Friday 25 January 2008

Castlebar radio host supports rogue agencies

In December of last year, Choice Ireland sent out a press release announcing our most recent protest against the rogue crisis pregnancy agency at 50 Upper Dorset Street in Dublin.

The Castlebar Community Radio host John Murphy replied to our press release describing our campaign as a "sinister and disgusting attack on counselling agencies who counsell [sic] in the saving of lives (mother and child)."

Mr Murphy subsequently refused a Choice Ireland spokesperson's offer to debate him on the issue on his radio programme, on the supposed grounds that the spokesperson was an "accessory to murder" and that the matter is therefore "sub-judice". Choice Ireland has copies of these emails, both of which were sent on a CRC FM email account.

Rural women are among those particularly affected by the taboo on abortion in this country. Castlebar is situated thirty minutes from Knock Airport where, over the past forty years, several thousand women have boarded flights to England for abortions. They have done so in silence and secrecy, their often-traumatic journey compounded by returning to the slander of "murderer" by people like Mr Murphy. It seems that he would wish to increase their psychological distress even further by subjecting them to the lies and manipulation of the so-called counselling agencies.

John Murphy's refusal to publicise the Choice Ireland statement or to allow an on-air debate on the issue belies the claim of his station to be community radio. A true community institution serves the entire population of its area. Women who have considered abortion in a crisis pregnancy situation represent a significant proportion of any community - more, undoubtedly, than Mr Murphy realises.

They deserve to have issues of concern to them acknowledged and discussed in an open, mature and realistic fashion - not hushed-up and censored because they challenge the narrow conservative views of their local radio talk show host.

Friday 18 January 2008

Feminist Walking Tour - March 8th

Celebrate International Women's Day
What? Feminist Walking Tour
When? IWD Sat March 8th, 2.30pm
Where? Meet at Stephen's Green Arch
Why? Education, Celebration, Visibility, Solidarity, Fun!
Celebrate International Women's Day by joining us on a Feminist Walking Tour of Dublin city centre. The tour is free (although donations welcome) and will last approx 2 hours. All are welcome to attend - no need to book. You are also invited to come along in your best drag/ feminist fancy dress! Meet on Sat March 8th at 2.30pm at the main entrance to Stephen's Green (opposite the shopping centre).

The tour will be an informative and entertaining take on women's history in Ireland - from the Brehon Laws, through women's role in the early formation of the state, labour movements, the resurgence of feminism in the 1970's, the movement against domestic/sexual violence, and the continuing struggle for reproductive rights. There will be a particular emphasis on the contemporary women's movement in its many guises and acknowledging the challenges facing all women, particularly those experiencing poverty or exclusion and women from minority ethnic communities.

An information booklet/map will be provided on the day (and an activity sheet to keep the younger feminists amused!)

The tour will be followed by a social event in the evening with music and fun! Further details to be confirmed.

For more information/ to help out, email

The tour is being organised by members of Choice Ireland in association with the RAG collective and other women's/feminist groups and individuals.