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You better THINK!

IMAG2174

Wonderful to see these up in my kids school.
It’s a good quick guideline.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Bread and Roses.

As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”

As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for — but we fight for roses, too!

As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler — ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!

By James Oppenheim inspired by Rose Schneiderman who coined the phrase
“The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.”

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Holloween and Community.

I’ve not been blogging much of late, that is due to getting involved more in my local community.
I’ve recently become a member of the Board of Management of my local community center and a member of the events committee. We started small with a end of summer disco when the kids went back to school and
have work our way up to more ambition event.

Today was one of them. It went well I am shattered, we had two fire tenders, one from the civil defense who let the kids climb on board and use the mini hose and one from the on call Dublin fire brigade who, who did a talk on safety at Holloween. We had the order of Malta ambulance and the kids got to be strapped down on the strecher and the Community Garda came with a Van and the kids got to sit in the driving seat and be locked in the back.

This time of year our emergency services can face a lot of flack when they are called out esp Holloween night, hopefully some of the out reach we did today will mean there will be less of that in years to come.

Then we had the disco and face painting, colouring in competition, costume competition. We had over a 150 kids attend it was a great community even I got called the Pumpkin lady by the kids due to my T Shirt. It was very worth while. And I am so going to veg out and watch scarey movies wiht my kids for the rest of the evening and have a drink or two.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Autism Funding not spent, while families struggle.

http://www.thejournal.ie/hse-defends-e300000-autism-spend-in-reillys-political-area-965518-Jun2013

While former Minister of State at the Department of Health and Labour TD Róisín Shortall accepts that there was no political interference in this case, she has called for an end to “potential cronyism or secret decision-making around the spending of public money”.

“All of those decisions should be taken in an open and transparent manner,” she said this morning. “Nobody is denying there was a need for services in north Dublin. There were long waiting lists and it is only right and proper that necessary staff should be provided. But there are long waiting lists in other areas and you have to ask why it is that the money announced has not been spent.”

Minister Reilly announced the €3 million in extra funding for autism services in January 2012. So far, just 10 per cent of that money has been spent. According to Freedom of Information documents requested and obtained by the Irish Times, none of the €1 million allocated for 2012 was used last year.

And yet it was this time last year the HSE moved the only two Child & Adolescent Mental Health service clinics from the north side of Dublin and put them in a building in Cherry Orchard Hospital.

These clinics are where schools and family Gps refer children for assessment for Autism spectrum and provide skill groups and support groups for parents. They link in with the schools in areas and other service provider but were moved to the other side of the city.

Which results in parents trying to juggle 2 buses cross the city with a child who often arrives too stressed or worn out to take part in the assessment process. Often appointments are missed due to child care issues when there are other children and it results in a whole day off school being needed to attend appointments. While it is a brand new building there is nothing on the site for parents who have to sit in reception for anything from 30 to 90mins and wait. There is no where to even go for a cup of tea or coffee, all you can do is sit and try recover from traveling over and gird yourself for the return journey, which can be far from pleasant given that a handful of stops after the hospital is CloverHill Prison.

Staff are not being replaced in those services and when they are eventually there is a back log, esp when it comes to speech and language specialists. The waiting lists are too long and children and families are left in limbo and unable access services needed so it is deplorable that this money was not spent.

All of the above has impacted badly on our family as my daughter was accepted for assessment while in 6th class and the on going process is still not completed despite her finishing 1st year in secondary school. The move, the lack of replacement staff and cases getting dropped in the shuffle the move, have all played it’s part in dragging out the assessment.

Needless to day the lack of transparency and the funding not being spent when there is a desperate need has me livid. The campaign to return both the Blanchardstown and Castleknock CAMHS to the communities they serve is on going with both the parents and staff putting pressure on the powers that be in the HSE.
While I would like to think that sense would prevail there seems to be little of that or consideration present in the government and HSE decision making process.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution

This time 25 years ago the first single of Tracy Chapman’s self entitled debut album was making it’s way up the Irish charts and getting a lot of air play on local and national radio stations. I was turning 13 and so much of my memory of back then is tied in with that single which was Fast Car.

