I want to commend the brave women who have come forward to share their stories. Stories of difficult decisions made. Stories of shame shipped overseas. Stories told in a selfless manner, that articulate difficult circumstances. And stories put into the public space so we, as policy makers and citizens can listen, and reform a law so that others will not have to confront the same.
Through the Chair, I firstly wish to commend Senator Catherine Noone for the role you played as Chairperson of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.
I think you were calm, patient, fair, and everything an institution like this can hope for in the conduct of a Chairperson, and those traits all the more impressive when we consider the issue at hand, and indeed the behaviours of some.
For quite a while, it has been apparent that we would be discussing, in our first sitting week back, the Report of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.
And isn’t it something that on our return, that during the first statements of 2018 – the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland, we debate, discuss, and converse about where Ireland lies concerning women’s healthcare and women’s rights.
An obvious bias towards neutral creativity undermines the potential of the arts in terms of social contribution, developing inclusive arts initiatives, extending the audience base, and empowering our citizens via cultural activity.
Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights Senator Fintan Warfield has expressed concern and disappointment after Galway City Council ordered the removal of another mural from the streets of the city.
Senator Warfield said:
“Following reports by the Connacht Tribune, the removal of the William Street mural by Galway artist Finbar247 represents yet another instance where local authorities have defied public will and the wishes of the arts community.
“Major inconsistencies exist across our local authorities concerning street art policy.
“While Galway City Council and Dublin City Council have ordered the removal of murals in recent times, Waterford City has embraced local cultural activity by street artists, in recognition of its ability to reimagine an urban area.
We might grow up fast, but childhood can be the toughest stage of an LGBTQI+ experience. The state has a responsibility to protect our young people, to legally recognise the needs and identity of our young people, and importantly, to create space for self-determination as a right.
Today, March 31st is International Transgender Day of Visibility. Across the world, small groups are marking and celebrating their identities, focussed on the challenges facing our society and the trans community.
In Dublin, the launch of a Trans Youth Report is taking place – a partnership between Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI), BeLonG To and the Irish Trans Student Alliance (ITSA). The project explored the experiences of trans young people in the areas of health, education and legislation.
I believe in using every available forum to make social and political change for those whose interests continue to be underrepresented.
Sinn Féin Councillor for Templeogue-Terenure, and former Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Fintan Warfield has secured a nomination to contest the 2016 election to Seanad Éireann.
Speaking following the deadline and submission of nomination papers, Cllr. Warfield said;
“I would like to thank the National Youth Council of Ireland for their support and nomination to contest the Cultural and Educational panel.