Monthly Archives: July 2015

Chaos and Confusion between Irish & Egyptian Embassies

Confusion and Chaos between Irish and Egyptian embassies over Foreign Affairs member’s attendance at Trail of Irish born Citizen Ibrahim Halawa with 494 other defendants this Sunday.

There is absolute chaos between the Irish and Egyptian embassies in Cairo and Dublin respectively over who should arrange Senate spokesperson for the Irish Overseas and member of the Foreign affairs committee Senator Mark Daly attendance at the mass trial with 494 other defendants of Irish born citizen Ibrahim Halawa this Sunday in Cairo. Ibrahim has been deemed a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International and is innocent of all charges according to the Amnesty report.

“On the date of the trial Ibrahim will have spent 715 day in jail and the Irish Government needs to do more, we need to follow the example of the Australian government and ask for Ibrahims release by Presidential decree as occurred with Peter Greste following sustained representation by its Prime Minister Abbot”

In replies to requests to attend the trial Senator Daly received the following from the Egyptian embassy in Dublin.

“Requesting a visit to the prison or attending the court hearing should be done by your Embassy in Cairo to the competent authorities in Egypt.”

Following contact with the Irish embassy in Cairo the Kerry Senator got this reply

“access to the court hearing or to the prison is a matter for the Egyptian authorities, you might therefore wish to contact the Egyptian Ambassador in Dublin”
The confusion over trying to gain access to the trail and Ibrahim in jail is very concerning and this follows on from confusion over incorrect reports of the murder charges facing Ibrahim being reduced which the Tasoiasech mistakenly repeated in the Dail and confusion by the Department of Foreign Affairs as to why Ireland can not follow Australia’s example of looking for Ibriaham release by Presidential decree

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Introduction of a Minister for Irish Abroad following Senator Daly’s Appointment as their First Spokesperson

Having been the first person appointed by any political party as spokesperson for the Irish overseas and diaspora, I’m delighted with the progress that has been made over the last few years.

  • June 2013 – In that role I produced the first Fianna Fáil policy paper on the topic in which we called for a Minister for the Irish Overseas. Fianna Fáil were the first political party to do so.
  • October 2013 – Minister Eamonn Gilmore then asked for a Minister for the position, having agreed with the French Politician Hélène Conway and saying ‘Ireland would benefit from having a deputy Minister for the Irish Overseas’.
  • March 2014 – Sinn Féin published a policy paper on the topic.
  • July 2014 – a Minister was appointed for the position.

This was very much welcomed by the Irish community abroad. Voting rights are the most fundamental expression of citizenship. It is scandalous that we do not allow 800,000 Irish citizens who reside overseas the right to vote. We should not accept this as part and package of Irish citizenship. There are 33 countries in the European Council of Europe and a mere 4 do not have this right for their citizens abroad to vote. Out of 196 countries over 120 have introduced this element into their citizenship. It is important to note that the Constitutional Convention encouraged this introduction. Yet the government said there is a legal and technical issue and are using this as an excuse as to why it cannot be done now.

In the run up to 2016 the greatest gift we could give all of our citizens – wherever they are – is the right to vote.

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SEANAD TO DEBATE JUDICIAL SENTENCING IN AUTUMN FOLLOWING SENATOR DALY’S CALL FOR CHANGE

  • 69% of Irish population are unsatisfied with judicial sentencing in recent years.

 

  • Senator Daly proposes training for barristers, solicitors and members of the judiciary to understand the impact of sexual violence on victims to stop the judicial practice of handing down insufficient sentences.

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Having spoken in the Seanad twice this week on the matter of gender inequality within the Irish judiciary and the impact that it appears to be having on sentencing when it comes to sexual abuse.. The typical middle-aged, conservative male judge has held the majority for too long on the bench. This type of judge is unconsciously biased in their approach to sexual abuse, in some instances showing lack of consideration for the female victim. They pass judgment on women, victims of child abuse and minorities on a daily basis. Therefore, the Senator also proposes a gender quota for female judges be introduced as is in place for political parties, state boards and has been discussed in the area of education.