It speaks of a young woman’s search for love and a better life then she has seen her parents create. About being so desperate to get away from her life that she takes up with the first guy who has a fast car and try to get away to only unknowingly re create a relationship similar to what her parents had.

Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution was released at the end of the 80s when Ireland and so many places around the world had been struggling with the tough economic times. It spoke of hope and of the end of oppression.

25 years later it seems not much has changed.

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion
Don’t you know, they’re talkin’ ’bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

Even more so when you listen to “Behind the Wall”
The un accompanied vocal is stark and sad, as stark and sad as the story it is telling.

Last night I heard the screaming
Loud voices behind the wall
Another sleepless night for me
It won’t do no good to call
The police
Always come late
If they come at all

And when they arrive
They say they can’t interfere
With domestic affairs
Between a man and his wife
And as they walk out the door
The tears well up in her eyes

Last night I heard the screaming
Then a silence that chilled my soul
Prayed that I was dreaming
When I saw the ambulance in the road

And the policeman said
“I’m here to keep the peace.
Will the crowd disperse?
I think we all could use some sleep.”

Last night I heard the screaming
Loud voices behind the wall
Another sleepless night for me
It won’t do no good to call
The police
Always come late
If they come at all

This week there has been a very high profile case in the papers,
but it is one of many, too many. 25 years later there are too many men and women who are in abusive relationships, who are isolated, ignored, unsupported while too many of us turn a blind eye and a deaf ear and blame them reducing a very complex and harrowing situation to victim blaming.

Behind the wall had a profound effect on me as a young teen.
The scary thing is shortly my own daughter turns 13 and not enough has changed in the last 25 years.

We need again to start ‘Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution’,

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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StandupIreland and Occult Ireland.

StandupIreland is a group which seems to have formed in November 2012 and who’s focus is on reopening the Vatican Embassy here in Ireland after it was closed in the wake of the child abuse cover up by the Roman Catholic Church.

They state on their website http://www.irelandstandup.org/index.html they they are a lay group of Catholics which are working together and they are very active on twitter.

And that is were I have interacted with them. They have been very active as the XCase Legislation is slowly making progress and they started interacting with me after some of my tweets had been RT by the Irish Choice Network account. This was aprox a year ago and I tweeted that I was going out to an Occult Ireland meet up and this seems to fascinate them. So much so that a year later they are still trying to bemirch me and other people who are pro choice by asking if they are are going to Occult meetings with me.

https://twitter.com/IrelandStandUp/statuses/346044456098750464

sui

It would seem that those behind StandupIreland seem to think that going to Occult meetings or having anything to do with the occult is wrong and something to try and belittle someone over and try and ‘taint’ others by association.

I am baffled by this. I am out as being a pagan and Witch, I’ve been a moderator and admin for pagan communities and a member of the Occult Ireland forum for nearly 7 years. I’ve gone to moots, meet ups, Sabbaths, have run workshops, given talks, have been a speaker at a weekend pagan/Irish spirituality conference, have written the forward for Lora O’Brien’s latest book A Practical Guide to Irish Spirituality
have been staff manager at Féile Draíochta (anyone who knows me can easily pick me out in the staff photo).

None of these are anything I am ashamed of and I don’t see why I have to be. Ireland has a long history of it’s citizens being involved in the Occult. Indeed the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which is considered to be the greatest single influence on Western Magic and Occult systems and even Wicca had many Irish members.

