Protest supports terminally ill midwife’s battle against HSE

A protest was held outside the Dail today for terminally ill midwife Philomena Canning who has battled the HSE since 2014.

Ms Canning is suing the HSE over what she considers a serious injustice. Her indemnity insurance was cancelled without notice in 2014 when two cases involving safety risk had come to the attention of the HSE.

The case has dragged on since 2015, despite Ms Canning’s persistence to have it brought to court. She was forced to sell her home because she couldn’t make repayments. Last year, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which has now become terminal.

She believes that her only hope is access to the immunotherapy drug, Pembro. It costs €6,000 per treatment and now she wants the case settled so she can access money for the drug that may help prolong her life.


“I had her for my three home births, she was amazing. Philomena is the kind of lady who wouldn’t ask or accept a settlement unless she felt that she had no other option now”, said Jane McLoughlin outside the Dail today.

One of the cases involved a post-partum haemorrhage, a loss of blood soon after childbirth. The news was a major shock to Ms Canning as neither of the two mothers had complained.

Both mothers only became aware that the midwife was under investigation when they were informed months later. At the time of the suspension, she had up to 30 expectant mothers at different stages of pregnancy

Ms Canning’s practice was never referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, which investigates capability to practice. The systems analysis was carried out by an administrator and physiotherapist. It was overseen by the official who had suspended Ms Canning.

A settlement was offered in 2015 but she rejected it. “I wanted money to compensate me for my loss of earnings but it would be known publicly what they did in my case”, Ms Canning said.

“I believe a serious safety incident was covered up here for which I was to be blamed”, she added. The HSE has not conceded liability in the case Philomena Canning is bringing against it.

Sinn Fein politician Louise O’Reilly pleaded with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the Dail today to intervene on the grounds of compassion. “She does not want to spend the last days of her life battling with the HSE”, she said.

“The information I have is that a settlement has been offered” the Taoiseach said. When contacted over the phone, the Department of Health would not give comment.

By Clara Caslin

Image Credit: Clara Caslin

The Four at Four

  1. #BREXIT: In a speech to the House of Commons, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has stated the government  will continue with a no deal “if we have to”. May also raised the possibility of extending Article 50 until the end of June if the house was unable to agree on a Brexit deal. Last night, Jeremy Corbyn voiced his support for a second referendum if Britain was faced with a no deal exit.
  2. #DIVORCE: A referendum on the constitutional restrictions of divorce is to be held in 2020. Currently, divorce laws in Ireland permit that spouses wishing for divorce must have lived a part for the past four years.
  3. #SHOOTING: Gardaí have arrived at the scene of a suspected shooting in Drogheda, Co. Louth. The alleged shooting occurred at the M1 Retail Park just after 3pm. Micheal O’Toole of the Irish Daily Star has tweeted that one person has been injured, but the victim is still alive.
  4. #ISLAMICTERROR: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said Ireland will not revoke citizenship of former extremists who left the country to fight for terror groups such as Isil. Varadkar’s comments come after the UK’s decision to revoke the citizenship of Shamima Begum, who left the UK at fifteen years old to join Isil. The Independent reported that Varadkar stated, “I think it’s bad practice to revoke somebody’s citizenship and render them stateless and leave them to be somebody’s else’s problem”.

By Aoibhin Bryant

Image Credit: Clipart library

Gardai search for culprits of 800-year-old decapitated mummy

Gardai are searching for the culprits who decapitated an 800-year-old mummy known as The Crusader, after they broke into a crypt in St. Michan’s Church in Dublin, before fleeing with the head.

A tour guide made the discovery shortly before lunchtime as they were opening the church for visitors on Monday afternoon.

The incident is believed to have happened between 7pm on Saturday 23rd and 8am on Sunday 24th.

The body of a nun, in the crypt for over 300 years, was also vandalised, with her head being turned around. A separate skull to that of The Crusader is also missing.

St. Michan’s is one of the oldest parishes in Dublin, having being established in 1095. The church is a popular tourist attraction due to the underground vaults housing preserved bodies.

 “Visitor numbers last year were about 26,000 – 27,000 people, quite considerable for a small little church.”

“The revenue alone helps the parish tick over. I’m not really worried about the revenue, I’m more worried about the desecration that’s happened. I’m just so saddened,” The Church of Ireland’s Archdeacon for Dublin, the Venerable David Pierpoint, told RTE’s LiveLine.

