service to be imposed on overcrowded hospitals

Many doctors and nurses say they will not participate in killing infants in the womb.

Sligo News File.

The waiting list for hospital beds is growing ever longer, indeed so bad is it that last Wednesday for example 38 patients had to be left on trollies in Sligo.

Harris the health minister

However, things look set to become more demanding as Harris, the Health Minister bids to include abortions among the services at the country’s already crammed hospitals.

Infant killing facilities are being rolled out from January despite warnings that more time is needed to get the gruesome programme in place.

Some GP’s and nursing staff have already signalled their outright opposition to the killing of infants in the womb, vowing not to have anything to do with it. But there appears to be little respect for the genuinely held conscientious objection of doctors with warnings from Harris that where unwilling to participate they must refer a pregnant woman seeking to abort her baby to a medic willing to do the job.

Harris has announced that he is planning to introduce exclusion zones to stop protests outside abortion centres.

TD hits out over ‘Fine Gael baby killers’ graffiti on wall of Sligo constituency office

Incident discovered after the passage of government’s abortion legislation.

Sligo News File.

Who daubed anti-abortion graffiti on the constituency office of a Sligo Fine Gael TD?

Tony McLoughlin says the “…behaviour can never be condoned.”

Gardai are investigating.

The incident is understood to have occurred after the Oireachtas passed the controversial abortion legislation.

A front wall of the office on Sligo’s John Street was defaced with words including Fine Gael baby killers, Herod killers, scum bags.

Sligo mental health unit on schedule for completion next year

Structure to include single en-suite bedrooms.

Sligo News File

A new Sligo mental health unit at University Hospital is expected to be in operation by early 2020.

Current work on the inpatient facility, which commenced in mid -November is due for completion at the end of next year.

Local Fianna Fail TD Eamon Scanlon has said the unit will be a modern structure with single en-suite bedrooms.

It was important that the timeline for the development wasn’t “allowed to slip,” he said