Friday, June 14, 2013

Sinn Féin TD faces party discipline if he votes against abortion Bill


Tóibín accepts he may lose party whip but says he cannot support legislation that permits abortion

Irish Times - 14 June 2013
Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín last night said he will vote against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill when it comes before the Dáil.
Mr Tóibín, a TD for Meath West, told The Irish Times he is prepared to defy his party whip because of his deeply held views against abortion.
If he votes against the Bill which will come before the Dáil on Thursday, he will certainly be expelled from the Sinn Féin parliamentary party.
Serious breach’A party spokesman confirmed last night that if Mr Tóibín voted against the party, it would be “a serious breach of party rules” and he would be “be subject to party discipline”.
In a statement issued to this newspaper, Mr Tóibín said it gave him immense difficulty to part from the party on the issue and reiterated his loyalty to Sinn Féin in all other respects.
He continued by saying he would vote against the Bill, because it would introduce for the first time in law a therapy for suicidal ideation that included the ending of another human life.
“It would also mean for the first time that a therapy for suicidal ideation in Ireland would have no basis in science.
“On the contrary the evidence states that abortion often does damage the health of the mother, can lead to suicide and of course is completely destructive of the life of the child.”

‘Cusp of viability’
“I am also seriously concerned that this legislation allows for abortion up until birth and that this legislation allows for a healthy unborn child on the cusp of viability to be brought to term with the likely probability that the child would be disabled by the State and possibly be institutionalised for life.
“It is an impossible ask for me to vote for legislation that will lead to another person’s death. TDs are responsible for their actions . . . I believe that if a TD votes for abortion that TD is in part responsible for abortions that happen under that legislation. I do not believe that it is possible to claim to be pro life and legislate for abortion,” he said.
This is the first time in recent times Sinn Féin has had to deal with a party member defying its official stance.
Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin is to be commended for following the dictates of his conscience rather than the misguided position taken by his political party. It is an extremely unusual occasion, indeed, when an elected official would risk facing severe disciplinary action from his colleagues and jeopardize his political future in order to defend his strongly held moral beliefs. This case also proves beyond any reasonable doubt that regardless of what they may say when questioned on the issue, Sinn Fein is a political party that supports abortion. TD Peadar Toibin has the courage to stand by his beliefs and he certainly deserves the respect and admiration of the Catholic Church in Ireland and all who believe, as he does, in the sanctity of life.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Knights of Columbus – 4th Degree

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our Flag is Passing By

 Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:
Hats off!
Our flag is passing by!

Blue and crimson and white it shines,
Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.
Hats off!
The colors before us fly;
But more than the flag is passing by.

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State;
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;

Days of plenty and years of peace,
March of a strong land's swift increase:
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverent awe;

Sign of a nation, great and strong,
To ward her people from foreign wrong;
Pride and glory and honor, all
Live in the colors to stand or fall.

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
And loyal hearts are beating high:

Hats off!
Our American flag is passing by!

 One nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Irish Abortion Bill

Enda Kenny has defended his decision not to allow a free vote on the abortion Bill
 Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor– 12 June 2013
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has declared that he is "a Taoiseach who happens to be Catholic but not a Catholic Taoiseach" after criticism by the Church of his abortion Bill.
It came after the Catholic Bishops had come out to strongly oppose the Government's abortion legislation.
But without mentioning the bishops directly, Mr Kenny said it was his 'duty' to bring the legislation through.
"I am proud to stand here as a public representative, as a Taoiseach who happens to be a Catholic but not a Catholic Taoiseach. A Taoiseach for all of the people, that's my job. I am proud to lead the Government in governing for all our people, all our people, all our people, irrespective of the sector of society that they come from," he said.
Mr Kenny got a round of applause from Government backbenchers in the Dail - with Sinn Fein TDs who support the abortion bill also joining in.
He also revealed the intensity of the opposition to the abortion Bill by referring to the material sent to his office.
"I'm now being branded by personnel around the country as a murderer, that I'm going to have on my soul the death of 20 million babies. I'm getting medals, scapulars, letters written in blood, telephone calls - and it's not confined to me," he said.
He and the cabinet are meeting today to finalise the Bill, which is due to be published later this week.
Mr Kenny said there was a requirement of the Government to govern.
"I've already made it clear there will not be a free vote for members of the Government parties," he said.
Mr Kenny said the abortion legislation would provide legal clarity for pregnant women whose lives were in danger and was about 'saving lives".
He was responding to a call at Leader's Questions queries from Independent TD Mattie McGrath to allow Government backbenchers to have a free vote.
Mr McGrath said that this was a legally flawed, medically unsound and constitutionally unnecessary Bill.
"It's not too late to take account of these concerns. It's not too late to allow members of your own party a free vote," he said.
It would appear as though Mr. Kenny is trying to emulate the late President John F. Kennedy with his use of the thinly veiled, plagiarized statement in the article above. U.S. Sen. Bentson’s reply to that original statement would be quite appropriate here, “Mr. Kenny, you are no John Kennedy”. It is also interesting to note that Sinn Fein supports the proposed Abortion Bill for anybody who was not clear on their position regarding the abortion issue. It is very sad, indeed, to see our once proud, staunchly Catholic, ancestral homeland rapidly changing into a primarily secular nation that has apparently lost their moral compass with regard to the sanctity of human life.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Knights Of Columbus – 4th Degree

