independent

Monday 25 June 2018

International Women's Day

By Sara Gahan

ABOVE: In the Bullring last Wednesday morning: Betty Farrell, Ellie Hughes, Anne Rochford, Noreen Hearne, Doreen Fitzmaurice Ryan of The Elephant Collective, Peggy Barry, Dolores Cooney and Annette White. RIGHT: Some of the many signed postcards the group sent to the Department of Justice.
ABOVE: In the Bullring last Wednesday morning: Betty Farrell, Ellie Hughes, Anne Rochford, Noreen Hearne, Doreen Fitzmaurice Ryan of The Elephant Collective, Peggy Barry, Dolores Cooney and Annette White. RIGHT: Some of the many signed postcards the group sent to the Department of Justice.
ABOVE: In the Bullring last Wednesday morning: Betty Farrell, Ellie Hughes, Anne Rochford, Noreen Hearne, Doreen Fitzmaurice Ryan of The Elephant Collective, Peggy Barry, Dolores Cooney and Annette White. RIGHT: Some of the many signed postcards the group sent to the Department of Justice.

A group of women from Access 2000 gathered at the Bullring, Wexford, on International Women's Day to collect 1,000 signatures to support the Elephant Collective campaign.

The aim of Access 2000, a Community Development Project based in Wexford Town which enables women to develop the skills necessary for them, is to send 1,000 Elephant Collective postcards with signatures on them to the Department of Justice and Equality on May 8 before the meeting of the Dáil Committee on May 10 to pass the Coroners Bill 2015.

The Elephant Collective is a group of educators, midwives, student midwives and birth activists which formed in 2014. They aim to raise public awareness of the tragedy of maternal death, the need for legislation to ensure an automatic inquest following all maternal deaths and the need for vastly improved disclosure of hospitals and HSE reporting on tragic and adverse incidents in our maternity services to make them fully open to public scrutiny.

'The campaign was a huge success with over 500 signatures collected on the day and a number of other local organisations have agreed to continue the Elephant Campaign through their own e-mails and Facebook,' said Access 2000 project co-ordinator Marian Donegan.

To date 10 county councils, including Wexford County Council, have passed the motion requesting the Government to include the provision for mandatory inquests into every maternal death as part of the Coroners Bill 2015.

'There will be a delegation of supporters from all over the country on May 10, including representatives of the Elephant Collective in an organised demonstration outside the Dail gates to highlight the urgency of the passing of the Coroners Bill 2015.

'We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported the campaign, through signing the postcards, making elephants and taking the time to listen and increase awareness of the Elephant Collective on International Women's Day,' said Marian.

The Elephant Collective organised a multi-media exhibition which commemorates the women who have died in our maternity services in Ireland. The exhibition centres on knitted patchwork quilt which has 150 contributors and includes portraits of women who have had inquests.

Access 2000 will continue the campaign and people can register through their Facebook page.

Wexford People

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