2017-12-02-Ava Barry returns to Cork

After 2 years of campaigning for her daughter’s right to have access to medicinal cannabis, Vera Twomey finally displayed the licence for which she campaigned. She showed it as she, Ava, and partner Paul returned via Cork Airport from Holland on Saturday December 2nd, 2017.

Ava was in The Hague for medical care – which could easily have been provided on this island – since June, making Ava a very young (now 8 years old) medical exile.

The return of the family was eagerly awaited once it became known that the licence was to be issued. The announcement of this was made only the previous Tuesday, shortly after Minister for Health Simon Harris was made aware that the question of how young Ava Barry was abandoned by the southern ‘Republic’ could threaten his reelection.

However, young Ava has a mother of such strength and fortitude that being abandoned by the State was never going to be an insurmountable obstacle for her. Ultimately, assisted by a large array of people who would not stand idly by in the face of injustice, the State provided that which was required.

Below are photographs from the occasion of the return of the Barry family.

You can read more about the extraordinary efforts of Vera Twomey by choosing from the menu above.

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2017-12-02-Cork-Ava Barry returns
The eventual return of 7 year old Ava Barry to Cork, following extended and difficult campaigning by her mother Vera Twomey to obtain a licence for medicinal cannabis.Fullsize images may be obtained by emailing pro@tipperarysinnfein.com
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No flash photography for return of of Ava Barry to Cork – Cllr Martin Browne

Councillor Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tiobraid Árann has asked for any journalists or photographers attending in Cork Airport NOT to use flash photography.

As a result of her medical condition, Ava Barry is photo-sensitive, particularly to bright flashes.

While Ava’s symptoms have improved vastly since her parents Vera and Paul took her to Holland for treatment, the underlying condition remains, and this means that excessive flashes – such as with flash photography – could trigger a seizure.

“It might not, but why would we take a chance?”, is the thought for tomorrow.

Ava and her family are due in around 10:20. Contact Martin Browne for media and other arrangements.

(Flight EI841 delayed http://www.corkairport.com/arrivals-departures/search-arrivals)

Ava Barry & father Paul Barry.

Welcome for Cannabis licence for Ava Barry, but more need help – Councillor Martin Browne

[edited]

Councillor Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tiobraid Árann has expressed his delight at the news that his intervention last night in the case of the 7 year old medical refugee Ava Barry has yielded a successful result. Cllr Browne cautions however that there are many, many more children and families that need similar treatment.

Cllr Browne said: “I am delighted to report that Minister Simon Harris has signed a licence for medicinal cannabis for Ava Barry. This is very, very, good news for this Cork family. We’re absolutely ecstatic that this Christmas that the Barry/Twomey family can be home together in West Cork.”

Ava Barry, aged 7, former medical refugee, at her Communion.

“When we realised that the possibility of the dissolution of the Dáil could mean that Ava Barry might not return home to her family for Christmas we were deeply concerned. We absolutely had to intervene, as we did late last night.”

“Sinn Féin in Tipperary have followed the plight of Ava and her absolutely indomitable mother Vera Twomey since the start. I myself am glad to be able to say that starting in this county we connected the dots from Tipperary to Dublin to make the task of walking easier for Vera, and I thank all the Sinn Féin volunteers who helped out along the way then, and have helped up until now.”

“There were and are such a large number of people that came out to support Vera from all parties and none, both on that walk and since, that it should never have been the case that Ava had to go abroad. But she did, and the worry about that family being split up haunted us.”

Martin Browne, with Vera Twomey and Gino Kenny in Cahir, Co. Tipperary 2017-02-28.

“I hope that Vera is pleased at this point. Her achievement is immense. The work done by Gino Kenny TD in supporting her aim to care for her child cannot be overstated. His bill remains live, for as long as this Dáil remains, courtesy of Jonathan O’Brien and Louise O’Reilly among others.”

“But let’s not forget that Ava, special and wonderful as she is, isn’t unique in benefitting from medicinal cannabis. There are still so many more people who need access to this completely natural herb to live a normal life.”