The vault vandalised at the weekend contained the remains of mathematician William Rowan Hamilton.

There will be a parish meeting to decide if the vaults will be reopened, with opening just for services and people just visiting the church itself, a possibility.

This is not the first time St. Michan’s has been vandalised, with mummified human remains previously destroyed in July 1996.

Around forty corpses were taken from sealed coffins and piled as the vandals looked for valuables in the vaults.

A further forty corpses and coffins were irreparably damaged by water used by the fire brigade to put out the blaze that had been started.

By Gerard Grimes

Image Credit: Metro News

The taming of the Beast from the East

Average February temperatures increased by over two degrees Celsius across Ireland between 2018 and 2019, according to Met Éireann data.

However, the 2019 temperatures are only a 0.15 degrees Celsius rise on the average temperature for February 2017. Late February and March of last year were ravaged by Storm Emma and the Beast from the East, a stark contrast to the warm temperatures of late.

“Scientifically, at this point, it is difficult to directly attribute this year’s mild temperatures to anthropogenic/man-made climate change,” said Barry O’Dwyer, lead researcher of climate change and adaptation in University College Cork.

“It is consistent with what we would expect in terms of Ireland’s changing climate.  Temperatures in Ireland have increased by almost a degree on average over the last century and this is in line with global temperature increases.”

The researcher said that projections indicate these changes will continue and future years will show similar above average temperatures.

Yesterday was the warmest day ever recorded in February or any winter month in the UK. A town in Wales had the highest temperature of 20.6 degrees Celsius. The highest temperatures on 25 February in Ireland was 17.3 degrees Celsius in Roscommon.

Last February, lowest temperatures were recorded at -7 degrees Celsius in Cork airport on the night of 28 February.

Memorable events from this time of weather flux include the looting and destruction of Jobstown Lidl in Tallaght by a stolen JCB on 2 March and the empty supermarket shelves cleared of bread.

By Orla Dwyer

Image Credit: Orla Dwyer

Almost 30,000 cigarettes seized at Dublin Airport

Cigarettes and tobacco with a retail value of €20,000 were seized at Dublin Airport yesterday.

Revenue officers seized 29,400 cigarettes and 3kgs of tobacco when they stopped a passenger arriving from a flight from Abu Dhabi.

The tobacco products seized were branded ‘Chesterfield’, ‘Pall Mall’, ‘Marlboro Gold’ and ‘Amber Leaf’ and represent a potential loss of €14,000 to the Exchequer.

A 34-year-old Lithuanian man was arrested and appeared before Judge Dermot Simms in the Dublin Metropolitan District Court on the same day.

He is to be remanded in custody to Cloverhill until Friday next, 1 March, when he will next appear before the court.

A total of 5,237 seizures and detections of tobacco were recordecd in 2018, according to the Revenue’s Headline Results for the year.

The 2018 report, which give preliminary reports for the year, show that €42.21m in tobacco was seized last year.

By Gerard Grimes

Image Credit: Revenue

May sets out key dates before Brexit deadline day

Theresa May has put forward three dates as part of the next stage before the Brexit deadline on March 29th, in a statement to the House of Commons today.

A vote will be held on March 12th to leave with a deal. If this vote is rejected by her government a second vote will be held the next day on whether the House would accept leaving the EU with a no-deal.

A third vote will go ahead should the British Parliament refuse to leave with a no-deal, on the 14th of March on whether the Brexit deal should be delayed.

“So the United Kingdom will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consent in this House for that outcome,” May told the House.

May also stated that if Article 50 be delayed beyond the end of June then the UK would need to take part in EU elections, saying, “What kind of message would that send to the more than 17 million people who voted to leave the EU nearly three years ago now?”

May finished off her speech by stating that the UK would have to either leave the EU with a deal, leave the EU with no deal, or not leave the EU at all.

In the wake of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supporting a second Brexit Referendum, May called out the opposition party for going against the will of the people, saying that a second referendum would be divisive and send the country back to square one.

While a no-deal is now very unlikely, May believes her Government could make one work. “I believe that, if we have to, we will ultimately make a success of a no deal,” May said.

Corbyn responded that Labour has a credible plan that could “Bring the country together, provide certainty and protect jobs and industry.”

The leader of the Labour party also claimed that The Tories want to weaken worker’s rights with this deal, saying what May promised on workers’ rights was “way short of dynamic alignment.”

