• Free School Meals for Children in Northern Ireland
    The Minister for Education has said the money is not available for 97,000 children in Northern Ireland to continue getting free school meals over the summer. Boris Johnson has just U-turned and announced free school meals over the summer for eligible children in England. Scotland and Wales have similar schemes in place. Say no to #holidayhunger
    63 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Nicola Browne
  • Stand with the brave Reilly women
    This is the statement made by the family who are asking for our support "We have all been living through our own personal hell. We are relieved that justice has been done and that the crimes committed against us as children are no longer hidden or denied by anybody. No more needs to be said about the hell we have lived through and somehow survived. But more does need to be said about how it was allowed to happen. We are left with many questions, and we need answers. Where were the different parts of the state when we as vulnerable and defenceless children needed protection? How could schools, social workers, medical professionals and all the other people who had a so-called ‘duty of care’ turn their back and look the other way – time after time as the evidence was piling up and hitting them in the face? We were vulnerable Traveller children, forced to live on the edges of Irish society, already looked down, discriminated against and denied our basic human rights. Does this denial of our rights extend also to the right to protection and welfare as children? Would the same state neglect, the same agreement that nobody should say a word, the same ability to turn the blind eye have been evident if this had been a respected settled family in Ireland? God knows we know that what we had to suffer could have happened in any family in Ireland. But we also know that the response of the state would have been different and there is a good chance that much of the suffering could have been spared or avoided. We are asking you not to ask ‘how could this happen in a Traveller family’. Do ask ‘how could this happen in any family? But also ask ‘were we not protected because we were Travellers?" Tipperary Rural Travellers Project publicly state our support for the Reilly family in the wake of the court judgement that found their father guilty of rape and sexual assault of his sister and seven daughters. We cannot even begin to imagine the pain and trauma the family has endured, and we want also to commend the Reilly women in the courage, determination and humanity they have shown under such terrible circumstances. We sincerely hope that their courage can provide some inspiration and encouragement for others who suffer abuse and trauma from such circumstances. https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/sexual-abuse-victims-ask-were-they-less-protected-because-they-were-travellers-1005362.html
    9,363 of 10,000 Signatures
    Created by Margaret Casey
  • Put Anti-Racism Education on the Curriculum
    Children as young as six years old often show prejudiced attitudes towards people of other ethnic groups. This is especially true with White children who tend to display more racial bias than other groups. Racially-biased children may grow up to be prejudiced adults and this contributes to racism in our society. Children will "naturally" grow up to be non-racist adults only when they live in a non-racist society. Until then, adults must guide children's antiracist development. It is therefore incredibly important that education about race and racism is begun at the earliest stage possible, and continued throughout children’s time in the education system.
    89 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Claire Brennan
  • Make Play and Leisure Spaces Accessible
    I am writing to you today as a primary school teacher, and more importantly as a mother of two young boys who are disabled. My four year old is a full-time wheelchair user and we are unsure yet as to whether his younger brother will also require a wheelchair. My boys are both bright, intelligent, inquisitive children who are highly sociable. In light of current events during this pandemic, I have seen so many parents and teachers discuss how this may impact our kids and the overwhelming consensus amongst us all have been concerns regarding the possible implications on their social development as they cannot play with their friends, explore nature, play freely and make new friends at local playgrounds etc. It has really made me stop and think as these have been ongoing concerns of mine due to our sons’ mobility needs. The truth of it is, we have found it very difficult to find playgrounds where Oscar can play. As well as not having any wheelchair friendly equipment for use, many playgrounds have completely inaccessible ground coverings like tree bark. I’m a firm believer that if I have an issue with something, I will try to offer alternative suggestions in order to help resolve said issue. A simple Google image search for ‘wheelchair friendly activities in playground’ yields a plethora of equipment that is accessible not only for users of wheelchairs, walkers and buggies, but also for children without disabilities. Slieve Gullion Forest Park is