Will Ireland be next to end water fluoridation?

Ireland is the last remaining country in the world with mandatory fluoridation. In recent years the fluoride-free momentum has been building in Ireland, and we believe the tipping point has been reached. In 2013, legislation to end the nationwide mandate in Ireland was introduced, which would not only reverse the mandate, but would make fluoridation a criminal act. This bill got a significant boost when a major Irish magazine (Hot Press) began investigating fluoridation and found a parliamentary report calling for an end to fluoridation that was suppressed by the government for seven years, and when the Labour party’s chief whip, Emmet Stagg called for an end to the practice, saying that time had run out for “mass medication” by fluoridation. 

In the Spring of 2014, the Agriculture Minister announced that the Irish government would appoint an international group of experts to review public water fluoridation in response to the growing public pressure in opposition to fluoridation. The next day, on March 10th, the Cork County Council, the largest county council in Ireland voted by a huge majority in favor of a motion calling on the federal government to ban fluoridation throughout the country. The vote had cross-party support and was expected to have a domino effect with other county councils. 

A domino effect is exactly what it had, when on October 6th, Dublin’s City Council passed a motion by a vote of 22-20 calling for the immediate cessation of water fluoridation in Ireland. Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland, and home to more than 500,000 residents. 

Also in October, fluoridation was also being debated in the House of the Oireachtas (Irish Legislature). Senator Mary Ann O’Brien made a motion to end fluoridation because of the "fundamental human right of every Irish citizen to choose whether or not they have their water medicated with fluoride given that they are now paying for it." Senator O’Brien wrote a powerful op-ed for the Irish Independent on October 1st explaining in detail why she was bringing the motion

And on November 10th, the Kerry County Council unanimously passed the motion opposing public water fluoridation. The vote received cross party support and was passed without any disagreement amongst the councilors, making it the fifth major Council to adopt a similar resolution in 2014, representing approximately 1.5 million Irish residents.

These votes are the result of a national effort that is gaining significant momentum due to campaigners like the West Cork Fluoride Free Campaign, scientist Declan Waugh, The Girl Against Fluoride, and the hard-working fluoridation fighters Robert Pocock and Gladys Ryan who preceded them. You can learn more about the campaign in Ireland, and hear directly from many of these key players and organizers by downloading November’s International Fluoride Free Teleconference

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