- Animal Rights
- Corporate accountability
- Disability rights
- Food and Sustainable Production
- Gender Equality
- Governance and Transparency
- LGBT rights
- Mental health
- Privacy and Data Protection
- Rural Inequality
- Social Justice
- Transport and Infrastructure
- Workers' Rights
Stop the The Data Protection Act 2018!Whilst the rest of the Europe prepares for the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to protect citizens personal data, Fine Gael right now is trying to exempt itself and Govt from these laws! Given the state of the nation where we see daily evidence of Garda and ministerial corruption including the cover-up of the Mary Boyle child murder case, fraud investigations at the Garda training college, on-going criminal activities within the Dept of social protection, allegations of corruption in NAMA, proof of theft, over changing and illegal home evictions by Govt owned banks and most recently smear campaigns and intimidation of Garda whistle-blowers and jailing of anti-corruption activists this is not the time to give the Govt more cover to hide behind, we need greater full transparency than exists presently. Fine Gael right now is trying to circumnavigate data protection laws including the incoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is trying to do this through the introduction of The Data Protection Bill 2018 which in fact not only weaken Irish citizens’ rights dramatically but also see the Fine Gael government is able to break established laws that it will still meanwhile, demand others to obey. By any stretch of the incoming situation being created by Fine Gael, this is blatant one law for them and another for the rest of the people in Ireland. In short, the Data Protection Act 2018 as it is being presented, waiting to be Dail voted on, is a complete disgrace and is far from acting to the benefit of all. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties says that the bill “impacts fundamental human rights, and on first reading gives rise to serious concerns across a broad range of privacy rights issues”. “The ICCL believes that proper analysis and consideration of these issues is required, and we are concerned at the apparent haste with which the Government is pushing through important legislation in a highly sensitive area.” Independent Senator Alice Mary Higgins has stated: “The bill proposes a number of wide, often vague, exemptions which allow the State and public bodies to override an individual’s right to privacy and data protection and, outrageously, it also seeks to exempt public bodies from fines when they break the rules. No financial consequences are a recipe for disaster.” The bill will see state departments will be unaccountable for passing people’s personal data to others, from one department to another or from a department to private companies. This is unacceptable. Section 54 of the bill will seek to restrict the data rights of individuals regarding GDPR when the state deems at it sees fit, that they should be restricted. This is totally unacceptable. The bill will see that the government can process a person’s data contrary to GDPR where the ‘public interest’ is in question. In other words, Ignore data protection. This too is totally unacceptable. The bill will see allow the new Data Protection Commission to have a discretionary option to not investigate a complaint made to it, as it sees fit. This is just incredible unjust and unacceptable. From the expensive farce that is the Public Service Card (the national identity card in all but name) and its attached new national database, accessible by over 140 various state sections, to the giving away of people’s personal data to private companies like Seetec and Turas Nua in “JobPath”, the rights of the people of Ireland regarding their personal information are disgracefully being watered further down. We therefore call on you NOT to support the Dail passing of the Data Protection Act 2018. If you do this, it is a betrayal of the people of Ireland and an open disregard to the protection of their personal rights. Words by Jeff Rudd
Deal with Dumping in GalwayOUR COMMUNITIES ARE DROWNING IN WASTE and not enough is being done to manage the situation. During a recent litter pick with local residents we came across the illegal dumping in the picture above, beside 3 schools in Knocknacarra. Dangerous waste like broken glass and discarded condoms are in the spaces where our kids walk to school every day, posing a real threat to their safety. This is shocking and something needs to be done FAST. We know that enforcement is successful. In Wicklow the Pure Project has seen a 45% reduction in fly-tipping by using covert CCTV. This is because people are less likely to dump if they think they will be caught. This in turn will SAVE THE COUNCIL MONEY on its large waste bill. We call on the Council to implement the following: - CCTV and prosecuting offenders MUST be prioritised - In 2015 there was just 1 prosecution under the Litter Pollutants Act 1997 for illegal dumping with a fine of €400 in Galway. Prosecutions are what stop others from engaging in the offence. - RATS -There are serious safety issues, with residents in areas such as Droim Chaoin reporting rats, because those from outside of the estate are driving in and dumping bags of rubbish. I have seen burst black sacks of food waste left at the side of the road. More regular clean-ups and signage are needed in these areas. - PLAYGROUNDS - Bushes around playgrounds do not seem to be cleaned by the Council, which means dangerous items are left around our children, such as the glass and razors that we found around the Millennium playground in January. The whole area must be cleaned each time. - Local clean-ups tend to happen on a Sunday, with bags being left until Wednesday for the Council to collect them. This should be happening on a Monday to reduce waste spreading around the neighbourhoods. - BINS - We also need more bins through-out the City and County - GLAN SUAS programme. For some time now the next clean-up on the Galway City Council website is reported as 'To Be Announced'. This was a collaboration between community groups and the Council. The Council should re-engage with this programme. So please sign this petition and send a message to the local Galway City and County Councils that we demand CCTV, prosecutions of fly tippers, regular clean-ups, collection from community clean-ups on Mondays, more signage and support from the City and County Councils. Pauline O'Reilly, Green Party, Galway West
"'Shame'rock for Trump - Not in our name"An Taoiseach is our representative abroad. When he accepts prejudice, racism and bigotry, it shames the people of our country. We feel that such an alliance is not good for our country's reputation and undermines our relationship with other countries. Trump is a despicable human being. A point must be reached where falling at the foot of a powerful man, at the expense of our values and morals and international reputation is not acceptable! "'Shame'rock for Trump: Not in our Name"
Meet with Jonathan SugarmanJonathan Sugarman, former risk manager of Unicredit, decided to blow the whistle on illegal and dangerous banking practices in 2007. He discovered that banks were breaching liquidity safeguards by up to 20 times the legal limit. Sugarman decided to alert the Central Bank, who imposed no sanctions or significant penalties, despite evidence of clearly illegal activity on multiple occassions. Over the last 10 years, Jonathan Sugarman has fought to expose Ireland's banking practices in order to protect the public. His recent testimony before the finance committee was explosive, and is leading to a chain of events that has now embroiled even the Central Bank itself. If Philip Lane follows through on his agreement to meet with Jonathan Sugarman, it will shed light on some of the murkiest innards of Ireland's banking systems; it's a necessary step in developing better enforcement, transparency, and public understanding. Ireland deserves clear answers about the 2008 banking crash, and safeguards to prevent it from happening again. Philip Lane, Governor of the Central Bank, agreed to a meeting with Sugarman, and now he must follow through in a timely manner. Philip Lane agreed to this on 17.10.19 -- at 9:49 to 9:50 in this video: http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=37059&&CatID=127
Mandatory sentencing for sex offendersThe two and a half year sentence, handed down to a high profile figure today for grooming and defiling an underage girl is beyond words. Rape is the second-most serious crime on Ireland’s statutes after murder. It is appalling that sentencing is based on the person and not the crime committed. Sexual violation is a lifelong sentence for the victim. Sex offenders should be meted thet same sentence that they inflict on their victims. Judges show no concern, care, or understanding for the victims of rape and sexual violation.
Social Hubs instead of rural post officesWe seem to be allowing a continuous stripping of services from rural Ireland, this would be a start of a serious opportunity to reverse this trend and offer a genuine service to elderly people who want to remain in their homes. We could customise these hubs to suit each village or location, eg combine this service with the local community centre, a cafe a local business or a stand alone unit. This hub could be staffed by locals and would offer all the services of a post office, plus access for the elderly to a government services help desk, environmental help, grants, tourist info etc, it could also be a start of decentralisation from Dublin.
NO MORE WEAPONS OF WAR IN IRELAND!Specialist armed Garda units have been directed to beef up security in several Irish cities from this evening. (Sunday 4th June 2017) Members of the Garda Armed Support Unit (ASU) have been dispatched to the cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Kilkenny, beginning their duties at 7pm this evening. While the threat of a terrorist attack in Ireland is currently deemed to be possible but unlikely, the directive comes as a proactive and preventative measure in the wake of the past fortnight’s attacks on Manchester and London. The Taoiseach should be reminded that Ireland is renowned around the world for it's neutrality, friendliness and respect for the views and beliefs of others. An unarmed police service is something the Irish people are proud of. Therefore, we call on the Taoiseach to show leadership and not bow down to these cowardly acts by bringing more weapons of war onto the streets of Ireland.
Redress for Bethany Home SurvivorsThese are some of the worst incidents of abuse in the history of the Irish State. Many children died through neglect and ill-health and possibly physical abuse. All suffered. The State at the time knew this was taking place, but rather than shut them down, they paid these organisations to house those they deemed undesirable. Places like Westbank in Greystones were used as an illegal adoption agency and profited very handsomely out of it. Whilst victims of similar Catholic-run organisations have been recognised under the Redress Act 2002, no such move was made for those in Protestants homes, even though Bethany Home falls under every category for redress.