Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
A look at news from around Ireland
Gay Marriage Debate
THERE was a packed gallery at Athy Town Council’s monthly meeting last Wednesday evening as a debate on same-sex marriage got under way.
Never in the past 100 years has an issue divided the town of Athy so much, noted Town Council Cathaoirleach (chairman) Mark Wall.
Councilor Thomas Redmond called for the debate “that this council supports the equal access to civil marriage for all citizens of Athy regardless of race, religion or sexuality.”
Catholic Voice editor Anthony Murphy, along with supporters, were due to protest but that did not materialize. Lobby group Marriage Equality was in attendance.
Athy public representatives were under immense pressure from all corners, inundated with phones calls, text messages and social media campaigns the previous days.
“This motion should be ruled out of order. It is not relevant to the business of this council,” said Councilor Mark Dalton. He said it was a national civil rights issue and it should be dealt with by the Irish government and a subsequent referendum.
Councilors then sought legal advice from the officials. “The officials are in agreement that this issue is relevant to the business of Athy Town Council. My thinking is that in this local authority we are here to represent everyone,” clarified Wall.
“We should consider very carefully the motions that we as councilors bring to the council, that they are relevant and that they do not cause any undue publicity our upset in our community,” said Councilor O’Sullivan after the meeting.
The debate took another turn on local radio station later last week when Redmond called his fellow town councilors “bigots.” He subsequently retracted the statement.
Thieves Steal Teen’s Wheelchair
A LIMERICK student whose wheelchair was cruelly stolen from outside his home returned to school at St. Nessan’s after St. Gabriel’s School in Dooradoyle stepped in with a replacement.
A number of people wanted to loan or pay for a wheelchair for 16-year-old Thomondgate lad Shane Dundon, having read that he was housebound after a gang of youths smashed up his means of getting around town. Shane’s mother Teresa said the Dundons were grateful for all the generous offers.
St. Gabriel’s had heard about last Sunday’s theft and arrived with wheelchair on Tuesday, meaning Shane, who has cerebral palsy, had his independence back and only missed two days of school.
The theft occurred while the family was watching The X-Factor at home on Sunday night.
When the Dundons discovered the theft at around 10 p.m., Shane’s older sister Nicole immediately got on Facebook to appeal for its return.
“She got a reply back straightaway that these lads had been seen outside Freda’s chip shop on the Kileely Road, stopping traffic with it. Apparently they thought it was very funny. They had plenty of time to give it back because they knew Shane was looking for it. But they chose to bust it up instead, I’m told, because they wanted the wheels for a sulky whatever that is,” said Teresa.
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