Tag Archives: Ireland

Former president of Ireland says early baptism breaches “fundamental human rights”

mary mcaleese

Roman Catholic abortion supporter Mary McAleese

This woman isn’t an “independent,” she’s a full-blown proggie.

Mary McAleese was president of Ireland from 1997 to 2011. She’s an “independent” and according to Wikipedia, “holds liberal views on homosexuality” and “remained popular and her Presidency is regarded as successful.”

The former president (a practicing Roman Catholic) voted yes in Ireland’s abortion referendum last month and stated “she has not gone to confession after voting Yes in last month’s abortion referendum and has “no intention whatsoever” of doing so.”

Now she’s suddenly concerned about the human rights of babies, those who actually get the chance to be born.

From Irish Times: Babies baptised into the Catholic Church are “infant conscripts who are held to lifelong obligations of obedience”, according to former president Mary McAleese.

Saying that early Baptism breaches fundamental human rights, she said: “You can’t impose, really, obligations on people who are only two weeks old and you can’t say to them at seven or eight or 14 or 19 ‘here is what you contracted, here is what you signed up to’ because the truth is they didn’t.”

The current model of Baptism “worked for many centuries because people didn’t understand that they had the right to say no, the right to walk away”, she declared.

“But you and I know, we live now in times where we have the right to freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of opinion, freedom of religion and freedom to change religion. The Catholic Church yet has to fully embrace that thinking,” she told The Irish Times.

She said conscience was “supreme” where Catholics were concerned.

“My human right to inform my own conscience, my human right to express my conscience even if it is the case that it contradicts the magisterium [teaching authority of the church], that right to conscience is supreme.”

She said many things down the centuries were taught “with great passion that quietly now have been abandoned by the very magisterium that taught them”.

She instanced examples such as its condemnation of Gallileo or, more recently, the description in 1930 by Pope Pius XI of those who advocated emancipation and equality for women as “false teachers”.

Mrs. McAleese said she did not intend to attend any World Meeting of Families events in Dublin in August because it had “become a political rally rather than a religious and spiritual experience”.

The meeting, which will be attended by Pope Francis, is a forum “for the reinforcement of orthodoxy”, she said.

She will, however, be taking part in the Dublin Pride Parade next Saturday (this was published June 23) “under the BeLongTo banner” and with “the members of our own family, straight and gay, young and old, we’ll all be there”.

DCG

Google stops all ads about Irish abortion referendum

googleFrom The Independent: Google will stop all advertising about the Irish abortion referendum amid fears of election interference.

The decision comes after increasing concern that online platforms like Google and Facebook can secretly be used to influence the results of elections and referendums.

Google is currently showing a range of ads about the Irish referendum, which will take place on 25 May. Anyone who searches for any related terms is likely to see a post with a link to a website, either in support of voting for or against the plan to legalise abortion in the country.

The ban will go into effect in the next 24 hours and will last until the campaign is over. It will not change what shows in normal search results, which at the moment is largely made up of news articles from a range of organisations, rather than information from campaigns on either side.

“Following our update around election integrity efforts globally, we have decided to pause all ads related to the Irish referendum on the eighth amendment,” a spokesperson said.

The announcement comes just a day after Facebook announced it would stop all ads that were being bought from outside of Ireland. The company said that “foreign entities” appeared to be trying to influence the result.

The news comes amid increasing focus on how online ads were used in campaigns like the Brexit referendum or the 2016 US election. Both Google and Facebook have launched changes in the wake of those events, intended on limiting the ways that outside actors can use political ads to influence elections.

Google explicitly linked the new changes to those efforts, though it did not make clear whether the change was the result of any particular ad.

DCG

About those “child” refugees in Britain: Two-thirds quizzed about their age are found to be adults

immigrants with selfie

Shocker, not.

From Daily Mail: Nearly two-thirds of ‘child’ refugees who were questioned about their real age after coming to Britain were found to be adults, an official report has found. In one year, 65 per cent of asylum seekers assessed after claiming to be juveniles were judged to be over 18.

The report, by immigration watchdog David Bolt, revealed that the Home Office received 2,952 asylum applications from unaccompanied children in the year to June last year.

