Saturday, April 27, 2013

Obama: 'Planned Parenthood Is Not Going Anywhere'
Huffington Post Staff Writer – 26 April 2013
President Barack Obama became the first sitting president Friday to address Planned Parenthood's national conference, where he reassured the organization and its supporters that he will continue to fight on their behalf.
"When politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag, they're not just talking about you," he told the crowd of 1,200. "They're talking about the millions of women you serve. When they talk about cutting off your funding, let's be clear: They’re talking about telling many of those women, 'You're on your own.' They're talking about shutting those women out at a time when women need it most, shutting off communities that need more health care options for women, not less."
Obama was originally scheduled to address Planned Parenthood's annual gala Thursday night, but he rescheduled the speech in order to attend a memorial service in West, Texas. The scheduling change fueled some speculation that Obama was distancing himself from the family planning provider, but he dispelled those rumors Friday.
"I'm sorry I could not be at the party yesterday," he said during his speech at a Marriott in Washington, D.C. "I understand it was a little wild. But as all of you know, obviously, we've gone through a pretty tough week and a half. I was down in Texas letting the people of West, Texas, know that we love them and care about them in their time of grieving."
While Obama has previously avoided discussing the specifics of some state legislatures' anti-abortion proposals, he denounced several abortion restrictions specifically in his speech to Planned Parenthood.
"In North Dakota, they passed a law that outlaws your right to choose starting as early as six weeks, even if a woman is raped. A woman may not even know she's pregnant at six weeks," he said. "In Mississippi, a ballot initiative was put forward that would not only outlaw your right to choose, but could have had all sorts of other far-reaching consequences, like cutting off your access to fertility treatments and making certain forms of contraception a crime. That’s absurd, and it's wrong."
Two Republicans in Congress and multiple GOP-controlled state legislatures have already introduced bills to defund Planned Parenthood this year, but Obama assured the organization's president, Cecile Richards, and the crowd that he will continue to fight those efforts.
"No matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, there's one thing the past few years have shown us: Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere," he said. "As long as we've got to fight to make sure women have access to quality health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve got a president who’s going to be right there with you."
This public slap in the face to more than 50% of the American people who strongly believe that life begins at the moment of conception is the most recent example of the out and out arrogance of the pro-abortion President of the United States of America. Regardless of the office that he holds, one that commands the highest respect of every citizen of this great nation, his personal disdain for the rights of the unborn is truly repulsive to a huge number of the citizens that he was elected to represent. Unfortunately, this recent speech to Planned Parenthood is reminiscent of the shame that was brought on Catholics when he was invited to give the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, arguably one of the pre-eminent Catholic institutions of higher learning in the United States. Following that speech, he was given an “honorary degree” from Notre Dame. Clearly, this is yet another example of those in academia being totally out of step with rank and file Catholics and those of other faiths who firmly believe in the sanctity of life and the rights of the unborn.
For those readers who are AOH members, I would refer you to the Preamble to our National Constitution. For those who are not, I would refer you to your conscience.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Knights of Columbus – 4th Degree

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness urges people to stop celebrating Margaret Thatcher's death
“Do not allow her death to poison our minds”
IrishCentral Staff Writers - Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Member of the public among the crowds burns the front page of the Evening Standard newspaper announcing Margaret Thatcher's death.

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness called for an end to republicans organizing parties to celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s death.
The former British prime minister died on Monday aged 87 after she suffered a stroke while staying at the Ritz hotel in London.
The Sinn Féin deputy leader said on Tuesday that people should not celebrate Lady Thatcher's death. Via Twitter McGuiness denounced any celebrations to mark the former British leader’s death.
“Resist celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher,she was NOT a Peacemaker but it is a mistake to allow her death to poison our minds ” he tweeted.
On Monday celebrations were held by dissident republicans in Derry city close to the site of the Bloody Sunday massacre. In West Belfast people gathered near a mural dedicated to the memory of former IRA hunger striker to celebrate her death.
However, McGuinness, a former member of the Provisional IRA, asked republicans to resist rejoicing over her death.
Meanwhile Unionist politicians have denounced the celebrations.
Jonathan Bell, a Democratic Unionist Assembly member for Strangford said, “While many will differ on policy, such is the nature of the democratic process, all right-thinking people will regard the carnival celebrations following Baroness Thatcher's death deeply inappropriate. At a time of bereavement there should be human compassion for those in mourning.”
DUP First Minister Peter Robinson praised Thatcher’s commitment to the Union whereas Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said her policies did a “great hurt to the Irish people.”

