Endstation Altersheim, in German. Dead End (nursing home), in English.

Sounds like the title of a book, or a film, don’t you think so?


Both mean the same. There is no hope of getting better. There is no real hope of ever getting out of the place. Quality of life here is limited to what’s deemed to be essential. That is why most elderly people don’t want to go there. That’s why younger people don’t really want to send their parents there. That is why ‘maintaining’ young persons with brain injuries there is, in my opinion, against their human right to freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

The same human right that was violated in Amanda Mellet’s case as per a ruling by the UN’s Human Rights Committee. A committee of experts from the UN’s Human Rights Commission also stated that Ireland’s laws on abortion have had a “chilling effect” on healthcare and contributed to “negative experiences” – as reported in TheJournal.ie.
The decision came, says TheJournal, following the 2011 case when Mellet was 21 weeks pregnant and was told her foetus had congenital defects meaning it would die in the womb or shortly after birth.

Apologising to Ms Mellet, Minister of Health Simon Harris said: “I am very sorry that this is how she was treated.  Ireland’s history shows that it has been in the past a cold and uncaring place for women and children and I felt the echoes of that when I read that UN view.”

For persons with severe acquired brain injury, Ireland is still an uncaring place. If it takes the UN to get the Minister of Health to recognise that in Amanda Mellet’s case, maybe it’s time to go to the UN with a formal complaint about how persons with severe acquired brain injury are being treated? – What do you think?

Pádraig had a great day today, having a lie in after yesterday’s great concert in the Iveagh Park. A long, relaxed breakfast, incredibly well-tasting home made ice-cream (by a friend:) in the garden, and Sunday mass on the Saturday. No carers today. None was available.

Oh – just got a message from my German family: looks like Donal Trump’s grandfather Frederic applied to the royal bavarian Department of Home Affairs to be re-admitted to the Heimat in 1904, a request that was denied. I know, the Bavarians are smart people. But how did they know what was going to happen a bit more than 100 years later? Here’s an extract from a relevant wikipedia article:

Soon after returning German authorities determined that Trump had emigrated from Germany to avoid his tax and military-service obligations, and he was labeled a draft dodger. On December 24, 1904 the Department of Interior announced an investigation to expel Trump from the country. Officially, they found that he had violated the Resolution of the Royal Ministry of the Interior number 9916, a 1886 law that punished emigration to North America to avoid military service with the loss of German citizenship. For several months, he unsuccessfully petitioned the government to allow him to stay. He and his family finally returned to New York on June 30, 1905.

On 22 June, the day before we went to Boston for the first part of the Great American Cycle, An Saol’s first major fundraiser, Olivia Callaghan of 103.2 Dublin City FM interviewed me about our plans. Click on the image below to listen to the interview.

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