The Week on Twitter | Sinead O’Connor, Alan Kelly, & #marref

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.

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.

#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.

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 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.

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