Chair of the Home Affair’s Committee Yvette Cooper joined Corbyn in criticising May for promising votes to happen and then pulling them. May had promised votes for December, January and February, with only the January vote happening, which was comprehensively defeated. 

Theresa May addressed Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement yesterday that The Labour Party would support a second referendum.

“He (Corbyn) has gone back on his promise to respect the referendum result and now wants to hold a divisive second referendum, that would take our country right back to square one.” the Prime Minister said.

The Journal took to the streets of Dublin and asked what they thought of a second Brexit referendum.

By Ian Brennan

Image Credit: Hiiraan Online



Leaders’ Questions has been concluded.


Deputy Ryan asks to stop scoring political points, Ryan says he fought hard for his transport policies while in government.

Ceann Comharile quells the uproar.

“Would you ever shut up once, yeah?” says Fine Gael Fergus O’Dowd


Varadkar says the Green Party has a poor record in implementing transport plans.

“There is a public consultation underway on both Bus Connects and MetroLink”.

Varadkar is determined to see these projects through.


Deputy Eamon Ryan of the Green Party says there are three options for MetroLink:

  • either connect to the green line.
  • Connect to Rathfarnam and Tallaght, an area of Dublin lacking transport services.
  • Or connect it to UCD and Sandymount.

Ryan pleads to not abandon the southside of the city. And whatever happens on the southside, do not delay the northside.

“We fundamentally stand with bus connects, our transport emissions will increase by 30 per cent when we need to decrease”.


Howlin: “Where stands Metro now? Is it the original, is it modified?”

“We always seem to plan but never deliver”.

Varadkar says is impossible to cost MetroLink at this stage, but will be a multi billion investment.

“Public consultation is under way”.


Taoiseach Varadkar mentions how many of his constituents from Dublin West spend 2 hours on the bus every day.

Varadkar wants to implement project Ireland 2040, hoping to grow areas out of Dublin in order to solve congestion.

“I doubt anyone regrets the Luas is built now” Varadkar refers back to how many protested against the extension of the green line.

The MetroLink will disrupt sports centres and parking spaces.

Deputy is asked to stop yelling by Ceann Comhairle.


“As Minister for Justice has indictated, he is very welcome to receive a submission from the family”.

Deputy Brendan Howlin for Labour raises the anxiety around the two major transport projects, MetroLink and Bus Connects.

“123 years ago Glasgow opened its first subway, we are still planning our own”.

Minister for Transport has seemed to distance himself from Bus Connects, according to Howlin.

“Will the government provide for a full and complete debate in this house to test its plan for transport provisions?”


Deputy MacDonald wants each of the statutory organisations to not only be horrified but to learn “why, so we can take preventative action”.

MacDonald is told that time is up.


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that the Gardai can learn from awful cases “such as this”.

The Gardaí are carrying out a review on domestic violence homicide.


Deputy Mary Lou MacDonald also mentions the “heartbreaking story” of Clodagh Hawes’ murder.

“They need answers to questions surrounding Clodagh and her sons’ murder”.

“Domestic homicide reviews take a multi-agency approach. Bodies such as Woman’s Aid have long advocated for the introduction of these reviews in Ireland”.

MacDonald asks if the Minister for Justice will meet with the family to discuss the matter.


Martin says many valid points were made last night, that it was too easy in cases of familicide to throw a blanket over cases, blaming it on depression psychosis.

Martin asks to commission research into familicide in Ireland.

Varadkar responds that the budget for National Suicide Office has doubled.


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the murder of Clodagh and her three sons was beyond “anyone’s worst nightmares”.

“We cannot imagine their pain, very little we can say or do here to ease their grief and suffering”.

Varadkar says laws have been made already, highlighting the Domestic Violence Act that passed in 2018.

“The family have asked us to review the succession and coroners act”.


Deputy Míchael Martin brings up Clodagh Hawe’s story on Claire Byrne Live last night.

“Many questions still remain unanswered, for far too long”.

“There are serious child protection issues at stake, profound issues relating to mental health and psychiatry”.

Martin says there are clearly lessons to be learnt from the murder.

Martin puts a question to the government if another inquiry will be commissioned.


Leo Varadkar makes his way down the steps to his seat.

Mary Lou MacDonald and Míchael Martin enter the chamber.

Leaders questions are set to begin soon. Brexit will undoubtedly be a hot topic, as well as VAT tax.

