• Spend money on homes not weapons. Rescind PESCO
    PESCO was rushed through the Dail by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail in 2017 without enough attention or coverage.(1) Under PESCO Ireland will increase its military spending which is currently approx. €1billion per year by up to as much as €6billion per year.(2) Instead of weaponry these enormous financial resources could be constructively spent tackling the housing and health crises. (3) The goal of the PESCO agreement is to integrate the armed forces of all the members and create an EU army. This runs completely counter to Ireland's peaceful role as a neutral state. Ireland can and should leave PESCO. RESCIND PESCO before it's too late. More info: The People's Movement https://www.facebook.com/peoplesmovementireland/ (1) https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2017-12-07/38/ (2) https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/concerns-government-will-have-to-commit-to-annual-3bn-defence-bill-if-they-join-pesco-817557.html (3) https://www.thejournal.ie/readme/if-we-are-heading-for-an-eu-army-what-does-that-mean-for-irish-neutrality-4331443-Nov2018/
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    Created by Galway Alliance Against War Picture
  • Use the vacant Dunnes site on Sarsfield St, Limerick city
    It’s important that this building is used so that the local authority’s plans to redevelop Limerick city’s waterfront can begin. It’s currently casting a shadow on any plans to further develop as per Limerick 2030. It lies vacant as a housing crisis continues unabated.
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    Created by Anne Cronin
  • Stop The Legalisation of Slot Machines Donegal
    At a time when other countries are progressively acting to restrict the harmful effects of slot machines, we believe the adoption of this act would be a regressive step, increasing the potential for gambling addiction in Donegal. In short, this is a short-sighted money grab by a handful of business people at the expense of the wider Inishowen and Letterkenny communities. Gambling addiction is the most hidden and corrosive addiction and also the hardest to treat. Counsellors from White Oaks and Gamblers Anonymous who are at the coal face of this issue have spoken out, urging councillors to refrain from adopting this motion. It is shocking that councillors would consider adopting this act without hearing from them. At a minimum, they should have equal time to present their expertise and concerns to the Inishowen and Letterkenny Municipal Councils. The business people operating these gaming establishments HAVE been asked to address the Municipal District Councils and have lobbied them to legalise these casinos. They claim 129 jobs are at risk in Inishowen following Revenue seizing slot machines because their establishments were not compliant with the current laws. Let’s be clear here, this is a red herring. These gaming establishments currently operate as private members’ clubs which allows them to bypass the current laws, but those laws do restrict the size of the payouts these machines can make. These establishments are already very lucrative for the owners, but this attempt to allow them to increase the size of the payouts is an attempt to make them even more so. Allowing these establishments to increase the size of the payouts will give them leave to prey on the most vulnerable, with increased payouts acting as a lure to draw more & more people into further debt. Slot machine play is one of the most harmful forms of gambling in the world. Much of the focus around gambling problems is aimed at the individual gambler, but it is also important to look at ways that the games themselves contribute to gambling problems. High speed of play and features that promote false beliefs comprise some of the more problematic elements associated with slot machines. Slot machine players may find it helpful to be aware of those features that may make slot machine play more risky. Irish people lose more money per head on gambling than anywhere else in Europe, with an estimated 40,000 Irish people already in the grip of this addiction. Slot machines are huge revenue generators, and many of their features are designed to keep players in their seats in order to maximise revenue for the operator. Some of the machines’ features, however, may lead people to believe they have a better chance of winning than they actually do. Most players don’t realise that the reels on slot machines are weighted so that low-paying symbols come up much more often than jackpot symbols. Unbalanced reels are created when one reel contains fewer jackpot symbols than the other reels. This makes it more likely that players will see two jackpot symbols but less likely they will see three. This creates a type of ‘near miss. When players watch the reels spinning, it looks as if all symbols have an equal chance of coming up, but this is not the case. Players would have no way of knowing that one of the reels is lacking in jackpot symbols and could believe they have a better chance of winning than they really do. Slot machines are quite simply an operation in deceit. We urge councillors not to bow to the pressure of a handful of business people at the expense of the many. Listen to the experts and ask addiction counsellors dealing with the victims of this predatory business to have equal time to give their presentations and act in the interests of the health and wellbeing of the residents of Inishowen and Letterkenny. Sinéad Stewart, Inishowen Cathal Mac Fhloinn, Letterkenny
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    Created by Sinéad Stiobhairt Picture
  • Give Access to Pensions for Community Employment (CE) Supervisors
    Despite having served the community as a CE Supervisor for over 25 years, my sister and many 100's like her, have been denied pension rights, as laid down by the labour court recommendation of 2008. CE programmes have helped thousands of people who were long-term unemployed, or were disadvantaged, to get back to work by getting part-time and temporary work within the local community. The work that has been done has been vital, both from the communities' perspective and from the employees' perspective. CE Supervisors were, and still are, a vital part of each community and the trojan work carried out by each supervisor must be treated equally and fairly in comparison to all other state employees and therefore should be given access to occupational pension schemes.
