Peaceful Pumpkin Protest

The Peaceful Pumpkin Protest was organised for today. An ‘ordinary’ father, Richard O’Toole, from Dún Laoghaire, was concerned enough to organise the protest. He spoke to Tom Dunne on Newstalk about a fortnight ago, set up a facebook page and wrote to the Irish Times.

As if that wasn’t enough, the story was taken up by other websites, such as http://www.rollercoaster.ie and even Marian Finucane mentioned it yesterday on her morning radio show. Sure, I even put the word out on Dublin South Radio last Wednesday when I was on Morning View with Bryan Foxe.

We were expecting a few hundred people, and, in our more optimistic moments, thought that maybe even as many as a thousand Irish people might turn up outside the Merrion Gates of Dáil Eireann to register their dissatisfaction with the current government and the hames  they are making of running the country.

It was expected that these people would turn up with their children, in fancy dress if they so wished, and with a pumpkin to protest. We have plenty to protest against; the cuts that have been made, the cuts that are about to be made, NAMA, the Mercedes-Benz fleets, Garda drivers for former Taoisigh and plenty more.

So, how many people turned up? Apart from myself and my two children, only about 40. How is that apathy in action?

People of Ireland, My brothers and sisters of Ireland, Mná na hEireann agus Fir na hEireann – where are you? What are you doing now that your country needs you? It’s all very well to moan and whinge, but if you’re not prepared to actually do something, then you don’t really have a right to moan and whinge, do you?


Kiss It Better

The two sisters in this photograph were born in Developing Nations and they were not born in hospitals. Unlike many babies born under the same conditions, these girls are not at risk of developing tetanus. These children are lucky, their mother was inoculated against the disease long before they were born. I know because these babies are my babies.

Unfortunately, 170 million women around the world are not as lucky and they and their newborn babies are at risk of developing tetanus. This month, Pampers has teamed up with UNICEF in a campaign known as the ‘Virtual Kiss’ campaign to provide vaccinations against tetanus.

Pampers first teamed up with UNICEF to try and eradicate the disease in 2006. Since then, 300 million vaccines have been donated by the company. This year, Mel C – former Spice Girl – is fronting the month-long campaign.

‘I’m on the Pampers Parenting Panel,’ she explains. ‘And I was really excited when they approached me and asked me to work on this new campaign. It’s so simple for people to just log on and send their virtual kisses.’

Even if you don’t have a child in nappies, you can still help. If you click this link Pampers will donate the cost of one vaccine to UNICEF.

From the comfort of your own home, from in front of your own computer and without it costing you a penny, you can save the life of a newborn baby.

So go on – kiss it better.