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.
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