Photographs of Vera Twomey in Cahir, County Tipperary. Vera has to walk 263Km from Cork to Dublin to get medicine for her daughter Ava. The Irish State is working against her.
The medicine isn’t expensive. It’s cannabis, to be used for medicinal purposes to control Ava’s seizures. Cannabis is legal in other parts of Europe, and in most of the United States of America. It’s non-toxic, non-lethal, non-addictive, written about in the bible, and a plant with which humans are co-evolved. Humans have used cannabis naturally for about 5,000 years. It’s good for pain relief, seizure control, and many other uses.
In the ‘Republic’ of Ireland it is illegal.
Ava has dozens of seizures a day. Vera fears they will kill the young 6 year old. And still the inexpensive and natural medicine cannot be legally used by Ava.
Tomorrow Vera starts from Cahir at 08:30 and heads via New Inn to Cashel. Please come out and support her. If you can walk a little with her or contact your TD it would help 6 year old Ava hugely.
Cahir House Hotel offered to accommodate Vera overnight at no charge; Vera is spending tonight instead with supporters she has met along the way. Similar support has already been offered in Cashel. Such is the level of generosity shown by ordinary people.
This stands in contrast with the treatment Vera and Ava have received from Minister for Health Simon Harris, and the mistreatment they have received at the hands of the HSE.
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:
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Can you send an email to email@example.com to complain about both his actions and inaction?
Speaking in Leinster House today, Sinn Féin’s Agriculture spokesperson, Martin Kenny TD, has said that the measures introduced by Minister Michael Creed on the National Reserve were welcome, but do not go far enough.
Deputy Kenny said:
“While I am glad that, at last, the Minister has done something to help young farmers and new entrants to farming for 2017, after leaving them in the lurch last year, these measures do not go far enough to resolve the situation.
“However, €5 million is not enough to deal with the backlog of young farmers who have completed or who are now trying to complete green cert training and who will be seeking entitlements soon.”
The first motion below, 8.2, submitted by Sinn Fein Councillor, Catherine Carey, was born out of anger from some locals in Clonmel from an incident where Irish Water turned off supply to number of households, including some elderly, without any prior notice. This left many unprepared for having no water for a long period.
In an appearance before the Finance Committee, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager robustly defended her judgement that €13billion plus interest of back taxes is owed to Ireland by Apple. It is absolutely clear that the government must not proceed with wasting taxpayer’s money appealing the EU Commission’s decision.
Speaking on this Kevin Brunnick – Chair, James Connolly Cumann, Cahir said:
“Point after point put up by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil around so called fantasy money, Ireland acting as a tax collector for the world and arguments around selectivity and tax sovereignty were not only dismissed but destroyed by evidence from the commissioner. Both parties engaged in a concerted effort to misinform the Irish public that this back tax was not due to us, which is shocking.
“It’s is clear from the Commission’s 130 page report, that they have left no stone unturned in arriving at the decision. The report is objective, well researched and the authors have shown a clear understanding of the minutia of Irish tax legalisation.
“Engaging the appeal process would be an abuse of public ownership of these taxes given what we heard in the proceedings of the committee and it is hard to believe that the government would fight this case, which is clearly watertight.
“Cutting through the technicalities, it seems hard to arrive at the conclusion that the EU Commission believes what happened was a misunderstanding or a misapplication of procedure. Rather it appears to be that the Commission is suggesting a calculated, contrived and unique arrangement that was put in place to favour Apple at the expense of other companies such as indigenous companies.
“The government should immediately stop it’s wasting of taxpayers money on the appeal process, from which the only winners, it seems, will be the lawyers and accountants paid by the State.
“This debacle centers on a dodgy deal whereby Apple were able to decide what tax they would pay on an arbitrary basis, not in any accordance with Irish tax legislation.
“It is now time for the government to stand up for citizens and ensure that the money owed to the state is paid without obstruction or unnecessary delays.
“Whatever share of the tax that is due to Ireland would go some way to solve the health and homeless issues we have in Tipperary.”
Since the prospect of commemorating the 1916 rising arrived in the public consciousness, there has been renewed examination of the operation of southern State, and renewed conversations about unity of the island.
Sinn Féin county PRO Fachtna Roe said: “In November RTE held a Prime Time Special in conjunction with BBC NI. As part of that programme a survey was carried out to determine what levels of public support there are for re-uniting the island.”
“RTE and BBC NI linked the question of re-unification with taxation levels, which necessarily skewed the results of the survey. Most people feel that we don’t get enough good quality service for our taxes anyway, so the prospect of increased taxation was always going to reduce support levels.”
“What wasn’t properly analysed in that programme was the benefits that might accrue from such unity. Thankfully, others have provided some information in this regard, and just as Sinn Féin has said for some time, there are benefits and efficiencies that would arise. Below is quote from the article.”