close to where we live and would be the best we have experienced. It’s not lost on me that this particular playground is in Northern Ireland, where the UK has much stricter protocol for accessible planning regulations. Within my local area in recent times, I’ve seen two new playgrounds built, one completely inaccessible to wheelchairs due to the bark surfaces and use of steep hills in its designs. It absolutely baffles me how in these times when we are seemingly a progressive country, that we completely omit the needs and right to play of a whole category of children. We teach inclusion and diversity in our schools every day, yet when this is not practised by our leaders, it is unforgiveable. We cannot accept this as an oversight any longer, we cannot accept the meagre list of accessible playgrounds dotted few and far between across the entire country. There is very little opportunity for a family to engage in a spontaneous stop-off at the playground when the statistics show that the playground will more than likely be inaccessible for the disabled child. Accessibility needs to be engrained within everything we plan for our public spaces. Untold damage is being done to our disabled children when they are being excluded and made to feel less than in their own hometowns. - Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that: “Every child is entitled to rest and play and to have the chance to join in a wide range of activities including cultural and artistic activities.” - Article 30(5d) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that “children with disabilities should have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities, including those activities in the school system.” Outdoor natural areas are another area which raise accessible issues within the disability community. I can only speak from my own experience, as an avid nature lover and mother to two children with mobility needs. I understand that the natural world is best left to its own devices and can be highly inaccessible. However, a lot of our natural amenities that are open to the public have some sort of surface laid down as a path for the public to use. Why not go one step further and make sure that surface is also wheelchair friendly? The choice of what gravel is used can make all the difference for wheelchair users’ accessibility. The Irish Wheelchair Association has published a guide called The Great Outdoors which provides excellent detail. As an island country, our beaches are areas of beauty which everyone should be able to access, and not just from the side-lines. Beach wheelchairs are available at some sites, but not nearly enough, particularly at times of the year when they are in high demand. Availability of sand mats such as Access Trax would open up access immensely. “Foldable, lightweight, portable pathways for accessibility over outdoor terrain” would allow wheelchair users to roll right onto the beach as well as walking mobility aids, buggies and prams. - Article 30 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognises that disabled people should “Enjoy access to places for cultural performances or services, such as theatres, museums, cinemas, libraries and tourism services, and, as far as possible, enjoy access to monuments and sites of national cultural importance.” As an educator and a parent, all I want is for my children to be allowed every and equal opportunity to thrive and make their mark on the world. I am available for any discussion should you wish, but I would ask you to note that I am just one voice of many. My voice pertains to my experience as a parent of my disabled children. There are many voices of other parents , but most importantly voices of disabled adults who have lived through experiences of being excluded and treated differently and unfairly. This is only one area of accessibility we have come up against, and unfortunately, I am not naïve enough to hope that it is our last.
    829 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Munny Hamilton
  • Save Cavan Midwifery Led Unit (MLU)
    A still unknown decision has led to the MLU in Cavan being effectively closed in all but name under the guise of a merger with the consultant-led unit. This may be the third time Cavan MLU has faced closure and the pregnant people in the area have faced limitation of their care choices. The effective closure of the Midwifery-Led Unit on Monday 1st of June 2020 and the manner in which this decision has been taken, with no public consultation or formal announcement from either Cavan General Hospital or the RSCI group, who we understand are leading of this decision, shows a clear lack of understanding to the needs of those in the surrounding area. The claim that it is not a downgrading of service provision is simply false. For all who have accessed the MLU, either as a service user, healthcare professional or student, this closure will have significant impact on practice and care provision. To our knowledge, no rationale has been given to explain the decision. National and international evidence supports the expansion of midwifery led services. Closure of the unit limits choices for pregnancy care in direct opposition of this evidence. We cannot emphasise strongly enough 1. The retrograde nature of this decision