Give Us The Night!

GiveUsTheNight

Give Us The Night is a campaign that is highlighting the contribution of the night-time industry to culture, community and the economy in Ireland. Although I wish that there was no need for this campaign, as a former bartender I was happy to attend their re-launch in the Sugar Club and am very supportive of their key aims:

  • To support, nurture and reframe the conversation around nightlife and the night-time economy in Ireland. 
  • To highlight the economic value and societal benefits of a diverse and vibrant Irish night-time industry.
  • To contribute to the creation of jobs and sustainable indigenous businesses within the night-time industry, and to broaden employment opportunities for those operating in the creative arts. 
  • To ensure that Ireland adopts a more progressive European approach to nightlife, that reflects the wide range of lifestyles and working hours here.

You can follow the campaign and sign up for updates here: http://www.giveusthenight.com

Feminism in Europe and reflections on Ireland’s abortion referendum

Capture-e1535733824973Last weekend, I spoke at the European Day/Journées d’été, in Strasbourg, France,  about my work on the Repeal campaign and my reflections on Ireland’s abortion referendum more generally.

The panel, ‘This is My Body’, was convened by Charlotte Soulary from the Green Feminism Commission and included fellow European feminists: Evgenia Giakoumopoulou, founder of the Advocacy Centre on Council of Europe Standards (ACCESS)Daria Marx founder of the Fat Political Collective; and Emmanuelle Josse from the Collective for Feminist Parenting.

Ireland is still celebrating our recent feminist triumph, and the overwhelming mandate received from the Irish people to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution and to legislate for abortion services. It was clear from this panel’s discussion however, that women’s rights and women’s bodies are still very much a political battlefield across Europe.

According to Evgenia Giakoumopoulou, there is an emerging trend which is seeing far-right movements and religious political parties using gender ideology, paradoxically, as a means to restrict women’s rights. She gives the example of recent developments in Croatia and Bulgaria to renege on the Istanbul Convention – which aims to combat violence against women and domestic violence – with grassroots campaigns in those countries, which are being fronted by women.

Another trend that needs to be addressed, according to Daria Marx, is discrimination against body size. Though this form of discrimination can be targeted at everyone, women are particularly vulnerable through the emphasis that society and the media place on women’s body shape. Marx argues that more should be done from a political perspective to combat this and to make European societies safe for all to participate in without fear of discrimination.

Emmanuelle Josse wants to see more done to encourage a feminist approach to parenting. She argues that this needs to start with societal and political attitudes towards couples and individuals who want to start a family. In particular, work needs to be done right across Europe to legislate and provide for assisted reproductive services for all couples and individuals, regardless of their family status or sexuality.

Although Ireland’s recent referendum is being celebrated by feminists far and wide, Europe still has some way to go when it comes to women’s rights, and we must remember that, even in countries where abortion is legal, it is being challenged. You can watch the full panel (in English and in French) and my talk here with the speaking times listed below:

Column: ‘Bord Bia need to stop asking vegetarians and vegans why we don’t eat meat’ – thejournal.ie

TheJournal.ie_

“SO, TELL ME why you don’t eat meat?” – it’s the question that, as a lifelong vegetarian and now vegan, I get asked all of the time. The answer to which is constantly evolving, mainly because there are just so many good reasons to reduce your meat and dairy consumption.

Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board have recently decided to invest in research to ‘win back’ vegans and vegetarians. By their own estimations, 8 per cent of the Irish population are vegetarian, and 2 per cent of those are now vegan.

That’s eight per cent of the population – a ready-made market – that our national food board have decided they would rather twist their arms, than cater to their needs. By their own ‘Brexit Barometer’ published just last week, 85 per cent of Irish food producers and farmers are looking to expand their business into new markets. So why are Bord Bia so quick to shun one that is ready-made, and at their doorsteps.

Interfering in national diet

Let us be clear that Bord Bia’s remit is not to prescribe the Irish diet – it’s to support our farmers and food producers, by promoting Irish food, both national and internationally.  Attempts by governments to interfere with the national diet have, in the past, proved catastrophic.

The blanket promotion of fructose in the US food market for example, has been detrimental to rising diabetes and obesity in America – not to mention the impact that mass-production of corn has had on the environment.