Two of the most notable are W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne. They were magical partners before she was married and their Occult correspondences are on view to any who may wish to read them as part of the W.B. Yeats exhibition in the National Library of Ireland on Kildare st. There is a virtual tour of the exhibition online which can be viewed here http://www.nli.ie/yeats/main.html

gdwby

It seems that in trying to dream up a better Ireland they searched for all possible tools. I don’t think that they would have wished an Ireland into being which was one that lacked diversity and derided their own spiritual explorations.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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New Secular Parents Group

One of the hard things about bring up your children with no religion or leaving them to figure it out for themselves as they got older, is that it can leave them with out a sense of community which other children may experience.

Also due to how our communities are still often arranged around parish lines it can happen that children don’t meet and get to know other children who have no religion. Getting to be be around other kids for whom this is the norm is a good thing. It means they know they are not alone or that weird and there are other families like theirs who don’t go to church, temple, mosque or meeting hall.

My own kids have no religion, they both currently self ID as agnostic. They were the first children ever enrolled in their school with no stated religion. Back then over 10 years ago there were no Educate Together schools close enough to make it an option. There are still too few Educate Together schools but it’s changing, but there are still challenges esp as such children move into secondary school.

It is great to see more parents working for change and supporting each other.
One of these initiatives is the Secular Parents Group. They are aiming to connect families, so parents can share with each other and run events were kids can meet other kids like them.

Their first event is coming up shortly.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Survivors of symphysiotomy exception bill accepted.

It was almost a decade a go that the then Minister for Health Mr Micheal Martin promised there would be a review of the procedure of Symphysiotomy in Irish hospitals.

Last night saw a bill accepted by the Dáil, which removes the time limit for those women who were abused and left suffering for the rest of their lives so that they can now seek out redress. Many women didn’t know what had happened to them, it was their first child. They were failed by the hospitals and often their own GP over the years who didn’t treat them properly or explain what was done to them.

This was done to over a 1,000 women and about 200 remain still. Why was it done?
Contraception was not legal here until 1984, and there is a limit to the number of C sections a woman may have, so to get around that symphysiotomy was used.

Contraception was banned as Ireland was considered a Catholic country.
Again catholic dogma resulted in substandard of care of women in Irish Maternity hospitals leaving them in agony.

Why did women put up with it? Because they were told to, often the term to offer up your suffering would be used when it came to ‘women’s issues’ and ‘The Curse’. To this day Irish women are hesitant to talk about OB/Gyn issues and reproductive issues, this needs to change, we need to be better informed and to share our stories.

The Survivors of symphysiotomy, did not give informed consent, they were not told which procedure and why and the repercussions of it. I am glad the bill has been accepted and more people know of what happened, when I first wrote about symphysiotomy 3 years ago most people had no idea what it was, hopefully now we are aware we will try and make sure that women living here in Ireland never suffer such abuses again at the hands of health care professionals.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Nevada Lawmaker Receives Death Threats After Talking About Her Abortion

pNevada, which has one of the highest rates of unintended teen pregnancy in the nation, is considering updating its abstinence-only education policy to require more comprehensive sexual health instruction in public schools. This week, in a debate over that proposed legislation, Nevada Assemblywomen Lucy Flores (D) testified in favor of the bill, sharing her own story about the consequences of inadequate sex ed — all of her sisters became teenage mothers, and Flores herself decided to have an abortion when she became pregnant at 16.[...]/p

via Nevada Lawmaker Receives Death Threats After Talking About Her Abortion.

There has been a lot of press interest on the topic of abortion in Ireland and journalists of many types wanting to speak to Irish women who have had an abortion, they seem surprised when we don’t come forward to talk to them.

I don’t find it surprising at all, due to the shaming and the stigma and people know your business. I know it’s important but it’s still so very hard to do.

When a woman is brave enough like Lucy Flores gets treated in such a vile manner it makes it even harder.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

13 - 1

This appeared in my social media feeds over the last week, I’ve tried to track down who’s work it is, as it is a wonderful piece. If you know, do let me know.

It succinctly makes the point about single mother’s which I mentioned in my piece about The Snapper and Ireland’s attitudes to “unmarried mothers” and unplanned pregnancy..

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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