which flies in the face of all the international evidence on best birth practices 2. And which spells the death knell of the 2016 Maternity Strategy which was specifically committed to the expansion of MLUs, not their closure Our model of maternity care relies on the majority of women going through a system of GP referral to an obstetric unit or maternity hospital. Despite the National Maternity Strategy, the dominant model of care across all our 19 maternity units is a consultant-led model of care. We have only the two midwifery-led units in Ireland (Cavan and Drogheda) and midwifery clinics across the maternity system are far too few. -- In international terms, our model of maternity care does not offer women choice of models of maternity care, something the National Maternity Strategy acknowledges clearly. Indeed, the Irish model of maternity care is at odds with best international evidence on the effectiveness of models of maternity care - The 2016 National Maternity Strategy, called for many more MLUs to be built. Instead this has not only been completely stalled - its implementation committee has met only four times up to 2019 (PQ 14615-19; PQ 14616) and the budget of the strategy has been slashed - The HIQA maternity report (February 2020) highlighted the lack of progress in supported care pathways under the National Maternity Strategy The 2003 Hanly Report on medical staffing with its overall aim of increasing still further centralisation of all hospital services continues to cast a shadow over the relevance of the small Cavan MLU – which has never had the full support of senior clinical and management staff in Cavan. If it had, it would be used to capacity and would not now be ‘merged’ with the consultant-led services. Who is affected? *this is not an exhaustive list of affected groups* Pregnant people are entitled to choice in care provision. There is no evidence at present to show that this has been supported or considered in the move to close the Cavan MLU. We hope to hear from service users to determine what plans are in place for those currently booked in the unit, those who were potentially being transferred back to the service following obstetric assessment, and those who had previously or planned to access midwifery led care in Cavan. Supporting practitioners in the Cavan/Monaghan area to continue the provision of Midwifery Led Care is vital. Evidence of support and solutions offered thus far to the midwives within the unit is needed so that as a national community of professionals and experts in normal pregnancy care can come together to save Cavan MLU. Midwives are the experts in providing pregnancy care and a wealth of evidence supports this model, referred to as “supported care” in the Maternity Strategy. Student midwives who began their training from 2018 in Dundalk Institute of Technology must complete Midwifery Led Unit placement experience as a core area, a change from its specialist area status before 2018. This reflects the importance of midwifery led care experience in well rounded learning. If Cavan MLU were to close, students would be limited to the Drogheda MLU to achieve the hours in order to qualify and register as midwives. It is already difficult for these MLU hours to be achieved between two units with the number of students requiring the necessary time in midwifery led services. The limitations that this closure will place on students has immediate and long-term consequences. Students in the 2019 cohort were due to attend Cavan MLU for placement in March/April and must make up this time due to COVID19. These students are now in limbo regarding completing these hours and gaining critical core learning experience. USEFUL LINKS; National Maternity Strategy 2016-2026 >> https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/0ac5a8-national-maternity-strategy-creating-a-better-future-together-2016-2/ HIQA Maternity Services report February 2020 >> https://www.hiqa.ie/sites/default/files/2020-02/Maternity-Overview-Report.pdf HSE / TCD 2009 MidU study >> https://nursing-midwifery.tcd.ie/assets/publications/pdf/midu-report.pdf Association for Improvements in the Maternity Service Ireland - Midwifery Led Care information >> http://aimsireland.ie/midwife-led-care/#:~:text=Midwife%2Dled%20services%20for%20eligible,further%20attention%20 AIMSI “What Matters to You” Survey 2014/2015 >> http://aimsireland.ie/care-choices/ Bump2Babe – Cavan General Hospital survey answers CLU >> http://www.bump2babe.ie/all-answers/unit/0/ MLU >> http://www.bump2babe.ie/all-answers/unit/1/
    11,571 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Laura Henry
  • Stop shutting out our vulnerable from our parks
    Everyone deserves to enjoy the beauty of a local park and that includes Daniel and his family. Dan has Sotos Syndrome and goes out daily with his amazing parents, Sinead and Keith for runs in his special buggy. Running the park, chatting to locals and saying hello has been a highlight, especially during C-19 as all day services etc. are closed. Now with these new gates, the Tighe family along with lots of other families are now PROHIBITED from entering our parks. This is wrong and SDCC need to remove this prison like gates and let those who are in wheelchairs etc. use the park like everyone else.
