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Public Inquiry
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Human Rights in Ireland
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Convention on The Rights of People with Disabilities

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Tuesday December 20, 2011 12:30author by Sean Crudden - imperoauthor email sean at impero dot iol dot ieauthor address Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louthauthor phone 0879739945 Report this post to the editors

Is It Meant or Is It Mullarkey?

Maybe the time has come again to look inwards instead of outwards. Like we did in the early and mid 1950’s. Let us not wait for the prompt from hypocrites from abroad. Create liberty, equality, fraternity; for all mental patients in Ireland. And for everyone in Ireland including children about to be born now around the Feast of The Nativity.

My father was a stern barber who cut my hair and my brothers’ hair as children. He did not want any of us to as much as move a muscle as he perfected the job. He used a hair clippers, a scissors, a comb. I do not think he bought equipment very often; he probably “borrowed” it from his job in The Mental Hospital, Ardee. He also cut his brother’s hair, and my uncle was very proud of his auburn locks which he used to brush in front of the mirror before going abroad in his hackney car. My father also cut neighbours’ hair, anyone who was brave enough to ask him. He cut the hair of the patients in the hospital and probably also for one or two of his workmates. As a barber he was self-taught but as he often boasted his qualification was RMN, Registered Mental Nurse. I am talking about how things were in the late 40’s and early 50’s of the last century. My father around that time often used to recite the opening lines of a story. “Once upon a time in the reign of Haroun Al Raschid there lived in Baghdad a celebrated barber by the name of Ali Sekel.” He never went any further to elaborate the story. But for me the story ended a few years ago when I saw on the television in The White Elephant Lounge, a room in my house, Saddam Hussein plunge to his death heckled by a crowd of morons. My uncle often laughed and mentioned Sweeney Todd, the demon barber, who used to inveigle clients into his barber’s chair and slit their throats when he had them relaxed. Anyway the recent wars in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, highlight a gross irony. Cruel, ignorant wars sponsored by the self appointed peacemakers of NATO and the UN. That is why I have little faith in CRPD (Convention on The Rights of People with Disabilities) although my colleagues in Ireland, Europe and further afield see it as the vehicle to liberate the mentally ill.

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