“That we came as close as we did to the game of political Chicken between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil bringing down the Government, to be followed by a dissolution of the Dáil, remains a problem that the political systems of the Southern State seem unable to resolve. That those parties would even play their games before first looking after a 7 year old medical refugee all the way out in The Hague in Holland, from the little village of Aghabullogue in West Cork is worrying.”

“As a minor matter that should never have had to be debated about, the departure of former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald from the position of Táiniste is also to be welcomed.”

“But today, our thoughts are with Vera, Paul, Ava, Sophie, Michael, and Elvera and the extended Barry family and the prospect of them being at home in West Cork together for Christmas.”

https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2017/1128/923453-ava-barry-cannabis/

Vera Twomey in Cahir, Co. Tipperary, shortly after the start of her 260Km walk to Dublin.

Taoiseach, Táiniste, Fianna Fáil at new depths of self interest – Councillor Martin Browne

Councillor Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tiobraid Árann has called on Táiniste and former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to resign. He adds his voice to the growing clamour for her departure, but says neither she nor her Fine Gael and Fianna Fail colleagues in Government have shown any consideration for the effect their self-centred games may have on a 7-year old child in medical exile.

Ava Barry on her Communion day with father Paul Barry.

Cllr Browne said: “While Varadkar, Martin, and FitzGerald are standing on their hind legs all braying about which one of them is least wrong, it’s obvious to the rest of us that their only concern is their egos.”

“If Táiniste Fitzgerald doesn’t do the decent thing and step aside, there is a strong likelihood that the egos or Varadkar and Martin and their game of political chicken will go horribly wrong. If it does, what happens then to progress on medicinal cannabis, or any hope of getting young Ava Barry back home for Christmas?”

“For example, in the event of a dissolution of the Dáil Gino Kenny’s bill for medicinal cannabis would fall and the process would be set back months or years. Sinn Féin’s Jonathan O’Brien and Louise O’Reilly did marvellous work behind the scenes to keep that bill alive, while Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil would happily have seen it disappear. Gino continues to work on the bill, and while thousands of families would benefit from medicinal cannabis, none are as clearly mistreated by the Southern State than Ava Barry and her family.”

“For anyone who may not know, Ava is a 7 year old child receiving medicinal cannabis treatment in Holland. Her two sisters and her brother are younger than her, and are at home in Ireland for school. Ava cannot get the treatment she needs here, because of the inability of the State to get it’s act together. All the current wrangling between FF/FG serves to do is increase the risk of young Ava, her siblings and parents being forgotten and spending Christmas in a foreign State. Simon Harris’ “Compassionate Access Programme” won’t progress either when he’s out on the campaign trail.”

“Southern Ireland has long had a questionable attitude to the prioritisation and care of children, and it seems that isn’t going to change any time soon; while it’s obvious to objective observers that Táiniste Fitzgerald has a lot of explaining to do, it doesn’t seem obvious to her or the Taoiseach, and certainly not to Fianna Fáil the damage their games do. If Táiniste Fitzgerald doesn’t go and has to be pushed, the sound of Fianna Fáil crowing about their little victory will again drown out the sound of a small child’s voice seeking to be heard.”

“The depths of the self-interest of the political establishment are at a new low. Fitzgerald can start by doing the decent thing, rather than risk dissolution of the Dáil, and Varadkar and Martin might show a tiny amount of empathy or even a little Statesmanship; they could prioritise a 7 year old little girl who goes to bed at night away from a parent and from her brother and sisters, and ensure legislation is passed to bring little Ava home, before they go off on their hustings.”

Tipperary Council Supports Vera Twomey and Ava Barry – Cllr Martin Browne

In her own words. Vera Twomey wrote down the key points that Tipperary Council would hear through Martin Browne.

I am not pleased that Mr Simon Harris has so far shown no inclination to assist; instead, it seems he has already reneged on his commitments.

