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Consultation On Scheme To Disregard Historic Convictions Of Gay & Bisexual Men Opened.

  • Public consultation an opportunity for affected people and groups to inform the development of the disregard scheme.
  • Survey will run online for several weeks, closing on Friday 9 December.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee TD, has today launched a public consultation that will inform the development of a scheme to disregard historic convictions relating to consensual sexual activity between men.

Affected persons and representative organisations are being asked to provide input on a number of key issues, based on their lived experience. Their responses will inform the final recommendations of a working group who are examining the development of a scheme of disregard convictions for consensual sexual activity between men prior to decriminalisation in 1993.

Minister McEntee said: “We want to ensure that any potential scheme is as effective and accessible as possible, so that we can exonerate those impacted by these outdated laws and address some of the lingering harms of the past.

I would encourage any of the affected men, their families, loved ones and the wider LGBTQ+ community to engage with this consultation so that we can be mindful of their unique perspectives, as we move forward.”

The consultation survey will consist of seven questions, based on key issues identified by the Working Group that would benefit from stakeholder input. The survey will ask how a potential scheme could be made more accessible, how to encourage participation in the scheme and how to minimise potential for re-traumatising applicants, amongst other issues.

The deadline for completion of the survey is 5pm on Friday 9 December 2022.

Following the close of the consultation, the Working Group will prepare a summary report which will give an overview of the submissions received, identifying key themes that will inform the final recommendations of the Working Group.

Minister McEntee added: “The damage that was caused by these laws continues to impact negatively on too many people’s lives.

While we cannot undo the hurt inflicted on people who were discriminated against for simply being themselves, we can contribute to the healing process.

Both the Programme for Government and my Justice Plans commit to putting in place a scheme to disregard the convictions of people convicted of consensual same-sex activity prior to decriminalisation.

This consultation is another important step on that journey towards meeting those commitments, and to addressing the individual harm that was done to generations of gay and bisexual men, while also showing that we are willing to re-visit and confront uncomfortable aspects of our past.”

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Dementia Friendly Thurles.

Dementia is not a specific disease, but is rather a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities.

Thurles Nurse Ursula Paine Now Reports: –

Image courtesy WHO

“Our next Memory Cafe will take place on Wednesday morning next, November 2nd, 2022, in the Bookworm Bookshop, No.1 Parnell Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, running from 11:00am until 12.30pm.

The topic being covered this month will relate to speech and language issues, that a person may experience as a result of dementia; same which interferes with the ability to communicate, eat safely, drink or swallow.

We will have a guest speaker, Claire, a speech and language therapist, latter from the HSE, to discuss this topic within the group, and all are welcome to attend.”

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EU Anti-Trafficking Day Marked By Emphasising Importance Of Awareness.

“Human trafficking is a problem, and it is happening in Ireland”Minister Helen McEntee.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee TD, has marked EU Anti-Trafficking Day , today, by stressing the importance of raising awareness of the issue, and the importance of sharing information, knowledge and best practices amongst various groups working to combat same.

EU Anti-Trafficking Day is marked on October 18th each year, and Minister McEntee is aware that vulnerable people are trafficked into Ireland for the purpose of exploitation, including sexual exploitation and forced criminality.

The Minister said: “Today is a fitting moment to highlight that this crime is happening and it’s happening across the EU, including in Ireland. Victims can be found anywhere, often hiding in plain sight.

The Government is determined to combat this insidious crime and to support those who are victims of it.

We are confident that the victim-centred policy approach we are taking will encourage more victims to come forward which will, in turn, strengthen prosecutions and convictions”.

There are a number of significant developments in the fight against human trafficking in Ireland including:

  • A revised National Referral Mechanism, which will soon be put on a statutory footing, making it easier for victims of trafficking to come forward, be identified, and access support;
  • The development of a new National Action Plan on human trafficking;
  • The first convictions, in September of last year, for human trafficking;
  • An increase in funding dedicated specifically to supporting victims of trafficking, and for public awareness and prevention efforts.

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is the framework through which the State fulfils its obligations to protect and promote the human rights of trafficking victims, working in partnership with civil society.

The General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences and Human Trafficking) Bill 2022, published in July, will put a revised NRM on a statutory footing.

Currently An Garda Síochána is the sole competent authority for recognition of human trafficking victims. The revised NRM will include the full range of Government Departments and agencies that come into contact with potential victims, as well as designated NGOs, as members. This should make it easier for victims to come forward to seek protection and to access all of the supports and resources that are available to them.

Work to develop a new National Action Plan on human trafficking is at an advanced stage and is expected to be submitted for Government approval before the end of the year.

The Third National Strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence that Minister McEntee launched in June contains an action to identify linkages between the implementation plan accompanying the Strategy, and the National Action Plan, as well as ensuring actions to prevent prostitution and combat trafficking for sexual exploitation are addressed in an integrated manner.

Minister McEntee paid tribute to a wide range of partners across the public service providing care and practical support to trafficking victims, including An Garda Síochána, the HSE, the Legal Aid Board, the Immigration Service, and Tusla, as well as NGOs funded by the Department to provide support.

Acknowledging the launch today of a counter-trafficking awareness short film (Shown above) to highlight the risk of trafficking in Ireland, the Minister added: “For the past number of years my Department has engaged in a successful partnership with the International Organisation for Migration office here in Dublin to raise awareness that victims of trafficking can be found anywhere, often hidden in plain sight. The short film being launching today has a role in building this awareness.

“We want wider society to recognise the signs of human trafficking and to know what to do and where to go if they have concerns”.

Note: Between 2015 and 2020, 356 potential victims of trafficking were identified by the Irish authorities.
In 2016, The International Labour Organization estimated that 40.3 million persons were in situations of modern day slavery, with traffickers estimated to be coining more than €150 billion per year.

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Poem “My Shadow”

My Shadow

By Scottish Novelist, Essayist, Poet and Travel Writer
Robert Louis Stevenson. (1850 – 1894)
.

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow,
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow,
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all
.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see,
I’d think shame to stick to nursie, as that shadow sticks to me
.

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup,
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

END

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Cursing Stones Of Ireland

Ms Maura Barrett, Cashel Library Reports:-

Bullán stones (From the Irish word meaning a bowl, describing the bowl-like depressions in the stone), were used as ‘Cursing stones’ or ‘Curing stones’. They consist of a stone with one or more depressions in it and date from the Neolithic period. They are sometimes located near early monastic sites.

As ‘Curing Stones’ women sometimes cured people by rolling these stones.

However, when used as a ‘Cursing stone’; did you know the last time the stone were ‘turned’ on Inishmurray Island, latter 7km off the coast of Co. Sligo, they were ‘turned’ to curse Hitler and resulted in the fall of the 3rd Reich?

Did you know the ‘Cursing Stone’ was ‘turned’ against the HMS Wasp, when it tried to evict non rent paying families on Tory Island, latter off the north-west coast of Co. Donegal, during the Great Famine (1845- 1849); same resulting on the ship being wrecked on the rocks, with just 6 of its 48 passengers only being saved?

“We in Cashel Library, would be delighted to see you, if you can make this informative lecture.
I’ve done a lot of research on this subject, so all are welcome on Friday morning, October 28th next @ 11:00am, to Cashel Library, but do remember to RSVP Cashel Library by Telephone please, to 062-63825.”

In the meantime, should you accidently stumble across ‘Cursing stones’ that may have been previously overlooked, be sure not to disturb same, as they may already have been cursed.
Warning: Turning these stones anti-clockwise or against the sun, who knows what could happen.

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