Bord Bia play a hugely important role, supporting a sector that is so valuable to our heritage and our economy. So why have they decided that they should be setting food trends, over meeting the needs of a burgeoning market?

Rather than explore how lucrative this very healthy and environmentally-friendly trend could be, Bord Bia have dismissed it as a ‘faddy diet’, opting for a naïve approach, trying to ‘win back’ this cohort, when it’s already there for the taking.

Foodism?

It’s also erroneous to view vegetarianism and veganism as a ‘foodism’ or ‘faddy diet’. Plant-based diets have been around for millennia, and the drivers toward them are complicated and multifaceted. Just as so many are now ditching the car for a bike, there is a sway towards eating more plant-based foods for better health, wealth and to lower your impact on climate change. 

As with all diets, a predominantly plant-based one isn’t perfect, but in those imperfections lie real opportunities for Ireland to become a world leader. Bord Bia’s investment could be much better spent in researching how to overcome, and where the opportunities lie in, the countless challenges that vegetarians and vegans face on a daily basis.

For example, how to easily supplement vitamin B12; the only nutrient that is not readily available in a plant-based diet – or how Ireland can compete in the market of providing plant-based alternatives.

For farmers who want to add value to their incomes, by growing more vegetable, fruit and grain, the environmental and financial challenges can be difficult and complex. If they are to face them head-on, and meet the market demand, then Bord Bia really do need to up their game and find ways to make this transition easy.

Something we do well

We’re incredibly proud of our agricultural and food sectors, because food is something that we do really well in Ireland. Irish farmers and food producers don’t need Bord Bia to try and persuade vegetarians and vegans to eat meat.

It’s clear from their own survey data that where they actually do need help, is in finding new and lucrative markets. If we are to best help our farmers and food producers, then Bord Bia need to stop asking vegetarians and vegans “why don’t you eat meat?” and start asking us “what do you want to eat?”

Eva Elizabeth Dowling is the Green Party’s Stillorgan Area Representative. 

Published in The Journal: Jul 8th 2018 https://www.thejournal.ie/readme/column-bord-bia-need-to-stop-asking-vegetarians-and-vegans-why-dont-you-eat-meat-4098610-Jul2018/

Dublin Woman Protests Bullfighting’s Bloody Stain on Pamplona

Eva-Regional-1Eva Dowling Joins Activists From Around the World to Tell Public That Torment and Killing of Bulls Must Stop Now

Clonskeagh, Dublin – Holding a sign that read, “Stop the Bloody Bullfights,” Eva Dowling, from Clonskeagh, joined more than 100 other protesters in the centre of Pamplona, Spain, today. During the high-octane demonstration, activists – half of whom were “runners” and half of whom were “bulls” – shot blood-red flares into the sky to call for an end to the city’s yearly torment and killing of bulls during the San Fermín festival. The protest – which was organised by PETA and Spanish animal-protection group AnimaNaturalis – took place ahead of the Running of the Bulls, during which dozens of bulls are terrorised and struck as they’re chased through the cobbled streets on their way to a violent death in the bullring.

Photos of Dowling are available here, and here, and video footage of the event is available here. More photos are available upon request.

“I was proud to represent the vast majority of people around the world, whose tolerance of the archaic, murderous spectacle of bullfighting ran out long ago,” says Dowling. “It’s time that Pamplona stopped allowing terrified bulls to be speared and stabbed to death for this form of so-called ‘entertainment’ that’s nothing more than bloodlust.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – notes that more than 100 Spanish towns and cities have banned bullfighting. But in Pamplona, bulls are tormented with electric prods and sharp sticks before slipping and sliding along the narrow streets. Once in the bullring, as many as eight men taunt, beat, and jab each bull with daggers and harpoon-like banderillas until he becomes weakened from blood loss. Then, the matador stabs the exhausted animal with a sword and an executioner cuts his spinal cord. Many bulls are paralysed but still conscious as they’re chained and dragged out of the arena.

ENDS

Building a sustainable future for our community

Calling card

My Priorities:

Sustainable housing

We need sustainable solutions to Ireland’s housing crisis. The Council should be prioritising social housing, which is so badly needed. New builds must be ‘smart homes’ so as to conserve energy and reduce heating bills.