Cllr Martin Browne of Sinn Féin has commended Tipperary County Councillors on their passing of a Sinn Féin resolution to support Vera Twomey. Vera Twomey has walked from Cork to Dublin to gain access to medicinal cannabis for her 7-year old daughter Ava who has epilepsy.

Cllr Browne said: “When I visited her at home on Sunday Vera wrote out some points she wanted me to make. I believe that the clear presentation of her argument is one of the deciding factors. Of course, it could just be that this was the right thing to do.”

“As we’ve seen, Vera’s case has garnered huge attention; regular readers should remember that just because RTE and the local papers don’t cover a story, doesn’t mean there isn’t a story. The story gets out via new media, and that’s true in this case. That attention is welcome if it brings change, and that means motions like this one to put the State on notice that the citizens aren’t happy with the treatment of the most vulnerable.”

The Sinn Féin motion.

“We put in a motion in the name of the 5 Sinn Féin councillors and are pleased to say the other councillors present supported it.”

“We in Sinn Féin in Tipperary were touched when we heard of the story of Vera and Ava. We really didn’t have any choice but to support her; we don’t see how anyone could fail to be moved by the situation of that family.”

“I’m glad to be able to say that I was able to travel much of the distance with her, and was witness to the huge outpouring of support in Dublin and outside Leinster House. But I am not pleased that Mr Simon Harris has so far shown no inclination to assist; instead, it seems he has already reneged on his commitments.”

Martin Browne in Cahir, and arriving in Dublin with the group.
Vera Twomey in Cahir, County Tipperary.

Day 9: Photographs

 

Day 8 – Protest to help 7-year old Ava Barry blocks Simon Harris’ ambition

Today was a walking day like any other on Vera’s route to Dublin. Except for the need for a wheelchair, obviously.

Day 8 Kildare Town to Naas. Via Newbridge

Posted by Gino Kenny on Monday, March 6, 2017

For such is the toll that has been taken on the body of this brave Cork woman that bouts of physiotherapy, crutches, and now a wheelchair, have been deployed to help her along. But those aids are only required to meet a deadline of today (March 7th 2017) outside Leinster House at 13:30.

Vera’s determination hasn’t waned with her physical condition. On the contrary, her determination is not only as strong as when she set out, but has been boosted by the response of ordinary people along her route; each good wish balances each new twinge and ache. Whether walking, rolling, hobbling, or crawling on all fours to the gates of Leinster House, Vera will be there to secure medicinal help for 7-year old Ava. It’s only a matter of when.

Vera is walking to get medicinal cannabis for her daughter Ava, who has Dravet Syndrome. She’s walking powered by a Mum’s determination to do what’s right for her child.

What Vera wants for 7-year old Ava is perfectly safe, legal, and acceptable in other European states, and on most of the continent of North America and Canada!

There is so much you can do to help.

Today during lunch I sent an email to each TD and Senator in Leinster House. Attached to that email were copies of two letters I sent last week by registered post to Simon Harris (Minister for Health) and Katherine Zappone (Minister for Children and Youth Affairs).

I used registered post because so far no response has come to my original email. You can see for yourself that the letters were received (not that I doubted An Post!) as delivery status can be checked here (Simon Harris) and here (Katherine Zappone).


The letters are here for your understanding. Please note: these letters were sent in my private capacity.


Ava Barry, being looked after in Monasterevin by Lindsey Graham who walked from Mitchelstown with Vera.

Please remember, the objective of Vera’s actions isn’t the resignation of anyone. Vera’s objective is to help Ava have as normal a life as she can. That’s true of my letters above also. But if a Minister either can’t or won’t make whatever changes are necessary to save a child, then a new Minister who has imagination, or courage, or both is required.

Subsequent to these letters being sent, Martin Browne of Cashel sent out a press release. There are good politicians who want to effect change for the better, and some who do not. Martin Browne wants change, and I thank him for supporting this cause.

Gino Kenny TD has been with Vera from the start, and has not only looked after Vera and planned the route, but has also introduced legislation which would resolve this case. Maybe Simon and Katherine should take a leaf from his book, which is a pretty good book!

