Scríobh mé an ríomhphost seo do Enda Kenny ag firstname.lastname@example.org tar éis an scéal faoi Savita a léamh: http://www.nuacht24.com/nuacht/fiosruchan-ar-bhas-savita-halappanavar/
Dírithe ag an Taoiseach:
My heart goes out to the family of Savita Halappanavar, to all who knew her, and to all women everywhere. Ireland needs to truly separate church and state.
As an Irishwoman, I am ashamed of my country for its reluctance to break the ties between church and state. Our education and health systems (church/state partnership) have a tight grip on power and so occupy us more than England ever did. It wasn’t the law that caused her death. It was allegiance to Catholic dogma: “This is a Catholic country.” Sadly that is FAR too true.
I grew up in Fascist Ireland though people do not want to call it that.
Brian Friel touched on the topic in his play Dancing at Lughnasa – a house full of women in repressive times (Ireland’s The House of Bernarda Alba). The film The Magdalene Sisters screamed the truth http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/magdalene_sisters/ about how the church enslaves women.
The Ann Lovett story broke our hearts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pRTdSBxKyM
(A 15 year old dies giving birth at a grotto of the Virgin Mary in a small town in the midlands. Her baby dies too.) Hundreds of women wrote in their stories to the radio after this story broke. That’s when we learned that it was not just in our area. It was all over the country.
We are still haunted by the ‘X case’ of a 14 year old who was raped by a neighbor and was suicidal and her family’s attempt to bring her to England for an abortion was thwarted by Irish police http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General_v._X It made us yearn for modernity and sense and reason.
And as long as Ireland refuses to grow up and refuses to separate church and state and refuses to provide education and health with no church influence, tragedies like these are doomed to be repeated over and over and over. ENOUGH! Ireland needs to have a referendum and while you are changing this law, demand separation of church and state!
Ireland failed me. I was raped by the manager of an Irish college in the Gaeltacht and all the court cases I read told me I had no hope for justice. I was 19 when he raped me in Carraroe. I was a virgin at the time he forced himself on me. I am 50 years old now and the pain has not gone away. Because I did not report it and because I was away from home, the crime got repeated.
When I was pregnant and single teaching in a Catholic school (what else was available?) I feared for my job and I felt humiliated. I still work in a Catholic school and I truly have not escaped the grip of dogma. The many court cases we women heard and read about growing up in Fascist Ireland took away all hope of getting justice. The sermons we heard each week drove home that we should feel SHAME and strive to be pure and servile. There was no point in reporting a rape. It would ruin you. The church has control of the state. Want a passport or a job? Go to the priest for a recommendation. It needs to be called what it was: fascism.
My education consisted of Presentation Convent primary school to Loreto Convent secondary to the Sisters of Mercy College of Education. What a massive dose of proselytism I was given! The message it sent me through the hierarchy of the church, through the sermons I heard, and through the all-powerful presence of statues in hospitals and other institutions of education was that I was inferior: a second class citizen and there was no escape from the oppression.
Act now. Too many women have waited and suffered for FAR too long. In Savita’s name, may something good and hope come of this for Irish women and for women everywhere.
Le meas (má dhéanann tú feabhas ar an scéal),
Scríobh mé m’ainm anseo
PS. Feel free to use this testimony if you want to. I don’t care if I get fired. I’m far too tired of oppression and hypocrisy.