Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Real talk: I sort of hate this holiday, if only because my neighborhood turns into a cesspool of green beer barf and discarded leprechaun hats. But what I do love is an Irish accent — sexy and adorable all at once. Here are 11 swoon-worthy Irish lads worth celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day…
On Tuesday, Ireland Senator Martin McAleese released a report on Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries, where 30,000 women and girls were enslaved in Catholic Church-run laundries between 1922-1996. (The Laundries actually existed since the 1700s, but the free state of Ireland was only established in 1922.) McAleese’s report specifically focused on uncovering the Irish State’s involvement in the Laundries and, as survivors have long claimed, found that, according to the Guardian, “the state and the Irish police force bore a major responsibility for sending the women there and failing to protect their rights as workers.”
Women and girls who were considered “troubled” or morally “fallen” — i.e. unwed mothers and girls who were deemed “loose” or wild — were sent against their will to the Church-run laundries to live and work, receiving no pay, no pension, and no protection. The McAleese report found that the women and girls were used as free labour and that the labour laws were repeatedly broken. Women and girls who died in the Laundries were often buried in unmarked graves. Babies born to the “Maggies” were taken from their mothers, often never seeing them again. The report detailed that a quarter of the women sent to the Laundries (for whom records exist) were sent by the state; that the state gave these laundries lucrative contracts but did not abide by fair wage clauses; and that the state was responsible for inspecting the laundries and thus allowed them to be run in manner that was illegal and amoral. Keep reading »
Thirty-one-year-old Savita Halappanavar died in Ireland’s University Hospital Galway in October after she was repeatedly denied medical care while suffering a miscarriage.
Halappanavar, an Indian who lived and worked in Ireland with her husband, began miscarrying around October 24, 17 weeks into her her pregnancy. Her cervix had dilated, she was leaking amniotic fluid, and a doctor said the fetus would not survive outside her body. She had the “shakes,” was “shivering” and “vomiting” for several days. Halappanavar and her husband repeatedly asked to terminate the pregnancy, but the hospital refused, telling her “This is a Catholic country” and they could not perform an abortion so long as a fetal heartbeat was detectable. On October 28, Savita Halappanavar died of septicemia (blood poisoning) and E.coli ESBL.
Women in Ireland have had a right to an abortion if their life is at risk since 1992, after an Irish Supreme Court ruling. But today, Ireland’s Minister of Health announced the Irish government will introduce a new law to clarify specifically that abortions are legal when the life of the mother is at risk. However, the health of the mother will still not be reason enough for an Irish doctor to terminate a pregnancy. That is still unacceptable. Keep reading »
Earlier this week, the world reacted to the news that a hospital in Ireland refused medical care to a woman during her miscarriage and she eventually died from blood poisoning. Savita Halappanavar, a dentist, began slowly and painfully miscarrying at 17 weeks into her pregnancy, but University Hospital Galway refused to terminate the pregnancy because a fetal heartbeat could still be detected. Halappanavar and her husband, who are both Indian and Hindu, repeatedly asked for an abortion but were told no because Ireland is “a Catholic country.” Within days, the fetus died inside Halappanavar and was removed, but it was too late; she died soon after at age 31 from blood poisoning and E.coli ESBL. Keep reading »
I would truly love to be able to submit this piece with my name attached. However, as a young woman in modern Ireland, I feel it’s not possible due to the stigma and negativity attached to the subject matter.
A few weeks ago, 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist that had settled in Ireland with her family, went to hospital with back pain and was found to be miscarrying her child at 17 weeks. Her husband described how she requested several times over a three-day period to terminate the pregnancy given the pain she was in while miscarrying. Keep reading »
A young dentist named Savita Halappanavar died last month in Ireland because University Hospital Galway repeatedly refused to perform an abortion. Doctors would not terminate the clearly-failing pregnancy while she was undergoing a painful miscarriage because the fetal heartbeat was still present. Her fetus was eventually removed from her body when the heartbeat stopped, but not after she suffered over three days in pain. After her liver, heart and kidneys slowed and were barely functioning, Halappanavar died at age 31 of septicemia (blood poisoning) and E.coli ESBL. Keep reading »
Like an episode of “Wife Swap” with feminist underpinnings and adorable accents, an Irish politician plans to swap lives for a week with a single mother of three.
Senator John Gilroy from County Cork in Ireland will live trade lives with Andrea Gagley, an activist with Single Parents Acting For The Rights Of Kids. Gagley works a part-time job and takes a college course while raising her three sons on her own. She issued the challenge to politicians on the Facebook page for Ireland’s Labour Party and Gilroy, a married father of two, took her up on it. He will live on her salary for a week while working at her part-time job and collecting her Lone Parent Allowance and Child Benefit Allowance (which I assume are Irish versions of welfare). ”He is in for a very harsh landing. He may work long hours but he has back-up at home to facilitate that, whereas I have to do everything myself,” Gagley said. The Irish Herald reports that several production companies are seeking to make a documentary about Gilroy and Gagley’s “life swap.” Keep reading »
On this day each year, I’m supposed to be remembering the thousands of lives lost as the Twin Towers collapsed 11 years ago. I do, of course, commemorate the innocent men and women (and children) who both passed away and risked their own lives to save others.
But to me, September 11 is also a day of gratitude and inspiration. My father realized — as he was running to Battery Park six blocks away from the Towers, face mask attached to his ears and debris raining down—that life is too short, too precious, to not be living it to the absolute fullest. In our family, living life to the fullest, I soon found out, meant saying goodbye to our charming lifestyle in Connecticut and flying over 3,000 miles, across the “pond,” to a little island of four-leaf clovers and major downpour. Keep reading »