Friday, March 24, 2006

24th March 2006

GREAT to see all the coverage that the blog has been getting. As some of you may know there was a great piece on blogs and politics in the Irish Times this week..

On Tuesday of this week, I joined about 70 people, mostly parents, outside the Dail to support the call for funding for the St Catherine's Barnacoyle Preschool for Autistic Children. Of course, I will continue to support them - even after the announcement of some funding from the Department of Education. The fact that parents have to campaign for basic rights for their children is extremely ridiculous, but the parents and the Irish Autism Alliance have done so well to get this far. I will be pursuing the Minister for more answers after her announcements so this is not over yet! (Labour Cllr Tom Fortune was at the protest also - in the picture on the right)

As an add on to the PES petition against trafficking of women during the World Cup, my Parliamentary Asssistant was in Brussels for the launch of Stop the Traffik campaign. It was launced by Simon Coveney MEP, and is a global coalition for those who are concerned about the issues of people trafficking. Stop the Traffik's goal is to use the opportunity of the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in 2007 to create a global commitment to significantly reduce human trafficking and to uphold the human rights of those vulnerable to, as well as those who find themselves victims of, trafficking. Once the website has been set up - I'll post the details here so that you can get information on the practical ways that you can get involved - even if it's simply to sign the Stop the Traffik declaration.

Finally, for those who didn't see Brendan Gleeson's passionate diatribe against the current state of the health services - in particular the A&E crisis - I would recommend you view it on RTE's website. It was a moving and justifiably enraged account of his personal experiences of A&E....more on this again..

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