Gino Kenny TD of People Before Profit. Best thing is that Gino will stand against Frances FitzGerald (Fine Gael Minister for Justice) in the next election. Minister FitzGerald hasn’t helped either. If you live in Dublin Mid-West you’ll have an opportunity to vote her out in favour of a reformer.

In his own words: “It is now time for the government to stop needlessly stalling this Bill going before the Health Committee. The Minister needs to pull his head out of the sand on this issue and realise that there are potentially hundreds of thousands of people who could benefit from cannabis based medicines being made available. He is denying these people, like Ava, treatment that could ease their pain. The Minister now needs to act and stop getting in the way of people getting access to the medicines that they need.”

Is this having an effect? Is Vera’s action being noticed and is it causing change? Yes!

After a shameful interview on the Seán O’Rourke show on RTE Radio 1 in which no mention was made of a Mum walking over 200Km to get medicine for her daughter, that email was sent to every TD and Senator. We since learned that Simon Harris has parked his ambition to be leader of Fine Gael.

In addition, a few hours later this was released by Simon Harris:

RTE has imposed a media blackout on this story, but people power is having an effect. We must keep up the pressure.


Can you raise awareness of what this Mum must do for her child in the face of an uncaring State? Can you share this link or page to others around our planet? Can you do your bit to draw international attention to the shameful conduct of the Southern ‘Republic’ towards one of it’s youngest citizens?

If you’re an ordinary citizen who understands that a Mum shouldn’t have to battle alone against the State, here’s how you can help:

  • Can you share this post?
  • Can you raise awareness by phoning a radio station?
  • Can you send an email to simon.harris@oir.ie to complain about both his actions and inaction?
  • Can you phone Simon Harris’ office on +353-1-281-3727 or +353-1-618-3805?
  • Can you come out and walk with Vera?
  • Can you sign the petition?
  • Can you bother the TDs in your constituency with phone calls and emails?
  • Or best of all, do one or all of the above and join us today either at Leinster House or on the walk in to it!

Only people power can change this situation. That means you.


Children are people too, Ministers. Photograph in Ballybrittas, County Laois.

Day 7 – Still walking to save Ava from Simon’s sloth (and inhumanity)

Vera Twomey is walking to get medicinal cannabis for her daughter Ava, who has Dravet Syndrome. She’s walking powered by a Mum’s determination to do what’s right for her child.

She has the full support of her family, and everyone she meets on her 200+Km walk in the cold of an Irish Spring. Everyone, that is, except the two Government ministers who should be supporting her at every turn. Those are the Minister for Health (Simon Harris), and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Katherine Zappone). Neither have lifted a finger to help.

The Government of the ‘Republic’ of Ireland have broken the promise of the 1916 Proclamation. That is the founding document upon which the Government lays it’s claim to legitimacy, and contains the phrases: “The Republic guarantees … equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally…“. That guarantee is demonstrably now void.

Yesterday we learned that Ava had a heart attack as a result of her seizures. She was aged 5 at the time.

Anger continues to mount as other Mums learn of the plight of Vera’s family. As the videos and photographs below show, Mums are starting to mobilise.

The cover picture is of Ava Barry, now aged 7.


The videos below are unedited.

What this is about as she leaves Emo, County Laois, is explained by Vera Twomey:

Some friendly faces in Ballybrittas:

Brian and Gino explain:

Arriving in Monasterevin, County Kildare:

What Vera wants for 7-year old Ava is perfectly safe, legal, and acceptable in other European states, and on most of the continent of North America and Canada!

Can you raise awareness of what this Mum must do for her child in the face of an uncaring State? Can you share this link or page to others around our planet? Can you do your bit to draw international attention to the shameful conduct of the Southern ‘Republic’ towards one of it’s youngest citizens?