Out of these there were 705 age disputes – around a quarter of the total – where officials suspected the individual was lying about their age. Of these, 618 cases were resolved and 402 – or 65 percent – were found to be adults.

If these asylum seekers had been treated as children it would have left councils and local taxpayers facing a care bill of millions of pounds a year.

The statistics come amid concern that Britain’s generosity towards genuine child victims of war, terror and humanitarian disasters is being abused.

The figures were published in a report by Mr. Bolt, the independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, into the Home Office’s treatment of lone child migrants.

They relate to young migrants with neither parents nor carers who have sneaked into Britain stowed away in trains, lorries and ships and then claimed asylum.

If a refugee does not have a birth certificate or other travel documents, a Home Office screening officer must decide whether or not they are a child based on their ‘physical appearance and demeanour’.

Unless the person appears ‘significantly’ over 18, they should be ‘afforded the benefit of the doubt and treated as children’ until they are age-assessed by local council social workers, official rules state.

This is to avoid the risk of a child migrant accidentally being placed in adult accommodation or detention. But on some occasions it meant adults were treated as children, potentially posing a risk to school pupils, foster families or children in care.

Home Office figures reveal that there have been 12,942 disputes over the ages of child asylum seekers since 2006, with 5,965 – around 46 per cent – found to be over 18 in this period.

Mr. Bolt’s report said Home Office staff ‘did not feel confident about making initial age assessments of applicants claiming to be children, particularly judging whether the claimant was “significantly over 18” and should be entered into the adult process’.

It added: ‘They received no training to help them make such judgments. Some local authorities were concerned that the Home Office applied its “benefit of the doubt” policy too readily, and highlighted the risks of wrongly placing an adult with children in their care.’

Reacting to the figures, Tory MP Tim Loughton, a member of the Commons home affairs select committee, said: ‘This has been a problem for some time. We have been a soft touch in too many cases for asylum seekers who abuse our hospitality by elaborating their credentials. It is right we give a safe haven to those who are in danger but too often we have been too trusting.

A row flared in October 2016 amid concern that some adult refugees were lying about their ages to gain entry to Britain.

There were calls for the Home Office to take action after mature-looking ‘child migrants’ were among those who arrived in the UK from the squalid Jungle camp in Calais to be reunited with relatives as part of a resettlement programme.

Jack Straw, the Labour former home secretary, led demands for more accurate age tests.

Some critics said dental checks should be introduced. Officials insisted all the migrants were aged under 18. But some looked several years older, with crow’s feet and flecks of grey hair.

Computer analysis of photographs of some of the migrants suggested many could be in their 20s and 30s. The facial recognition software written by Microsoft, even suggested one migrant was 38.

Ministers have ruled out using medical tests, including dental checks, to assess the age of migrants. Citing guidance by the Dental Medical Association, they say tests of teeth are ‘inaccurate, inappropriate and unethical’.

But Britain is one of only three EU countries not to use medical checks to verify the age of child asylum seekers. The others are Ireland and Cyprus. Every other nation calls in doctors, dentists or psychologists to root out adults who are abusing the asylum system by pretending to be children.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘After consultation with stakeholders we published revised guidance on age assessments and we have committed to produce more child-friendly information in a range of languages to help children better understand the asylum system.’

DCG

LGBT website calls Prince George a “gay icon”

josh jackman

The author of the Pink News article, Josh Jackman/@josh_jackman

Because that’s what every ordinary person would label a child.

From Yahoo: An article on a leading LGBT website has been branded ‘sick’ and garnered complaints after it drew attention to people on Twitter referring to Prince George as a ‘gay icon’.

The piece was published by PinkNews after a picture surfaced of the four-year-old prince with his hands on his face in a helicopter in Germany last month.

A Northern Ireland politician has launched a complaint about the website. Jim Allister, leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) party, has demanded PinkNews withdraws the article and apologises.

He said:  “Sexualising a young child in this fashion is entirely inappropriate. In reality, the photo which prompted the piece shows a four-year-old boy who is smartly dressed and excited about being on a helicopter with his male father and female mother.

“To take an image of a little boy and to fantasise of him being an icon for a life defined by sex is outrageous and sick.”

