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

CITY TRIBUNE

Call for legislation to treat surrogate mothers equally

Denise McNamara

Published

on

A Galway City councillor has called on the Health Minister to consider introducing legislation giving surrogate mothers maternity leave so they are not treated any differently from natural or adoptive parents.

Fine Gael Cllr Padraig Conneely said he is aware of several couples in Galway who have become parents through a surrogacy arrangement abroad.

Surrogacy is a way for a childless couple or individual to have a child, with a surrogate mother carrying the child. The surrogate mother agrees to be artificially inseminated or to have an embryo transferred to her womb in order to become pregnant. She then carries the child to term with the intention of giving custody of the child to the “commissioning” person or couple.

The law currently only gives maternity leave and pay to the surrogate mother who will be giving birth to the baby or to a mother who has adopted a child.

“I think it’s terribly wrong if a [surrogate] mother can’t get maternity leave, yet they can get it if they have adopted. These parents are the registered parents of the baby. It’s very unfair,” said Cllr Conneely.

“I wrote to Health Minister Simon Harris urging him to change the legislation. I have spoken to the HSE and to the City Council and they have confirmed there are more and more surrogate parents trying to get maternity benefits.

“I think times have moved on, surrogacy is an increasing option for parents who otherwise cannot have children. I understand it’s complicated but it is something that needs to be examined in the current environment.”

There is no Irish legislation to cover the legal issues arising from surrogacy.

In 2014 the European Court of Justice ruled that women who use surrogate mothers did not have a legal right to maternity leave when the baby is born.

The following year a woman lost her High Court case alleging the State’s refusal to pay her maternity benefit amounted to unlawful discrimination and breached the Equal Status Act.

More Irish couples are turning to surrogacy in Ireland due to medical reasons, often following multiple miscarriages or after the woman has had a hysterectomy.

Surrogacy is being seen as a more pragmatic solution rather than adoption as international adoption is almost at a standstill and Irish adoption is exceedingly rare.

When health minister, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar promised that provision for altruistic, but not commercial, surrogacy would be made in legislation on assisted human reproduction, which has still not come into force.

CITY TRIBUNE

Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island

Avatar

Published

on

Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.

A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.

Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.

It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.

Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’

Dara Bradley

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.

Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.

It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.

In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”

It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.

“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.

“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”

Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.

The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
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

‘Detractors’ could hold up €10m Spanish Arch flood defence scheme

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has warned that the Office of Public Works and Galway City Council “may end up in the High Court” if they attempt to expedite plans for the €10 million flood defence scheme for the Spanish Arch and Docks areas.

Speaking at an Oireachtas Finance Committee meeting last week, the Minister for the Office of Public Works admitted his frustration at the length of time such projects take.

But he said that if he and the OPW attempted to “shave off time” in moving the project forwards, they would have to be mindful of “detractors” making accusations later and there being a legal challenge.

He was responding to Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell, who said it was likely to be 2028 before the flood prevention works would be completed.

“It was revealed in November that it will be at least eight years before long-awaited flood defences are completed in the Spanish Arch and Docks areas – with the City Council estimating that it will be towards the end of 2028 before works conclude,” said Deputy Farrell.

Minister O’Donovan said: “The OPW is committed. There is money available. We do not have a worry about allocating money for capital spending. I say to Deputy Farrell, and to Galway City Council, that, if we can shave off time in advancing projects, we will gladly do so, but we have to be mindful of the fact that if our detractors make accusations later, we may end up in the High Court. We do not want that.”

(Photo: Flood Street in February 2014. Spanish Arch, Fishmarket Square and the Docks areas were flooded in storm weather during high tide. PHOTO BY JOE O’SHAUGHNESSY)
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