Monday, June 3, 2013

5,000 Irish Americans gather to help Rockaway recover from Hurricane Sandy - An Irish festival in a suffering parish brings the community back together again
Monday, June 03, 2013

Rockaway Beach: Close to 5,000 Irish Americans came together this weekend to help a shattered Catholic congregation in Rockaway, New York come together.

Many wore t-shirts emblazoned with the AOH logo and “Rockaway Beach, Breezy Point Strong” and that said it all.

Amazingly, in an mayoral election year, no politicians showed up, though
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn did provide some buses. As for Mayor Bloomberg, “He wouldn’t dare show his face around here,” one festival goer said to me.

Sure, the Irish have long memories but when you consider Bloomberg prioritized holding the NYC marathon after Sandy and not local relief efforts it is easy to see why.

The absence of City Hall denizens and would-be mayors made no dent on the days however. On a glorious weekend that must have been ordered up by the saints, the crowds milled around at the Irish festival arranged by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an organization once again showing remarkable community leadership in times of crisis.

There was
Irish dancing, marching bands, pounding drums, rebel songs, sweaters for sale, lots of Guinness and craic and good cheer. But behind the smiling faces there was a deadly earnest mission – to make things right in Rockaway, the isolated inlet pounded by the hurricane.

The weekend was one more example of the best of the Irish in adversity. The Irish festival in the grounds of St. Camillus raised tens of thousands of dollars for the stricken parish.

I was shown the dreadful destruction still evident in the church hall and community center, stripped bare after the angry ocean poured in during Sandy. The money raised by the Irish will go a long way to repair it.

So too will the busloads of Irish who arrived from all five boroughs many skilled in the construction trade. It was the third “
Irish Day of Action” in the Rockaways and the community gave its usual warm-hearted response.

Kudos to the Irish consulate in New York which organized the five-borough presence and previous days of action. Consul General Noel Kilkenny and Deputy Consul Peter Ryan can be rightly proud of what they have achieved.

St. Camillus parish, just blocks from the ocean, took the full onslaught of Superstorm Sandy last October and now, eight months later, is still in dire need.

St. Camillus is not in a wealthy area and many of the parishioners are in dire need themselves. Like the saint himself who ministered to the poorest, Camillus Parish has its fair share of people in need.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians, under dynamic Queen County leader John Manning, grabbed the initiative and put together the festival. The Irish community came on board and added work crews as well.

“We wanted to make a difference,” he told me, “this was the way we decided to try and do it.”
Another leading AOH man Dan Dennehy summed up the weekend perfectly. “This is what we Irish do best, help ourselves and help others.”

“I'm humbled by the faith of the people, by the generosity of the people, and by the spirit of the people...” Father Richard Ahlemeyer, the pastor said recently describing his parishioners.

“They've banded together, and they have worked together, shared together, and they're doing that now … It's really been a remarkable experience of what was always there, a community and a cohesiveness of people wanting to work together.”

That sounds like what the Irish have pulled off in Rockaway these days.

A hearty well done to everyone.
This is a very heartwarming article and a perfect example of how the Irish American community comes together to support and comfort each other in time of crisis. I am also proud that the members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America played a prominent role in this very worthy charitable effort. However, I was shocked and, very frankly, appalled to see the obvious desecration of our American flag as it is shown in this article with a green background to the stars representing the fifty American states. It is all well and good to display the American and Irish flags together unaltered. It is an entirely different story to alter and, therefore, desecrate the flag of our nation or any other regardless of whether the intentions for doing so were good or bad. Countless numbers of Irish and Irish American men and women fought and died for the nation that is reverently represented by our treasured American flag and that flag had a blue background for the stars not a green one. In future, please remember that the Irish Tricolor represents our heritage, but the unaltered Stars and Stripes is the symbol of our country and deserves our undivided respect and allegiance.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Proud Citizen of The United States of America & Ireland