    826 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Sue O'Grady
  • Safe Access to Bull Island
    This amenity is very important and has been enjoyed by thousands of people during COVID-19 restriction as a safe place for recreation to walk and cycle with plenty of space for physical distancing. With the lifting of car restrictions onto the Causeway and the Wooden bridge of 18th May it will no longer be possible for the majority of people of all ages to continue to enjoy this amenity safely. Bull Island is an important protected biosphere and it should be kept free from air pollution. It is the stated aim of Dublin City Council to encourage cycling and walking.
    1,610 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Donna Cooney
  • Make Wooden Bridge & Causeway to Bullwall car free once more
    The health & well being of Dubliners depends on it.
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    Created by Austin Keegan
  • Let Them In -3rd level places for all Leaving Cert students
    Everyone no matter what their circumstance or chance of birth deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. Education is a powerful tool against poverty and inequality for both the individual who can access it and the generations after them. The current Covid19 pandemic poses an unique opportunity to change the entry process to 3rd level education in Ireland and let everyone who wants to be in education in. This petition is inspired by RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy using his platform to promote the importance of equal access to education throughout his life such as his campaign 'Let Them In' 40 years ago. If not now then when? LET THEM IN
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    Created by Grace Costigan
  • Community Objection to a Quarry in Raphoe
    Bonar's Quarries are seeking permission for 25 years to open an old quarry that has already adversely affected the lives of residents of this heritage town under planning number 1952015. It has gone unnoticed by most of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic but those who remember the building damage, noise pollution, air pollution and misery caused when this quarry was last operated will not want it to return. Unbelievably, the proposal is within just 800 metres of some 23 homes, a secondary school, businesses, multiple farms and within 1 km of Raphoe, a heritage town with a population of over 1000 people and with huge historical and cultural significance. Raphoe is also home to three other schools, a cathedral, a chapel, churches, numerous businesses including a livestock mart, a tourism attraction in Oakfield Park, forestry and many farms. We oppose the noise, dust, vehicular traffic, the safety record of the applicant, water pollution, vibration, the location and the release of any poisonous landfill leachate into aquifers, and second the views of the 18 page objection already lodged. There are many more suitable locations for a quarry but this one, on the edge of our town, simply must not go ahead. Therefore we need as many people as possible to CLICK BELOW TO BACK THIS PETITION and oppose living beside a functioning quarry in Raphoe for the next 25 years.
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    Created by Raphoe Community
  • Extend maternity leave and maternity benefit
    In light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the lockdown maternity leave/ maternity benefit should be extended by 3 months for those who's maternity leave was affected by the lockdown. With all childcare facilities being closed many parents face issues of where to leave their babies, with facing loosing their jobs if they have nowhere to leave them. Maternity leave is time when you and baby can attend baby groups, spend time with family, attend needed appointments and with a country being in lockdown none of these things are happening. Many babies have not met their family members or met other babies to socialise in baby groups, these things are vital for baby development, bonding and educating for babies and their parents. Due to COVID-19 many of us are scared to leave our homes and bring babies outside, with the uncertainty of when this is going to end, maternity leave and maternity benefit should be extended giving families reassurance and support. Follow us on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ExtendMatLeave2020/ or on Twitter @matleave2020
    30,302 of 35,000 Signatures
    Created by Agnes Graholska
  • Please don’t postpone the Leaving Cert for so long
    It has been difficult to keep the spirits up during confinement, knowing the end of the effort wasn’t so far away, or wasted, kept the focus and the effort going. The news of the long deferral have so deflated the LC students, who were studying so hard up to now. I worry about the consequences this decision might have on their resolve up to now. It would also interfere with plans to study abroad, and would have further implications regarding college entry, after correcting time is added in. Times are tough, but there’s no need to dismantle everything and take the carpet from under their feet. College classes can be taken online, exams can be scheduled in a way that social distancing is adhered to.
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    Created by Elena Lopez Sweeney