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.
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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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.”
Seo phictiúrí ó Glean Gual an Satharn chaite, 2017-11-25. Isteach ann tá muintir Sinn Féin, Cumann Tommy Kavanagh sna Commons/Gort na hUamha.
Freisin, tá an gComhairleóir Davy Dunne ó Sinn Féin, le Dick agus Willie Ó Shea. Tá DIck agus Willie Phoblactánaigh le tamall mór anuas, ach níl mór ar sin a bhféidir linn a rá.
Leag an gComhairleóir bláthanna ar uamh Thomás Uí Donnabháin a bhfuair bás mar toradh dún mharú ag Black and Tans, diabhail orthú. Marach sé i 1920 le linn cogadh idir an Bhreatain Mór agus Phoblacht Ceannasach Éire.
Níl Phoblacht na hÉireann iníon do Phoblact Ceannasach Éire, mar is eól do daoine chomh sinne i Sinn Féin mar Dick agus Wille, ach an oiread. Ach do bhí siad fíor buoich chun comóradh fear a básach ar son an Phoblacht Ceannasach sin, agus chun bheith ann agus an gCómhairleóir ag ligint na mbláthanna chun meadú meas ar Thomás Uí Donnabháin.
Photographs from Glengoole (New Birmingham) from last Saturday 25th November, 2017. These show members of the Tommy Kavanagh Cumann, Sinn Féin from The Commons Gortnahoe.
Also present are Councillor Davy Dunne and Dick and Willie O’Shea. Simply put, DIck and Willie are Republicans of long standing.
Cllr Dunne laid a wreath on the grave of Thomas O’Donovan, killed by the much reviled Black and Tans in 1920, while fighting against Great Britain for the sovereign Republic of Éire.
The Republic of Ireland is not the successor of the sovereign Republic of Éire, as would be known to older Republicans like Dick and Willie. They were delighted to attend the commemoration of one who died for that sovereign Republic, and to be present when Councillor Dunne laid a wreath of respect for Thomas O’Donovan.
Clonmel Sinn Féin is hosting this event, an event that will be opened by Mayor Catherine Cllr Carey who is the first Sinn Féin Mayor of Clonmel.
This is a gathering of strong Republican minded women who have, through their courage and resilience, made a positive difference for all of us. These women continue on this journey and on November 10th, we get an opportunity to hear their experiences and learn more about their onward journeys and aspirations.
Liadh Ní Riadh M.E.P. is our guest speaker.
There will also be a speaker from Ireland Supporting Palestinian Youth. Ireland Supporting Palestinian Youth is a non-profit community based group whose mission is to develop, empower and support young people in Palestine to reach their full potential through community based projects.
Ger O’Neill from Co Kildare will be speaking about homelessness. Ger will also be laying a wreath at the tree planted at last year’s Women of the Nation Event.
Cllr Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tipperary has welcomed Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada to County Tipperary to talk with representatives of the Angling community. Following her visit, MEP Ní Riada has said that the potential of the River Suir to support the development of angling tourism has yet to be fully realised. She made the comments following a visit to Golden this week.
Liadh Ní Riada said: “Golden is a beautiful village in an area of outstanding scenery. Its location close to Cashel and its proximity to the main Dublin – Cork motorway mean that it is accessible for domestic and foreign tourists alike.”
“As a member of the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries I have taken a keen interest in the potential for the further development of angling as both a sport and a lure for tourism.”
“Rural Ireland is crying out for investment and for job opportunities. The development of sustainable tourism, based on our greatest natural assets, would be a fantastic boon for rural communities, not least here in Co. Tipperary.”
“I will continue to work alongside Cllr. Martin Browne and with all stakeholders to work towards a sustainable, clean and vibrant tourism offering for anglers that benefits the community and rural economy.”
Cllr Martin Browne adds: “In one of the most historic and one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland, we have a significant opportunity in terms of a unique angling experience. The potential of tourism has never been doubted, and I compliment the members of Cashel/Golden Anglers Association on their work. We received a short tour from Owen Jackman who is Secretary of the Association and were impressed with the commitment of the Association to maintaining the environment.”
“The potential for employment in any environmentally friendly tourism industry should not be overlooked.”