A Sinn Féin bill to outlaw water fluoridation in Ireland was debated in The Dáil yesterday, 8th November, with a vote to take place next Tuesday, 12th November, after the Government announced a U Turn on its previous water treatment policy. Health Minister James Reilly said on Wednesday that he has asked the Health Service Executive to set up a new Working Group to review whether compulsory water fluoridation should be ended.
Ireland is one of only three countries in the world which still has a national policy compelling water fluoridation. Most European countries have banned it (like the Netherlands), or abandoned it after scientific studies identified it as a high risk activity which can affect the brain and bone development of young children.
One political party that has no doubt about fluorides is Sinn Féin. The party’s Environmental Spokesman is Louth TD Brian Stanley, whose mother died from thyroid illness. Fluorides in water impair the thyroid gland’s ability to absorb the iodine it needs to make thyroid hormones.
Stanley‘s bill, if passed, will make water fluoridation in the Republic a criminal offence.
Fluoridation began in Ireland in 1965, after Gladys Ryan, a Dublin Mother-of-five, lost a six-week Supreme Court battle to prevent it. Gladys was represented in court by Civil Rights lawyer Sean McBride and by former Fine Gael Minister Richie Ryan. Fine Gael’s Ivan Yates promised the party would end water fluoridation if it was re-elected, way back in 2001.
Campaigners believe the health benefits of ending fluoridation here would be enormous. Banning fluoridation would also save us money -a minimum of 4.5M Euro per annum. This could be used to upgrade Ireland’s creaking Victorian water supply system. Problems with Dublin’s water recently resulted in a million people being cut off and unable to flush the loo or brush their teeth between 8pm and 8am for almost a week.
The brave women from across Ireland who posed for The Naked Fluoride Calendar 2014 did so to end Ireland’s 49-year-old policy of mandatory water fluoridation, which studies have linked to higher rates of bone cancer, osteoporosis and thyroid illness. The Calendar Girls will join their ringleader, nutritionist Aisling Fitzgibbon, 27, from Kerry, at the White Lady art gallery on Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Quay, to launch the 2014 Calendar and party with DJs and journalists from Hot Press, the music magazine which has supported them.
The Naked Fluoride Calendar 2014 goes on sale for 9.99 euro on Friday from www.thegirlagainstfluoride.com