Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

CITY TRIBUNE

Aborting peaceful protest sets dangerous precedent

Dara Bradley

Published

on

Introducing exclusion or safe access zones outside clinics where abortions are held is a well-intentioned but misguided proposal.

Bradley Bytes – A Sort of Political Column with Dara Bradley 

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said he is “fully committed” to introducing legislation prohibiting the sort of demonstration that took place outside a Galway clinic last week.

The argument around these protesters isn’t about whether you agree with them – clearly, the results of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, show most right-thinking people don’t. The issue is whether we should curtail their freedom of expression, and right to protest. And if you’re a democrat, then the answer is ‘no’.

Now, you could argue that these protesters aren’t being very democratic, because they’re ignoring the will of the people in the recent referendum. But by that logic, pro-choice campaigners should have just shuffled off stage in 1983 when the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution was introduced, recognising the equal right to life of the pregnant woman and the unborn. Society changes; attitudes change. And the laws reflect that.

Those pro-life protesters last week might not be what you would call ‘compassionate’. They may not be very nice people. In fact, they’re probably obnoxious and self-righteous and thrive on judging people.

They’re the sort of people that if you got stuck sitting beside in a pub, you’d skull your pint and scarper.

The protesters, in a photograph that circulated online, seem like people on the wrong side of history. But they didn’t look like they were harassing anyone. They were just holding placards; peacefully making a stand, as is their right.

We may not agree with them, but can we not agree with their right to hold a different view?

Of course, there must be restrictions on freedom of speech, but in a democracy, we have a right to protest, and long may that continue. It wasn’t so long ago that ‘liberals’ like Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris were opposed to abortion. It is their right to change their minds. But allowing politicians – and their obliging media darlings – to decide what we can and cannot protest against is a dangerous, dangerous route to go down.

Most right-thinking people abhor what these protesters are doing – but don’t succumb to fascism by banning them. If protesters are harassing patients or doctors, laws already exist in relation to assault, or harassment, or incitement.

But let’s not give politicians the right to pick and choose what we are allowed to peacefully protest against, no matter how abhorrent you find protesters’ views.

This is a preview only. To read the rest of Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

CITY TRIBUNE

Residents call in the clampers to sort problem parking

Dara Bradley

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in a Salthill estate have become tired of illegal parking outside their homes – and hired private clampers as a deterrent.

People living in Seamount off Threadneedle Road near Blackrock said they have been plagued by extra traffic and vehicles parking outside their homes, blocking access, during the latest Covid lockdown.

They said that since Galway City Council closed off the Prom to car parking, and closed the two public carparks, the cars have just migrated to Threadneedle Road and their estate.

Seamount is a private estate and the road has not been taken in charge by the Council. The residents have clubbed together and hired a clamping company, which will erect signs in the coming days and begin clamping illegally parked cars from next week.

Residents said they are also concerned that cars parked on Threadneedle Road are making it more difficult for buses to pass, and cause congestion.

A residents’ spokesperson said: “Since the lockdown, they closed off the Prom and closed off Salthill car park but people are still using the Prom and swimming off Blackrock. I have huge admiration for the swimmers, I do it myself when it’s warmer. But what’s happening is they park on both sides of Threadneedle Road, because there’re no yellow lines on either side of it and it’s not wide enough for cars to be parked either side of it, so buses are getting stuck.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

NUIG President’s upset at Covid breaches on campus

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – “I work in the hospital and we have had a really awful six weeks. We have nowhere to sit down and have our breaks. We are exhausted and would long to see family and friends. To see public health guidelines [being flouted] on NUIG property is a kick in the teeth.”

These are the words of an angry and frustrated healthcare worker at University Hospital Galway in a message sent to the head of NUIG.

President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh told students and staff at the university this week that he found it “deeply frustrating” that some students were flouting public health guidelines.

The HSE has confirmed that there were at least 441 cases of Covid in the city’s 18-24 age group – which has affected 224 households – in the past three weeks.

“Our neighbours contacted me expressing their upset at what they see as activities by our students that do not respect the health and safety of the community at large. People who work in the health service, people who have lost friends and relations to Covid-19. I share their upset.

“I was struck, for example, by one particularly heartfelt message from a local healthcare worker and campus user who shared their frustration with me last week on seeing groups congregating and socialising on campus grounds and which they agreed we could share,” Prof Ó hÓgartaigh said.

The head of the university shared the message in an email to students and staff this week, adding that students had expressed frustration that study spaces were not open on campus and at the challenges posed by the constricted spaces in which they study.

NUIG confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it had imposed sanctions on a number of students in relation to Covid breaches, while there have been none at GMIT.
This is a brief preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Principals band together for safer cycling infrastructure

Denise McNamara

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A total of 28 Galway City school principals have signed an open letter to the Minister for Transport and local councillors highlighting the need for safer cycling infrastructure around schools, to encourage students and staff to switch to bikes.

The push by Government to cycle or walk where possible during the pandemic has its limitations in a city where cycle lanes are rare and parents are too afraid to let their children cycle on narrow roads often choked with traffic.

A group of cycling enthusiasts in city schools has been campaigning to encourage the school community to engage with Galway City Council’s public consultation process for the next development plan which will have a key role in deciding whether cycling lanes or off-road cycle routes become a reality.

The first stage of the initial consultation process for the ‘City Development Plan 2023-2029, Your City, Your Future’ closes today (Friday). But the process will continue for two more years with more consultation encouraged once the draft plan is published.

This week a letter from 28 principals sent to councillors called for support for the provision of better cycle infrastructure in and around all schools. It has also been sent to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Galway West TD and Minister of State at Cabinet, Hildegarde Naughton.

“It is our view that existing road infrastructure around schools can be unsafe for children, teachers, and families who wish to cycle to school and we would like to encourage the development safe cycling routes in the future,” the letter states.

Principal of Coláiste na Coiribe, Eoghan Ó Ceallaigh, said it was important for the school community to get involved with the public consultation.

(Photo: Last year, the Council introduced a ‘School Streets’ pilot scheme at Scoil Iognáid, which bans cans during certain times, encouraging parents and children to walk or cycle. Schools now want proper cycling infrastructure put in place).
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending