Interim Meeting of IMPERO, 19 February 2011

An interim meeting of IMPERO took place in The Strand, Omeath, Co. Louth, Ireland, on Saturday 19 February 2011.  The meeting commenced at 14.15 after a communal meal of Irish stew, tea, apple crumble and ice-cream.  The meeting concluded at 15.45.

Present were; Seán Crudden, secretary; Anne Muldowney, chairperson; Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes, vice-chairperson; Joan Hardy, mentor; Kevin McGeough, joint-treasurer; Kevin Hynes, Dermot Mooney.

An apology was received from Bishop Tom Daly FRSA, president, who promised to send a donation as he had done last summer.

The chairperson called for a minutes silence in memory of Edna Murray and recited a short prayer in Irish for Edna at the end of the minute.

The secretary read the minutes of the general meeting held last June as well as the agenda for the interim meeting in November which had been cancelled due to the collapse and death of Edna Murray.  To bring those present up-to-date.

Kevin McGeough and Seán promised to follow up the idea of an exploratory meeting with Paddy Drumgoole in Louth County Council.

Seán read dramatically three articles he had published recently on indymedia.ie.  Break-through!; Let It Snow!; How Much Is the Doggie in The Manger?

Dermot called for a mission statement.  Is it a question of, “Don’t want this; don’t want that?”  What is the answer he asked?

The Archbishop pointed out that he was currently attending a short course on suicide prevention run by the HSE.

It was agreed to put IMPERO’s name forward to sponsorship.ie but not to register as a charity.

Correspondence with the FRA (Fundamental Rights Agency) was discussed.  Seán had raised the matter of the physical condition of mental patients with them and also the issue of training and personal development particularly for young patients and for those expected to live “in the community.”

Seán reported on the recent event co-hosted by Amnesty Ireland/First Fortnight which he had attended in The Button Factory.  It formed part of an on-going campaign by Amnesty against stigma and discrimination of the mentally ill.

A discussion took place on a motion Seán had submitted to County Louth Community and Voluntary Forum:-

“That in view of inappropriate alterations beginning in the 1960’s the forum agrees that Ardee Mental Hospital should be listed as a building to be renovated and preserved in authentic style for the information and instruction of future generations and for possible future social, educational, medical, recreational use.”

Archbishop Hynes reported on North Louth Joint Policing Committee.  He is a community representative nominated by IMPERO and elected onto the committee.  The ensuing discussion was complimentary neither to the committee nor to the police.  Credibility of committee members; corruption; people do not know their neighbours; better relations; inequalities in the way police deal with the public; gombeen syndrome; harassment; political pull: these were some of the tips of the icebergs discussed.

The secretary pointed out that the next meeting would be the general meeting scheduled for 110611.

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