The Week on Twitter | Caitriona Perry, Jobstown, & #KnowYourRepealers

This week, Donald Trump made some inappropriate comments about Irish journalist Caitriona Perry, the Jobstown six were found not guilty, and Brid Smith became the first TD to speak publicly about her abortion. Ed Sheeran also announced a fuck load of Irish dates for next summer, and some people did some tweets about it.

#Trump says RTE’s #CaitrionaPerry has “nice smile and a face” while on phone to #LeoVaradkar

On Tuesday, US president Donald Trump had his first phone call with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. During the call, he asked RTE’s Washington correspondent Caitriona Perry over to him. He asked Perry where she was from and said she had a “nice smile and a face.” He then told Varadkar that he bet Perry treats him well because of this fact. He leered at her as she walked away.

It wasn’t long before a video of the inappropriate exchange appeared online. Perry tweeted it herself, calling the moment “bizarre.” Her replies were awash with Americans apologising for their president, calling out objectification in the workplace, and questioning whether Trump has ever told a male reporter that he has a nice smile.

There was the odd lad in Perry’s @ replies saying that people just need to calm down and learn to take a compliment. They claimed that Trump only said what he said because Perry was wearing a red dress (?). They said it was grand.

Those lads have probably never been told they have a nice smile while trying to do their job.

#JobstownNotGuilty as jury verdit is handed down

This week, the Jobstown six were found not guilty of the false imprisonment of then Tanaiste Joan Burton and her advisor Karen O’Connell. The verdict was handed down on Thursday to TD Paul Murphy and five others including councillors Michael Murphy and Kieran Mahon after just a few hours of deliberation by the jury. Reports said that many inside the courtroom cheered as the verdicts were read.

The six men had been on trial for almost two months after being accused of falsely imprisoning Burton and O’Connell at a water charges protest in Jobstown in 2014. TD Mick Barry has since claimed that the trial cost €10million, and that it was “an orchestrated conspiracy” by the Gardaí to make the men appear guilty.

Speaking outside the courts after the verdict, Murphy said that Burton had been trying to ““criminalise a working class community,” and that the trial had been an attempt to “put people back in their box.”

#BridSmith is first TD to speak publicly about her abortion

This week, People Before Profit TD Brid Smith told her abortion story. Speaking to Kathy Sheridan on The Irish Times Women’s Podcast, she said that she had travelled to Liverpool for a termination in the 80s, a few years after the introduction of the 8th amendment. Smith told Sheridan that she was not ashamed about her decision, despite her then boyfriend trying to make her feel so.

“I just didn’t want to be pregnant,” she said. “The more I talk to people about this the more I realise it’s part of normal life. People don’t realise how many people (…) have had terminations that they then don’t discuss.”

Smith is the first TD to speak publicly about her abortion, but many are certain she is not the only one with first hand experience of the harm Ireland’s abortion laws are causing its women. While nobody should ever feel forced to share their medical history with the public, Smith has added her voice to the hundreds of others who have spoken candidly and honestly about their abortions over the years.

Smith says that while the Citizens’ Assembly proved Ireland’s laws do not reflect the will of the people, we’ve still “got a fight on our hands.”

#KnowYourRepealers trends as #RallyForLife marches through Dublin

This week also saw the annual Rally for Life take place in Dublin. As usual, it consisted of a lot of cis men, elderly people, and posters of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – none of whom have the capacity to become pregnant.

The march was met by a counter protest on O’Connell street on Saturday. This protest consisted of a lot of folks who are in favour of repealing the 8th amendment, and actually allowing people in Ireland to make their own decisions regarding their bodies.

The Rally for Life was also met by resistance online, where #KnowYourRepealers became a top trending topic on Twitter for the second time. The tag, originally started by Twitter user Emma Burns in 2016, boasted pictures and descriptions of all the people who want to repeal the 8th, proving that those in favour of bodily autonomy are not just “liberal students from Dublin universities and Trotskyites.”

#EdSheeran announces seven whole Irish dates

Last year Ed Sheeran did some concerts in Ireland. Lots of people went to see Ed Sheeran and they were happy enough. Next year Ed Sheeran plans to do some more concerts in Ireland. Lots of them. Seven, to be exact, if we include Northern Ireland. Seven whole large scale Ed Sheeran concerts in the space of about two weeks. Some of them are in Galway. Some are in Cork. Some of them are in Dublin and Belfast too. There’s seven of them in total. It’s mad.

Lots of people are only delighted that Ed Sheeran’s gone and announced so many Irish dates. That means they’ve probably got a good chance of getting a ticket to go and see him. Some other people were baffled by the sheer number of Irish dates. These people took to Twitter to express their shock, and to have another go at Galway Girl, probably.

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