Thatcher became a republican hate figure after her uncompromising stance over the IRA hunger strikes in the Maze/Long Kesh prison in 1981. A total of 10 prisoners starved themselves to death in attempt to gain prisoner of war privileges, after Thatcher refused to back down.
It appears as though the Deputy First Minister of the Stormont Government has chosen to align himself with those spineless politicians (with very short memories) who have hopelessly been attempting to “defend the indefensible”. During her term as British P.M., Maggie Thatcher compiled an abysmal record regarding the conflict in Ireland, the Malvinas Islands conflict in Argentina, the coal miners strikes in her own homeland, to mention only a few of the better known issues These policies along with her trademark hubris toward anybody who disagreed with them were the cause of her being reviled throughout the world. Not surprisingly, there has actually been “dancing in the streets” in Belfast, Derry, and even in cities in Britain following the news of her death.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ex-IRA inmates’ group awarded £1.3m grant
 Fiona O’Cleirigh – 5 April 2013
GOVERNMENT officials in Northern Ireland and the Republic awarded £1.3 million to support ex-IRA prisoners through an organisation that failed to comply with company law.
The European Union paid most of the money, with the rest coming from the UK and the Republic. And the EU is preparing to grant the company yet more cash.
The disclosures by investigative website raise questions about how the EU, the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland and the Dublin government approved funding for a company at a time when it was failing to file accounts and returns.
The funding bodies would have discovered the company’s failures to meet basic legal requirements by making cursory checks.
The cash went to Coiste Na N-Iarchimi, which translates as “committee of ex-prisoners”, a UK-registered company based in Belfast that was even struck off in 2011 after two official warnings over failing to file accounts and returns for four years.
An EU cross-border body set up by the UK and Irish governments awarded the funding as part of a project aimed at helping to integrate former republican prisoners back into society.
Lord Trimble, Northern Ireland’s former First Minister, told Exaro: “The responsibility is on the [current] first minister to explain because, otherwise, the public will feel that something very wrong is happening.”
And Lord Laird, an Ulster Unionist peer, called for an inquiry into why the funding was approved for a company that at the time had failed to file accounts. He said: “It is an utter disgrace for a company that, for years, has breached statutory regulations to have received so much money. I want a full inquiry into how this came about. I want to find out who is responsible for this. I want it fully exposed.”
Coiste describes itself in documents filed to Companies House as an “umbrella organisation encompassing groups and individuals” working on behalf of former republican prisoners and their families.
One of the company’s two directors listed at Companies House when it was dissolved was Caral Ni Chuilin, Northern Ireland’s culture minister. She was convicted as an IRA member and jailed in 1989 on explosive charges.
Ms Ni Chuilin, a Sinn Fein member of the Assembly, had been a Coiste director since the company was incorporated in 1999. During an investigation begun more than a year-and-a-half ago into the EU’s funding of Coiste, Exaro made repeated attempts to contact Ms Ni Chuilin to ask what had happened to the money and why it had failed to file accounts.
A Sinn Fein spokesman said that the situation had been “resolved” and that it was a “non-story”. He said that he was unable to give any further information in response to Exaro questions.
Five days after that contact, in December 2011, Companies House received notification that Ms Ni Chuilin had resigned on November 1, 2011 as a director of Coiste.
After further attempts to contact Ms Ni Chuilin, a Sinn Fein spokesman said that she “has stepped down from this role due to time pressures”.
The formal “letter of offer” to award £1,325,400 of taxpayers’ money to Coiste for the EU-backed project was dated in January 2009. The funds started to be paid from then in a continuous stream of tranches of up to £140,000.
The first payment of more than £60,000 was for expenditure run up by Coiste between October and December the year before. The project itself formally started in September 2008.
However, Exaro has established that, from August 31, 2008, Coiste was in breach of company law for its failure to file accounts. It missed a 10-month deadline to submit its accounts for the financial year to October 31, 2007.
Coiste continued to breach company law for four years by failing to file accounts until Exaro contacted it in December 2011.
Michael Culbert, Coiste’s spokesman and a director since March last year initially claimed that the company did not have to file accounts to Companies House.
But, after Exaro started investigating, the company was reinstated, accounts were belatedly filed and Ms Ni Chuilin resigned as a director.
The Northern Irish and Irish governments say that the EU funding organisation, the Special European Union Programmes Body, is responsible for vetting applications, while it claims that proper procedures were followed.
This article was copied from Irish Central Newshound on Friday 5 April 2013.
Perhaps somebody could explain some justification for soliciting, supplementing  (from our National Treasury), and then donating large sums of our members charitable funds to an organization such as the one in this article. Our extreme generosity originally was meant to provide monetary support for the families of Irish  prisoners incarcerated in British prisons for their political beliefs. It was later expanded to provide assistance to those prisoners to transition back to life outside prison walls following their release in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement. The vast majority had been released by the Fall of 2000 when the gates closed at Long Kesh and other such institutions. There is, very simply, no plausable explanation why a Catholic charity in America is still making very large donations to these “prisoner retraining programs” 13 years later. We have ceased to be a Catholic charitable organization and become a “long term social services provider” to programs such as that described above.
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America