The article by Josh Jackman was published on 25 July with the headline: People think Prince George looks fabulous in this new photo. It then goes on to describe the young prince as a “gay icon”.

It said: “The monarch-to-be has always been cute and well-dressed, but one day before his fourth birthday, a photo of him excitedly holding his face changed everything. At least, that’s what the people – sorry, his subjects – are saying.”

The chief executive of PinkNews, Benjamin Cohen, told the BBC he had no intention of removing the article.

He said it was a “tongue-in-cheek” piece, based on the comments of “hundreds” of social media users.

He also said  he had “never heard of Jim Allister” and that it was a “legitimate” piece of social commentary and rejected Mr. Allister’s claim that it had “sexualised” a young child.

DCG

Actress Tilda Swinton’s ex John Byrne reveals he is the child of incest, calls it ‘traditional’

tilda swinton and john byrne

“Artists” Tilda Swinton and John Byrne

That’s an Irish “tradition” I’ve never heard of.

From Fox News: Tilda Swinton’s former partner has revealed that he is the child of an incestuous relationship – and described the union as “traditional.”

Scottish artist John Byrne, 77, found out that his grandfather Patrick McShane was actually his dad after his aunt Helen died in 2002. But after a period of hating his granddad, he has now come to accept his unusual lineage – and revealed that it’s not as uncommon as people might think.

He said: “I think he gave me that wonderful mixture of genes with his own daughter, the eldest of the family. That’s what they do in Ireland. I presume it’s what they do in unlettered places, and lettered places. It’s traditional, and nobody speaks about it.

As a child, John recalls that his mom would regularly walk eight miles from their home in Paisley to his grandparents’ house in Cardonald – and in hindsight it was because she loved him like a partner.

He said: “She was in love with her own father, utterly and totally. She just wanted to be in his company. She couldn’t even confess it. My own father [his mum’s husband Patrick Byrne] didn’t know.”

John, who was the brains behind Scottish TV series “Tutti Frutti,” only discovered the shocking truth about his parentage when his cousin Aileen Kane called his and Tilda‘s remote Scottish home to tell him that her mom had passed away.

Speaking to The UK Times, he said: “Helen told Aileen what my mother had told her, when she was much younger. Aileen asked Tilda, ‘Do you think I should tell [him]?’ Tilda said, ‘You’ve got to tell him.’ She called me in and handed me the phone.”

However, his cousin didn’t deliver the news over the phone, instead meeting in Glasgow to tell him face to face.

John’s mom died in the 1980s after a long battle with mental illness, which in hindsight John thinks stemmed from her incestuous relationship.

The Scotsman, who has two children with “Narnia” star Tilda, admitted that he felt hatred for his grandfather after the truth about his parentage came out – but slowly “everything fell into place”.

He said that his attitude went from “he died of cancer, hell mend him” to realizing that he had only ever felt love for the man.

John, who met Tilda in 1985, added: “It’s because I admitted to myself that I adored my grandfather, beforehand. What did he do to me particularly, that damaged me? I don’t think he did damage me.

John and Tilda split up in 2005 but continued to live together for years, looking after the couple’s 17-year-old twins Xavier and Honor in Scotland while Tilda worked on a string of blockbusters. In 2008 she moved in a younger lover, Sandro Kopp – who is 18 years her junior – and the trio co-habited.

Speaking about the unusual arrangement, Tilda said: “The father of my children and I are good friends and I’m now in a very happy other relationship. And we’re all really good friends. It’s a very happy situation. Life doesn’t have to be complicated. You just have to have compassion with yourself and stop blaming yourself when things do get complicated.”

DCG

IRS launches investigation into Facebook looking into a 2010 property transfer that could have drastically decreased company’s tax payments

Zuckerberg better hop on a private jet and have a rendezvous with Koskinen on a tarmac STAT.

Mark Zuckerberg

From Daily Mail: US tax authorities are asking Facebook to turn over documents for an investigation into the social networking giant’s dealings with its Irish subsidiary, court documents show.

In a petition filed in federal court in San Francisco, the Internal Revenue Service said it is ‘conducting an examination of the federal income tax liability’ for Facebook in 2010.