Aoibhín Bryant


Theresa May: 

“We gave made a clear and firm commitment from this government that we will bring those votes to the house. The decision will not be entirely ours, it will be the decision of the other 27 states in the European Union”.

Yvette Cooper:

“Will the government argue for no deal or argue for extension?”

Theresa May:

“Being no majority, have to face up to the fact that either he must vote to remain in the European Union, which betrays the trust of the British people or vote for our deal”.

“There is no majority in this house in favour of leaving the European Union with no deal, whether its March, June or October”.

“If we are going to have an extension to Article 50, what does the Prime Minister intend?”

Theresa May:

“Because we are taking this time to negotiate the changes required by this house”.

“We are in talks with the European Union, and we are talking about the issues this house requires”.

“If he wants to end uncertainty and deal with the issues he raised in his response, then he should vote for a deal. Simples”

Jeremy Corbyn:

“The Prime Minister has promised a vote in December, January, February and now March. She has only managed to put a vote once, when it was comprehensibly defeated.”

There is a real life consequences of Prime Minister’s cynical tactics, factories are relocating abroad, investments being lost. Thousands are fearing for the worst. This responsibility relies exclusively on the pm and her government SHAMBOLIC handling”.

Theresa May: 

The PM has stated that the house will “make a success of a no deal”.

She has presented the House with three options, with a vote on the deal on the March 12th at the latest. If that vote is defeated, on the 13th of March, she will table a motion “asking this house if it supports withdrawing from the EU on the basis of a no deal”

If that motion is defeated, on the 14th the government will bring forward a motion to extend Article 50.

By Aoibhin Bryant

Image Credit: Flickr

Former Dublin tenement residents recall the rare old times

People who used to live in Dublin’s tenements were invited to share their memories in a former tenement building on Tuesday 26 February.

The event is part of 16 in total being held from January to April by the team of historians and guides at 14 Henrietta Street museum, a former tenement building. These discussions with former residents and their families will later be included in an oral history project.

“Rather than collecting objects, we want to collect intangible things like peoples’ stories and memories,” said Head of Engagement at Dublin City Council Culture Company Aalia Kamal.

People are invited to these events over the next few months to sit down and discuss their memories of the tenements with historians and guides at the museum and around the city. Events are being held in Ballymun, Finglas, Drimnagh and Darndale among others.

“We are trying to have relaxed and open conversations with people and we are recording peoples’ voices and their memories,” said Kamal. 

“Every conversation you have, it illuminates the place in a different way and adds value,” said Kamal.

There is no end date for the project but the informal discussions will finish on April 30th. Each event has seen an average of 20 to 25 attendees depending on the day and location. Within the first half hour of event at 14 Henrietta Street, seven people had come in to tell their stories.

“The word sort of got out a bit and people have been great in coming along or approaching us on the phone line,” said Kamal.

The phone line is especially important because a lot of people are elderly and may not be able to make it out to the events around the city. The museum workers ensure that people know exactly what the project is and where their memories will be shared.

The building dates from the 1720s on Henrietta Street in Dublin’s North Inner City. 100 people were living in 16 rooms in the building at its peak. Families continued living in the building until the late 1970s.

14 Henrietta Street took 10 years and €4.5 million to restore before the museum opened up last year.

For more details on the oral history project, visit

By Orla Dwyer

Image credit: Dan Butler

Brendan Rodgers Looks Set to Swap Celtic for Leicester

Brendan Rodgers looks set to become the new Leicester City manager.

Celtic have given permission for Rodgers to speak to Leicester.

“Brendan has indicated to the club that this is an opportunity he wishes to investigate further and therefore, very reluctantly, the Club has granted him permission to speak to Leicester City,” read a statement on Celtic’s official website.

Talks of the move began after Claude Puel was sacked from Leicester following the clubs 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The results of this loss leaves the club 12th in the Premier League.

The Celtic manager is said to move to Leicester along with Chris Davies and Kolo Toure.

Former Celtic and Hibernian manager Neil Lennon is said to take charge of Celtic until the end of the season.

Leicester City have pursued the move in order to make Rodgers their new manager with immediate effect.

Rodgers has had great success with Celtic since 2016, the club has 22 consecutive cup tie victories and it is the first time in thirty years that Celtic lifted the league cup for 3 seasons in a row.

By Nicole Cassidy

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