“However, if one would try to calculate counterfactual costs, it is probably an excellent investment.”
The advantages of unification would be seen on both sides of the border but mainly felt in the North of Ireland, according to Prof Huebner.
“The Republic of Ireland would benefit quite a lot, but the benefits would be mainly accrued by Northern Ireland,” he said.
“And that’s not really a surprise, because if you compare the two entities, then Northern Ireland is obviously the less developed economy.”
“Apart from the aspiration for a whole-island for cultural reasons, there are obvious advantages to not having two Governments, two police forces, two civil services etc.”
Cllr David Doran said: “There’s no logic to justify the continued separation of this island. Both parts have to provide the same basic supports. In addition Belfast is beholden to London for finance.”
“Because there is duplication of effort on both parts of the island, there is money spent twice on the one thing. That money can’t be spent elsewhere. We can see the harm of that in the levels of Austerity that have been applied.”
“Austerity hits the poorest the most, but there is more Austerity when there is recklessness spending. What can be more reckless than having two separate Governments on one small island – along with all the costs that entails?”
“At some point we are going to have to examine closely what our intention as a Nation is. Certainly in the south there has not been enough conversation around this question.”
Fachtna Roe added:”The RTE survey results in November 2015 may have answered the re-unification question to the satisfaction of some. But clearly, not so for all.”
“There is mounting evidence that the changes brought about by peaceful re-unification will be positive on the whole. There will be costs, no one can deny that. But Europe must stand ready to help us, just as we supported Germany when it had the opportunity to re-unify.”
“It is better for the southern State to start examining this question more closely now, rather than later. If Brexit does occur, the opportunity for careful planning will be gone. At that point gone also will be the attention or interest of whatever Government sits in London.”
“Deciding to re-examine the border and it’s meaning may also provide an opportunity to redesign both the southern and northern States from the ground up. Doing so may remove the last inequalities that stand between us and being a Republic, by using the best ideas from both sides of the border to create a State even the women and men of 1916 would be proud of, while yet being a State that Unionists can feel at home in.”
Sinn Féin’s Tipperary General Election candidate Cllr. Séamie Morris has spoken of the significance of the opportunity facing the electorate on Friday. He says that after 95 years of 2½ party rule which bankrupted the nation, it’s time to change policyto help the small person, and to stop enriching landlords at the expense of everyone else.
Cllr Morris said: “During a canvass in the south of our county last week, I was unsurprised to see so many empty houses. It’s the same across Tipperary, so what I saw in Clonmel, Ardfinnan, and Carrick-on-Suir was familiar. In each town and village I saw the same thing. I saw houses empty, partly finished estates, and evidence that Fine Gael prioritise their landlord buddies.”
“In an estate in Carrick-on-Suir that has no street lighting, there is evidence that the quick buck is still the order of the day. Yet another location is a ghost estate, now subject to vandalism and burning. In Clonmel a whole row of empty houses faced me. Cashel and Ardfinnan have unallocated and vacant housing. There are just on 250,000 empty houses in this country, based on the 2011 census.”
“We are told that there is a shortage of housing, but clearly there isn’t. So who benefits from this? Landlords who keep pushing up their rents, even beyond the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) levels. The artificially low numbers of houses available is an excuse for a massive transfer of our wealth into the hands of an already wealthy elite.”
“Since the foundation of the southern State two parties have passed the fortunes of the State and the hopes of the population between them, counting on smallerparties to prop them up when required. This is especially obvious from the 1970’s to the 1990’s, where the boom bust cycle that comes with that stands out clearly. For new voters who have no memory of that, it’s not so clear that this is the same cycle we’re in again now, but it is.”
“Our housing crisis is as a direct result of this. The State policy on homelessness is simply that there should be homelessness, to keep rents high and to scare up payment of mortgages. But younger voters must understand that a State going bankrupt isn’t normal; that Austerity isn’t normal; that families living for months and years in guest houses and hostels isn’t normal.”
“We must break that cycle. But when selecting who to change to, Fianna Fáil isn’t an option because they sold out the State to their developer friends. Labour are just a crutch for the big two, and are so hungry for seats in Cabinet – the ‘top table’ – as Minister for Metering and Announcements Alan Kelly puts it, that they will sell out their every principle and break every promise to get there. The rest do not have the internal cohesion to make a difference. Only Sinn Féin have the team, from councillors to an MEP that can make a difference. Having a TDwill strengthen the team even more to improve our county.”
“We need to realise that the only concrete result of 95 years of this way of governing is bankruptcy and a homelessness crisis. Every citizen has a choice to make on Friday. More of the same, or change to Sinn Féin. This is an opportune year in which to place Sinn Féin in government across the full 32 counties, and in place to bring caring and equitable prosperity to all.”