Archive for the ‘Features’ Category
Press Release from the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors
The Survivor Community is not shocked by the latest news that hundreds of bodies of babies and children have been “discovered” at the site of the former Mother and Baby home at Tuam. This is something we have known for many years. What is shocking is that once again we have to learn of this news via the media. The communications skills of the Minister and the Commission of Inquiry leave a lot to be desired when it comes to informing the Survivor Community of developments.
Tuam must not be seen in isolation. It was the fifth biggest of the 9 so called “Mother and Baby Homes” and it is the tip of the iceberg for deaths which amount to at least 6,000 babies and children across the 9 homes”. There are over 227 confirmed deaths in the notorious Bethany Home in Dublin and recent research has revealed the names of over 200 babies and children buried in the Angel’s Plot at Castlepollard Mother and Baby home ranging from a few hours old to over 2 years. There were also at least 77 confirmed Stillbirths in Castlepollard above and beyond the 200 registered deaths. There will be hundreds of unregistered Stillbirths discovered in Tuam too above and beyond the 800 registered deaths. The worst is yet to come as details of the huge behemoths of Saint Patrick’s, Bessboro and Sean Ross Abbey have yet to be revealed but it is likely that the total for these three “homes” alone will be well over 4,000 babies and children buried in shoeboxes and rags.
Our Community is divided about the issue of excavations and exhumations. Many are adamant that all the babies must be exhumed, identified and given proper burials. Others feel strongly that our former crib mates should be allowed to Rest In Peace. There are no easy answers and some survivors will be horrified no matter what happens. Mutual respect and understanding must guide our community.
The Government, Minister Zappone and the Inquiry must consider living survivors and their needs before any further excavations are pursued behind our backs. Our community is ageing and has been viciously cut in two by the current official policy of excluding many survivors from the Inquiry. Survivors need to be heard instead of ignored; consulted instead of insulted; treated with respect instead of learning the latest developments via the media.
May our crib mates in all the Mother and Baby homes and Holding Centers, Rest In Peace.
Chairperson: Coalition of Mother and Baby home Survivors (CMABS)
By Jamison Maeda
Sunday 19 Feb marked 75 years since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed an executive order forcibly removing over 120,000 Japanese-Americans from their homes, and sending them to concentration camps. They were sent to the camps, not because they had committed a crime, but because of their Japanese ancestry.
With one week’s notice, American citizens of Japanese decent, allowed to take only what they could carry, were loaded onto trains and buses by soldiers armed with bayonets, and sent to live in the camps for more than three years. These American citizens lost their homes, their possessions, and their livelihoods.
One of the most well-known of these Japanese-Americans is actor/activist George Takei. His grandparents were Japanese immigrants and though he and his parents were American, they were “rounded up” as Takei described it, when he was five years old and loaded onto a train car. After four days they arrived at a concentration camp in Arkansas, far from the California coast where Mr Takei was born.
The day you slithered from the womb
the Doctor held you aloft, confirmed what we’d feared:
“Madam, it’s a potential Minister for Health.” And newborn you
screamed what we later understood to mean:
“bring me your perforated eardrums, your infected
urinary tracts, and I will set up a committee to look in them.”
But this most recent birth wasn’t the beginning.
Since shortly before time officially began,
you’ve dragged yourself across the top soil.
You were present and correct to brush the dandruff
off the Lord Mayor’s hat each time he visited
the municipal Home for Unfortunate Women
whose babies had to be flogged
to couples named Barbara and Algernon,
so as to be prudent with the Parish’s pennies.
You were on hand to personally present
the late archbishop with his fifth chocolate biscuit,
last time he visited the much maligned
School for The Blind, which used to be
where the town abattoir now stands.
And it was written
in lines later deleted from the Book of Judges
that it would be you who’d flood
our hospitals with avant-garde urologists
who instead of the traditional
(and far more costly) balloon catheter,
and ultrasonic stone disintegration apparatus,
prefer more radical treatments involving
a fishing rod
and an electric hair straightener.
Your upcoming marriage the usual
confidence and supply arrangement
you’ve had every other century.
Your fingers are starving worms
patiently awaiting their moment.
On Monday the 6th of February, RTE’s Claire Byrne Live discussed the topic of the hare coursing ban.
The vet working for Irish Coursing Club is very much biased and un-reliable as her salary comes from said company. Organised outside vetting should be the answer.
Mental trauma and state of mind of the animal should be taken into consideration of animal abuse. In the cases where the hare is not physically injured, they can be emotionally traumatised.
What’s the reason for using a living hare? Other sports, including greyhound racing, use a mechanical lure that travels round the outside of the track on a ground rail. The lure is normally either a stuffed toy or a small plastic windsock in a variety of colours. Greyhounds chase by sight and sound, not scent. If live hare was not used but a fake substitute instead, the greyhounds wouldn’t know that it’s fake.
If the capturing of the hare from the hare coursing’s peoples point of view can be defended as legal hunting, other hunting pastimes, such as clay pigeon shooting, have been using obvious fake pigeons and till this day that pastime still continues widely despite still not using real pigeons.
If the thrill of hare coursing is the dog themselves competing then there should be no need for a living hare. Unless it’s the thought and sight of a defenceless hare being chased, traumatised, possibly injured, and in some cases being killed, then that should be thought of as a criminal/injustice act such as the widely banned blood sport, cockfighting.
The Republic of Ireland is one of the last remaining countries in the world and in the EU, along with Spain , which is known for its horrific blood sports, and Portugal, to allow Hare coursing. Hare coursing is considered a cruel blood sport and is banned in the countries of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and remains illegal in most civilised nations.
Even though dogs are muzzled, they can still kill the hare by mauling the hare into the ground or tossing its delicate body into the air, and this often happens. In open coursing, greyhounds still remain un-muzzled.
When the hare is being captured for the purpose of Hare coursing, how are the hares restrained? The netting and handling itself is cruel to hares as they are timid and delicate creatures, and can be injured during that time period, or possibly killed. It’s highly doubted that the men capturing the hares are animal lovers and do this activity with gentle care.
Majority of the Irish republic are strongly opposed against Hare coursing.
A poll ran by RTE showed that 68% of people are in favour of banning hare coursing. And 72% condeming it as cruel.