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By VIEW editor Brian Pelan Northern Ireland’s abortion law breaches the UK’s human rights commitments, the High Court ruled in Belfast today. The case was taken in Belfast by Sarah Ewart, who challenged the law after she was denied a termination. The judge said she ruled in Mrs Ewart’s favour as it was not right to ask another woman to relive the trauma that she had already experienced. Mrs Ewart said the ruling was “a turning point for women” in their campaign against “outdated laws”. In 2013, Mrs Ewart was told she could not have a legal abortion, despite doctors…

By Megan McDermott The Irish Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has recently announced that a programme could be set up to gather voluntary biological samples from potential relatives of the bodies found in an unmarked mass grave at the Tuam mother and baby home, Co. Galway. The Minister has made public an independent report into the home, where unmarried mothers were often sent to give birth. It is believed that 796 children died there with no official record of their burial. The report followed a call from a group of survivors and relatives of women and children formerly at the…

School children from across Northern Ireland will walk out of school tomorrow as part of the largest ever Global Climate Strike. For the past eight months, young people have staged monthly walk outs and protests, as part of the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement started by young Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg. For the first time since the demonstrations began in February, the youth strikers are calling on parents, businesses, working people and politicians alike to get behind the strikers and demand urgent action on the climate crisis. One of the local organisers in Belfast, Maia Willis, 18, said: “Our future…

What is community banking? What are the benefits of it and why would it be good for the people of Northern Ireland? A number of organisations and individuals from the community, voluntary and charity sector attended an event yesterday at Queen’s University, Belfast, organised by Our Money Campaign, Co-operative Alternatives and Dr John Barry (QUB), to hear more about how to set up a community bank. John Moore from the Community Savings Bank Association explained to the meeting what a community bank would mean and the benefits and challenges of setting one up in Northern Ireland. Mr Moore also said…

Writer Harry Reid Writer Harry Reid pens a few lines about his father Bert and his strong desire to die in his own home. His dad died in 2018 Time is a healer. Sometimes. Sometimes, the flipped coin glints, landing tick side up. Sometimes, it shows the dull time-worn face of tock. Life turns on a sixpence after all. Time is a currency. We get the choice to spend it wisely or foolishly. We do not get to decide when time’s up. Nor can we know in advance when our game will move into injury time. Today, determination to avoid…

Margaret and Paul FitzPatrick, left, with VIEW editor Brian Pelan, Fintan Fagan, and Brendan O’Hara, at the launch of the 53rd edition of VIEW Magazine on Palliative Care – Images: Kevin Cooper, Photoline By VIEW editor Brian Pelan A birthday party followed by a trip to a hospice in a way sums up my life as VIEW editor. I travelled yesterday, with photographer Kevin Cooper, to St Francis Hospice in Blanchardstown, Dublin, for the launch of the VIEW print issue on palliative care. The night before I was in Bert’s Jazz Bar in Belfast celebrating my 63rd birthday. Going to…

BAIT – Film review – By Joseph Pelan Watch the trailer here Cornishman, comedian and actor Edward Rowe plays Martin Ward – a fisherman without a boat in director Martin Jenkin’s film Bait about a rising wave of gentrification threatening to break up a small Cornish fishing village’s conventional way of life. Martin is a cove fisherman who is committed to continuing his late father’s vocation. Conflict exists between him and his brother Steven, played by Giles King – who has opted to repurpose their father’s vessel into a more lucrative cruise tour enterprise which seems to cater exclusively for…

Louise Hagan Louise Hagan, Service Improvement Lead, Palliative and End of Life Care, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, writes about the challenges she faced when her own father was dying Life is a bit like writing a book. It has a beginning and an end. And in between there are chapters. Some chapters are fast paced, full of adventure. Some chapters are much slower, filled with the everyday motions of life. But every book has a final chapter. When the final chapter looms, it catches us all by surprise, no matter how young or old we are. Life is…

Mary McManus Book review by Mary McManus A Beginner’s Guide to the End. How to live life and face death’ – By BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger In May 2014, my 86-year-old father, who was suffering from prostate cancer, was told he had six to 12 months to live. In November of that year, my mother, aged 81, and diagnosed with mixed dementia, fell and broke her hip. Until that point, my parents had been caring for each other and living a pretty independent life with some input from family and a carer who called every morning. The fall changed…

The national director for the British Association of Social Workers in Northern Ireland (BASW-NI) has welcomed the news that PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne has retracted his comments threatening to remove the children of paramilitaries. Carolyn Ewart said: “It is not appropriate to use threats about children as a deterrent against paramilitary activity.” “The decision to remove a child from their parents is always the last resort and is subject to rigorous multidisciplinary assessment.” PSNI chief Simon Byrne admitted that his earlier suggestion at a conference in Belfast yesterday that the children of paramilitaries could be taken into care has…

Dr BJ Miller VIEW editor Brian Pelan talks to Dr BJ Miller – a leading palliative care specialist who works in the United States My interview with Dr BJ Miller took place on Skype – not my favourite choice to do an interview as I always prefer actual face to face engagements, but at the end of our 30-minute chat, I felt, in a way, that I knew him. He was warm, engaging, thoughtful and humorous – even though the main thrust of our conversation was about dying and death. When Miller was aged 19, a Princeton student at the…

By guest editor Brendan O’Hara, Programme Manager at All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care When I began working with All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care in 2012 my knowledge of palliative care was informed by an awareness of hospices and related charities; and by limited reading including the writings of Dr Sheila Cassidy. It’s risky to reflect on what my understanding was back in early 2012, with the benefit of the experience gained in the years in between. However, I thought then that palliative care was only for the last days of life, was for people…

Celebrating life: Liam Clarke on holiday in Turkey in the summer of 2015 with his wife and fellow journalist Kathryn Johnston ‘Liam got what he wanted, a good death. He died with his boots on, sharp as a tack, resolute in the face of dying and knowing he was loved’ VIEWdigital deputy editor Kathryn Johnston writes movingly about her husband, journalist Liam Clarke, who died in 2015, for the latest edition of VIEW which looks at palliative care issues “The fear of a slow, lingering death blights life now” – my late husband, Liam Clarke, Sunday Times Political Correspondent and…

Kathryn Mannix, author of With The End in Mind Dr Kathryn Mannix, a leading palliative care specialist and author, talks to VIEW editor Brian Pelan about why we need to have more conversations about dying and death and the vital role her sector carries out in helping people to cope with various terminal conditions Question– Can you tell our readers a little about yourself? Answer – I grew up in the north west of England. I went to a medical school up in the north east of England and met a ‘Geordie’ on my first day and married him. So,…

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