Protecting our environment

If we are to protect our natural environment and tackle climate change, we need strong action at local level. This means working with all County Councils for a joined-up, cohesive strategy that preserves this beautiful neighbourhood.

Better transport facilities and local amenities

Let’s invest in better amenities now, for all to enjoy in the future. I want to see safer cycle lanes and more attractive walking routes. After almost five years of closure, the reopening of Glenalbyn Swimming Pool is an absolute necessity.

1,500 scientists call for a repeal of the eighth amendment

NO-FEE-SCIENTISTS-FOR-YES-MX-3-718x523

In the lead-up to the recent referendum campaign, I founded and convened the ‘Scientists for Yes’ campaign platform. During this time we received over 1,500 signatures from Ireland’s scientific community, calling for a repeal of the eighth amendment.

You can read our letter, published in the Irish Independent below.

Dear Editor,

We, the 1,200 undersigned individuals, write as a group of professional scientists and members of Ireland’s scientific community, but primarily as citizens or residents of Ireland, in support of the proposed repeal of the 8th amendment. We are committed to making our contribution to an evidence-based, rational, innovation-led society and we advocate that people undertake a careful examination of the legal, medical, and scientific evidence, including a critical assessment of the sources and probable veracity of any claims made, before deciding how they wish to vote.  We value the process of coming to an evidence-based decision. This process critiques the diverse range of evidence presented, where an open mind is balanced by a healthy degree of scepticism. In this regard we commend the Citizens’ Assembly and the Joint Oireachtas Committee, who undertook careful evidence-gathering exercises before delivering their reports. We commend also the politicians and members of civic society, who have honestly and openly acknowledged how they were compelled by the evidence and the personal testimony of many brave individuals to support a yes vote.  The 8th amendment was inserted on a wave of negative emotions; let it be washed away by a flood of reason, evidence and compassion.

Yours etc,

 

 

 

 

 

The full list of signatories can be found at: http://www.scientistsforyes.com

 

Abandoned Sandyford eyesore to be turned into offices with beds – from IrishTimes.com

sandyford

The landmark 14-storey Sentinel building in Sandyford, south Dublin, which has been left as an unfinished shell for a decade, is to be redeveloped as 300 “office suites” with sleeping facilities for workers.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has granted permission to Dante Property Company, owned by Galway-born brothers Luke and Brian Comer, to finish the tower block. Ten years ago, shortly before the economic crash, it was one of the tallest office buildings under construction in Dublin.

Each suite would measure 28sq m, which is 12sq m smaller than the minimum size of a studio apartment, and come with a kitchenette, bathroom and “overnight stay” facility.

The suites, the developers said, satisfy a demand for more flexibility in working hours especially for “those who work internationally, for example those working to an Asian or US work day timetable”.

Office suites

Dante intends to retain the 14-storey skeleton of the building, which Cork developer John Fleming began building in 2007, and use the space for 294 office suites .

The Comer Brothers bought the Sentinel in 2011 for just €850,000. Five years earlier Mr Fleming’s company Tivway paid €245 million for an 11.3 acre site in Sandyford which was to have the tower as its centre piece.

Work began on the Sentinel in 2007, but the following year an examiner was appointed to the company and construction halted, leaving only the outer shell of the building completed. Following the rejection by the Supreme Court of a rescue plan for the company, Tivway eventually collapsed in 2010 owing banks more than €1 billion.

Local Green Party representative Eva Dowling said the building should have been completed long ago. “For the past decade, this unfinished, 14-storey building has overlooked estates all around the southside from Mount Merrion to Stepaside. It’s a daily reminder of the crash and of the fact that buildings are still lying vacant during a housing crisis,” she said.

 

Olivia Kelly, originally printed in Irish Times on Thursday 26th October: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/abandoned-sandyford-eyesore-to-be-turned-into-offices-with-beds-1.3269036

Hello

Hi there,

I’m Eva Elizabeth Dowling, and I’m the Green Party representative for Stillorgan local electoral ward, for Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

This covers Belfied,  Carrickmines, Clonskeagh, Deerpark, Foxrock, Kilmacud, Leopardstown, Merville, Milltown, Mount Merrion, Roebuck, and Stillorgan.

If you live in any of these areas, or if you have any questions at all, please do get in touch with me via any of the methods on the Contact page, and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for checking out my webpage, and have a great day.

– Eva ELizabeth