A school principal who sexually abused eleven children was given a two year sentence. A mere two years to serve despite the atrocities committed and consequential impact that his actions will have on those children’s lives. That works out as two months served per child abused. Senator Daly asks the Minister for Justice to come into the Seanad and speak about the clear faults in our judicial system and the sentences that are handed down in this regard. Whilst drug offences receive lengthy sentences, it appears that sexual offences are not worthy of same, according to the private-schooled, middle aged male who sits on the bench. These judges and perpetrator’s legal teams use phrases defending perpetrators such as ‘out of character’, ‘respectable background’ and ‘good family’ as an excuse for an inexcusable crime. It is no surprise, then, that 69% of the Irish population are unsatisfied with our sentencing in recent years.  The proposed training would enable judges and legal representatives alike to understand the horrifying impacts that these offences have on the victims. The debate on judicial sentencing, due to take place this Autumn in the Seanad is well over-due, and as Senator Daly put it ‘a sheer necessity’.

The example of the case of a 17 year old girl, sexually assaulted with her perpetrator admitting to the crime yet still getting zero jail time. This shows exactly what’s wrong with the current system. The senate’s debate on judicial sentencing scheduled to happen in Autumn as a result of a no prison sentence being handed down for rape is a positive step in the right direction. A lack of consideration for the victim(s) is at the core of past rulings. The comments ‘good background’ and the likes just show the stereotypical male, middle-aged, conservative attitude that the judiciary had in this regard. A mere 12.5% of the Supreme Court’s judiciary are women. A larger female presence, training for all and, at the very least, a debate in the Seanad is necessary; we need to empathise with these victims and conquer the unfair bias that is evident in our justice system.

 

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Senator Daly speaks on Kfm about proposed training for judges and legal representatives

Today on Kfm, I spoke about my proposed empathy training for members of the judiciary as well as solicitors and barristers when understanding and interacting with victims of sexual abuse. This is an issue that has long been ignored and the need for such training is a pressing issue.

Click on the link below to reach the Kfm website and play back the interview as a podcast!

Kfm Audio Archive (Podcast)

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SENATOR DALY’S PROPOSALS FOR EMPATHY TRAINING, FEMALE GENDER QUOTA AND DISCUSSION OF SENTENCING

Senator Daly proposes training for barristers, solicitors and members of the judiciary  to understand the impact of sexual violence on victims.

The Senator also proposes a gender quota for female judges be introduced as is in place for political parties and state boards.

Senate to debate judicial sentencing in Autumn as a result of no prison sentence being handed down for rape.

69% of Irish population are unsatisfied with courts sentencing in recent years.

Having spoken in the Seanad twice this week on the matter of gender inequality within the Irish judiciary and the impact that it appears to be having on sentencing when it comes to sexual abuse.. The typical middle-aged, conservative male judge has held the majority for too long on the bench. This type of judge is unconsciously biased in their approach to sexual abuse, in some instances showing lack of consideration for the female victim. They pass judgment on women, victims of child abuse and minorities on a daily basis. It is no surprise, then, that 69% of the Irish population are unsatisfied with our sentencing in recent years.

A school principal who sexually abused eleven children was given a two year sentence. A mere two years to serve despite the atrocities committed and consequential impact that his actions will have on those children’s lives. Senator Daly asks the Minister for Justice to come into the Seanad and speak about the clear faults in our judicial system and the sentences that are handed down in this regard. Whilst drug offences receive lengthy sentences, it appears that sexual offences are not worthy of same, according to the private-schooled, middle aged male who sits on the bench. These judges use phrases defending perpetrators such as ‘out of character’, ‘respectable background’ and ‘good family’ as an excuse for an inexcusable crime. The proposed training would enable judges and legal representatives alike to understand the horrifying impacts that these offences have on the victims. The debate on judicial sentencing, due to take place this Autumn is well over-due, and as Senator Daly put it ‘a sheer necessity’.

The example of the case of a 17 year old girl, sexually assaulted with her perpetrator getting zero jail time shows exactly what’s wrong with the current system. A lack of consideration for the victim(s) is at the core of these rulings. The comments ‘good background’ and the likes just show the stereotypical male, middle-aged, conservative attitude that the judiciary had in this regard. A mere 12.5% of the Supreme Court’s judiciary are women. A larger female presence, training for all and, at the very least, a debate in the Seanad is necessary; we need to empathise with these victims and conquer the unfair bias that is evident in our justice system.PICPICPIC MD

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