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This week, Twitter remembered the marriage referendum, criticised those poking fun at Sinead O’Connor, and applauded as Alan Kelly missed out on the Labour leadership. We also celebrated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, as well as the Ha’Penny bridge’s 200th birthday.
Reaction to #SineadOConnor report shows how far we still need to go regarding mental illness
On Tuesday, it was reported that Sinead O’Connor was missing in Chicago. Following the breaking of this news across social media, many took it upon themselves to critique the singer’s supposed “attention seeking” habits, declare that it was “a shame” she was found safe and well, or to simply make fun of the situation.
This reaction came just mere weeks after Minister Leo Varadkar decided to divert €12m from mental health services funding, leading to hundreds of people sharing their struggles with the system using the #IAmAReason hashtag, and countless more lending their support online to those who are affected by the current government’s inability to take mental health seriously.
For every message of support following the O’Connor story, there was another unnecessarily cruel post reducing O’Connor’s actions to nothing more than a “desperate cry for attention,” further emphasising the glaring stigma still associated with mental illness in this country.
Thankfully, there was a whole plethora of people on Twitter ready to counteract any vilification that reared its ugly head, and to explain politely exactly why the mental health of a celebrity is no laughing matter – no matter who that celebrity may be.
— JIM FITZPATRICK (@jimfitzpatrick) May 18, 2016
If I see anyone i know making disparaging comments about Sinead O'Connor online/in person, I'm gonna batter the head of ye.
— mayuvv (@Mayyuvv) May 17, 2016
Reading the Sinead O'Connor tweets – nice to see people really show themselves up for the heartless pricks they can be. Good job dickheads.
— CianMcG (@CianMcGar) May 16, 2016
Sinead O'Connor going missing shone a very bright light on those who preach #IAmAReason when it's popular but still stigmatise by making fun
— Dee Campbell (@DeeCaam) May 16, 2016
Ireland celebrates one year of marriage equality #marref #YesEquality
This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the marriage equality referendum – a whole 365-ish days since 62.1% of people decided that love was not restricted by gender, that gay people should have the same rights as everybody else, and that Keith Mills and the Iona Institute did not get to speak (absolute crap) for the rest of the country.
Lots of different people are doing lots of different things to celebrate the success of #marref. Some people are going out drinking. Others are sharing their memories of the day all over social media. And almost everybody will watch and subsequently get very emotional over The Story of Yes on Monday, probably.
Since last year, 412 same-sex couples have gotten married in Ireland.
— Totally Dublin (@totallydublin) May 20, 2016
— Rebeccah Louise ✨ (@RebeccahLouise) May 20, 2016
2015 – 'No' side complains about gay people getting married
2016 – 'No' side complains that not enough gay people are married #MarRef
— Ryan Cullen (@RyanCullen90) May 20, 2016
— Mark O'Halloran (@markohalloran) May 20, 2016
#AlanKelly misses out on Labour leadership
Today, Brendan Howlin became the new leader of the Labour party after Joan Burton stepped down a couple of weeks ago. But it wasn’t Howlin that people were talking about this week, it was Alan Kelly.
Kelly, who has spent the last while letting just about everybody know how ready he is to take over from Burton via the Late Late Show, his Twitter account, and that time he was hoisted up into the air for no good reason, failed to secure his leadership nomination by 12pm on Friday, leaving former Minister Brendan Howlin clear to win the election unopposed.
Although he has since congratulated Howlin and his team (after failing to respond to Howlin’s text this morning), it has been reported that Kelly will be considering his own position within Labour going forward. Lots of people on Twitter were happy about this, because lots of people on Twitter do not like Alan Kelly. Those people tweeted about it.
Alan Kelly being a sore loser becomes the story and not Howlin's selection as leader https://t.co/T4l8zeB9KV
— Colette Browne (@colettebrowne) May 20, 2016
BREAKING: Major power outage reported in and around the area of Alan Kelly.
— Colm Tobin (@colmtobin) May 20, 2016
— Just Izzy (@IzzyKamikaze) May 20, 2016
Has anyone told Alan Kelly there's a vacancy at Renua?
— Gene Kerrigan (@GeneKerrigan) May 20, 2016
The #HapennyBridge turns 200
This week, the Ha’penny bridge turned 200 years old. Built in May 1816, the bridge was originally constructed to replace a ferry service across the Liffey, and cost its 450 daily visitors a half-penny to cross – money which went to compensate William Walsh, whose ferry the bridge had replaced.
Today, around 30,000 people cross the Ha’penny bridge every day. Some of those people took to Twitter (and to the bridge itself, probably) to wish it a very happy birthday.
The Ha'penny Bridge is 200 years old todayhttps://t.co/R5eFQe90YG
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) May 19, 2016
Happy birthday to the Ha'Penny bridge which is 200 years old and please note – Vote Larkin. pic.twitter.com/bZ85HYATKI
— Photos of Dublin (@PhotosOfDublin) May 19, 2016
— Ciamhie Mc Digital (@CiamhieMc) May 19, 2016
The Ha'Penny bridge, now 200 years old today. pic.twitter.com/WjhZ9RQsQS
— Photos of Dublin (@PhotosOfDublin) May 18, 2016
The homeless of Dublin will sleep in luxury tonight pic.twitter.com/hdmPWZ7cl2
— Dave McGinn (@davemcginn_ie) May 19, 2016
The world speaks out against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia for #IDAHOT2016
May 17th marks the annual celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. Since 1990, the day has commemorated the official removal of homosexuality from WHO’s International Classification of Diseases, and been used to promote equality, well-being, and acceptance all around the world.
This year, IDAHOT’s theme was ‘Mental Health and Well-Being.’ The campaign focused on the large numbers of LGBT youth who suffer with mental illnesses globally, and the fact that being homosexual, bisexual, or trans definitely is not classed, and should not be perceived, as a mental illness or disease.
— NOH8 Campaign (@NOH8Campaign) May 17, 2016
— Amnesty UK (@AmnestyUK) May 17, 2016
— YesEquality 2017 (@YesEquality2017) May 17, 2016
We must stand with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and end all forms of discrimination. It's simple: we are all in this together. #IDAHOT2016
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 17, 2016