If you’re an ordinary citizen who understands that a Mum shouldn’t have to battle alone against the State, here’s how you can help:

  • Can you share this post?
  • Can you raise awareness by phoning a radio station?
  • Can you send an email to simon.harris@oir.ie to complain about both his actions and inaction?
  • Can you phone Simon Harris’ office on +353-1-281-3727 or +353-1-618-3805?
  • Can you come out and walk with Vera?
  • Can you sign the petition?
  • Can you bother the TDs in your constituency with phone calls and emails?

Only people power can change this situation. That means you.

(You can see for yourself a video of young Ava here)

Still photographs from today (2017-03-05). These images are free to use in support of Vera and Ava’s campaign. (An attribution to photographer Fachtna Roe would be appreciated, but isn’t necessary)

(Previous days uploads)

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Minister fails, Ava waits, Vera walks, citizens angered

When a 5-year old girl has a heart attack, you know something’s seriously wrong with her.

When a 30 year old can do something about it – but won’t – there’s something really, worryingly, and disturbingly, wrong with him.

Join the march on Tuesday? Or email the 30-year old at simon.harris@oir.ie – please. Tell him you don’t approve of how Vera Twomey and her daughter Ava Barry have been treated by the State.

(Previous days update)(Following days update)

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Ireland shamed as Government Ministers neglect 7-year old child

As the public disquiet and international storm caused by the mistreatment of an 7-year old child by the ‘Republic’ of Ireland grows, Vera Twomey walks on. She’s walking in hail, rain, and sleet. She’s walking to get medicinal cannabis for her daughter Ava, who has Dravet Syndrome. She’s walking powered by a Mum’s determination to do what’s right for her child.

She has the full support of her family, and everyone she meets on her 200+Km walk in the cold of an Irish Spring. Everyone, that is, except the two Government ministers who should be supporting her at every turn. Those are the Minister for Health (Simon Harris), and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Katherine Zappone). Neither have lifted a finger to help.

Today’s continued walk was from Littleton in County Tipperary to Johnstown, County Kilkenny. Which means that Vera has now walked 138Km for her child.

Children from the local National School in Littleton walked in support of Ava and Vera for the first kilometre of the day’s journey. Along the way she was joined by some public representatives who recognise the increasing public disquiet caused by the extraordinary undertaking of this woman. Vera was also joined by increasing numbers of ordinary citizens who wish to show their solidarity with her. At all times Vera is accompanied by Gino Kenny TD, who has assisted her throughout her ordeal, and who has proposed legislation that could resolve the issue. Vera was also joined today by Ming Flanagan.

There continues to be general silence from the Minister for Health on her request for help. On his statements in the Dáil (the parliament of the ‘Republic’ of Ireland), there is discussion on the correctness of the content, and the impression given by them.

Tomorrow Vera starts from Cullahill in County Kilkenny. In order to reach Dublin by Tuesday, a decision was made to start from that point in order to get to Portlaoise on Saturday; Portlaoise is home to Ireland’s largest prison. That’s the prison to which Vera or her husband Paul could certainly be sent by the State if either of them did what any right-thinking parent would do, and themselves arranged medicinal cannabis to control their daughters seizures.

What Vera wants for 7-year old Ava is perfectly safe, legal, and acceptable in other European states, and on most of the continent of North America and Canada!

Can you come along, take photographs, and share them to *everyone* in your Facebook to raise awareness of what this Mum must do for her child in the face of an uncaring State? Can you share this link or page to others around our planet? Can you do your bit to draw international attention to the shameful conduct of the Southern ‘Republic’ towards one of it’s youngest citizens?

Tomorrows intended route is shown here:

Can you be like the children of Littleton National School and do your part to help a sick 7-year old child?

Or can you send an email to simon.harris@oir.ie to point out how disappointed you are that he has so far not heeded the request of a Mum who just wants her child to be well?

If you’ve already sent an email, then thank you; but have you received a reply? If not… send again and ask why not. Please.

It’s Vera’s concern that if Ava has another major seizure that there could be further permanent damage, or death, as a result. Your clicks and email will help.

Thank you.

 (For previous days post click here)(For following days post click here)

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