The petition said the IRS is looking into ‘certain agreements between Facebook Inc. and Facebook Ireland Holdings Limited purporting to transfer rights associated with Facebook’s worldwide business to Facebook Ireland.’

The revelation is the latest highlighting tax questions on big tech companies on global operations. The statute of limitations on the case will expire at the end of this month.

European officials have looked at tax liabilities of companies including Google, Amazon and Apple. Some of the firms have taken advantage of tax breaks offered from Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

The IRS said Facebook has failed to turn over documents sought in the investigation and did not appear in response to a summons for the information. ‘Facebook complies with all applicable rules and regulations in the countries where we operate,’ a spokesperson for the social media site told CNN Money.

The IRS is seeking a court order requiring Facebook to turn over the requested documents and to appear before IRS agents looking into the case.

DCG

These Irish sisters used to be brothers

One common thing I’ve noticed in many of these “transgender” stories? No mention of a father in the picture.

transgender siblings

From NY Post: Jamie and Chloe O’Herlihy have a strong bond as siblings. They started out as brothers and now are sisters.

During a trip home to their native Cork, Ireland, last summer, the then-brothers opened up to one another after struggling with their gender identities for years. Days later, the two came out as transgender.

“It’s a cliche to say, ‘I always knew,’ but I did and I just kept pushing it to the back of my mind,” 23-year-old Jamie tells Caters News. “Then I started doing some drag shows in the evenings and I realized how comfortable I felt dressed up.”

Unable to stay silent any longer, Jamie came clean to Chloe — then Daniel — in summer 2015.

“I tried to ignore it but it got to the point where when the morning came round, I didn’t want to take off the drag because it was a better representation of me than I was,” she said. “So I came out to Chloe and our mum last summer, and by November I had come out to all my friends and colleagues.”

While both are planning to go under the knife for gender reassignment surgery, Chloe is still coming to terms with the fact that she and Jamie were both waging a war within themselves.

“It’s weird that we were both going through exactly the same thing and having the same thoughts about being trans but just not talking to each other,” Chloe shares. “Then when Jamie came out and told us, I was like, ‘Right, this is something you are going to have to face too.’”

Now living their true selves, Jamie and Chloe revealed to Caters that while they were able to dress as they pleased at home, school was another story.

“I always wore makeup and had longer hair. I’ve never really been considered one of the lads, I was always one of the girls,” 20-year-old Chloe said.

“From the age of 2 I was dressing her up in tutus,” Jamie adds. “All our childhood memories are us dressing up as our favorite celebs and putting T-shirts on our heads so we had long hair or wearing them as skirts. But when we got to school, we realized it was not okay to do that with other people so we kept it as our secret.”

Though Jamie and Chloe have been able to lean on one another, the transition has affected each of them differently as they’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks. As for the possibility of surgery in their future, Jamie and Chloe know that they’ll enter the next phase of their lives together.

“We talk a lot about our transition and it is great to have each other. We know exactly how each other feels,” Chloe says. “If I’m out and I get a funny look or comment and I’m feeling anxious, I can call Jamie and she knows exactly what to say.”

“But I think we’re both at very different stages. Growing up, I always had my hair long and wore kind of feminine clothes, so it’s easier for me to go out now as a woman,” she continues. “Jamie has always been the more confident one, but at the moment her anxiety is through the roof because leaving the house as a woman is new and it is hard.”

Although the surgery does “scare” Jamie, as she’s never been in the hospital before, she knows the end result will trump her remaining fears and anxieties.

“We don’t see ourselves going in and leaving with a brand new face, but for us to live a happy life where we don’t have to worry, we need people to not have to question, ‘Is that a man or is that a woman?’” Jamie says.

While Chloe says the surgery “won’t be drastic,” just a procedure to enhance their “beauty in a more female way,” her big sister is ready to leave her past as a male officially behind.

transgender siblings2

“I do not want to change too much, but I also don’t want to look in the mirror and see any semblance of male,” Jamie shares. “It sounds dramatic, but I’m trying to undo the wrong that was done to me at birth and I don’t need any reminders of the struggle of having to carry this male body.”

DCG