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    Created by Mary Meyler
  • Keep Mussel Dredgers Out of Kinsale
    Kinsale Habour is one of the jewels in the Wild Atlantic Way's crown, and among the most famous locations for tourists who appreciate the history, culture, and pristine environment. The area around the town is often speckled with sailboats, busy fishing vessels, marine life, and tourists. Kinsale is a community that looks to the future while maintaining a deep sense of connection to its roots, and it the people take great pride in their town and its surroundings. Now the town's habour is under threat from a toxic and disruptive form of aquaculture called mussel dredging, which recently left a region of the Dublin Bay smelling like corpses [1]. Outside of Ireland, mussel dredging has had equally devastating effects in places like Vietnam where local fishermen discovered that the seabed had become a "graveyard" [2]. The knock on effects that this sort of rancid activity could have on Kinsale's tourism economy would be devastating for the town -- and for so little in return. It's also well known that mussel dredging can wreak havoc on the marine life around it [3]. Unlike more sustainable mussel harvesting practices, mussel dredging disrupts all of the seafloor life around it, leaving little left but jellyfish. Dolores Smith, a Dalkey resident who runs an inshore fishing and boat-hire company, summed up the effects on her livelihood: "The damage caused by the dredgers is absolutely enormous, there are stretches of seabed that have been obliterated." Therefore, we are asking the Aquaculture Licensing office of the Department of Agriculture to deny all mussel dredging licenses in the Kinsale Harbour. [1] https://afloat.ie/port-news/fishing/item/34164-mussel-dredgers-leave-dublin-coastline-smelling-like-corpses [2] https://newsable.asianetnews.com/south/vizhinjam-dredging-seabed-turns-graveyard-for-mussels [3] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267035134_Mussel_dredging_impact_on_epifauna
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    Created by Roderick Campbell Picture
  • Reduce unwanted pregnancies- make contraception FREE in 2019
    At the end of 2018 Minister for Health Simon Harris said that he wanted to do everything he could to reduce crisis pregnancies including providing greater access to free contraception. He said that it would be a legislative priority in 2019 to make female contraception more widely available.[1] The expense of accessing contraception can be prohibitive. Many women have neither medical cards nor funds for contraceptives, or emergency contraception. They also often have to pay for an initial doctor’s consultation as well as repeat appointments for prescription renewal. The proposal for “expanded access” to condoms is welcome, people need to be able to avail of the best form of contraception for their bodies and situation. We call on Minister Harris to ensure that any necessary research into the free access and free provision of all methods of contraception to the public is promptly undertaken, and necessary legislation introduced as soon as possible in 2019. [1] https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/vending-machines-may-be-used-to-distribute-free-condoms-says-hse-1.3745092
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    Created by Abortion Access Campaign West AACWest Picture
  • Get Galway moving in 2020
    Imagine if Ireland was able to implement a single policy that could reduce traffic, combat climate change, let people take up jobs they couldn’t before, make life in rural Ireland easier and reduce the cost of living all at once. And it only took a year or two to get it up and running. It may sound too good to be true but free public transport could do all this and we want to pilot it in Galway during 2020. Dear Minister Ross, Minister Bruton, and Minister Donohue, We, the people of Galway, ask you to trial free-fare public transport in Galway during 2020. This a policy that has been piloted across Europe and is working. In Aubagne, a French city of 100,000 people, public transport ridership increased by 142% and car trips decreased by 10% once free public transport was introduced. Overall, there was a reduction in public expenditure per journey of 48% from €3.93 to €2.04. This policy of fare-free public transport could allow the following outcomes across Ireland: * Reduction in traffic and commute time in cities and counties * Reducing our climate emissions and contributing towards our stated ambition to make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change * Increased economic activity and lower social welfare costs through improved social mobility and access to jobs and lower cost housing * Improved rural mobility with better public transport options in rural Ireland * Reduced cost of living through lower fares and giving families the option of giving up second cars With Galway welcoming the world to the European Capital of Culture in 2020, and our well-documented traffic problems, Galway 2020 is the perfect place and time to pilot this policy. We respectfully request that the Department of Transport and Department of Climate Action would immediately begin design and costing a pilot for free-fare public transport in Galway during 2020 and that the Department of Finance would allocate for this pilot in the 2020 Finance Bill or as part of the Climate Action Fund. We would ask that this pilot allows for: * An increase in bus capacity in Galway city and county so that buses are more frequent and reliable * A redesign of the route network including multiple crossings of the bridges and avoiding all bus traffic going through the city centre * The addition of new buses designs with modern interiors (similar to BRT designs like Glider in Belfast) that make the bus experience more pleasant * A proper study of the economic, environmental and social outcomes of the pilot. We are available to meet with you at your earliest convenience to outline our request and work with you to make it happen. Yours sincerely, Galway Free Public Transport Campaign
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    Created by Niall Ó Tuathail Picture
  • Stop the Public Services Card!
    Here are three fundamental problems with the Public Services Card: • The card may be illegal under European law. • The card targets economically vulnerable people, such as those in receipt of social welfare, pension, child benefit or State grants. • It has cost an estimated €60 million to roll out, with savings of only €2.5million in welfare fraud, according to the Department of Social Welfare. Here are some more problems: • It collects and stores more data than necessary for the Government’s purpose of “streamlining services”. There is no independent body overseeing the use, sharing, storage and security of this data. As always with mass storage of data, there is a high risk of a security breach. • The Data Protection Commissioner has been formally investigating the card’s legality since October 2017. • The government has said it is not collecting extremely sensitive biometric data, yet the card does require a photo which is subject to analysis by an arithmetic template. • It contradicts the State’s position on privacy at the EU. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is looking for an opt-out of proposed EU ID card biometrics, yet the Department of Social Protection is insisting on PSC biometrics. • Both the state and the Data Protection Commissioner have refused to publicise information regarding the ongoing investigation. The Department of Social Protection flat-out refused to provide an interim report via our freedom of information request to them. Similarly, the Data Protection Officer will not share any of their reports on the matter - only ‘high level findings’. But it’s necessary in order to prevent welfare cheats, isn’t it? • Welfare fraud is far less common than the State would like you to believe. White-collar crime robs the taxpayer of much more every year. • There are better, less invasive ways to achieve this aim. • It doesn’t appear the card is saving the state money in this regard. (See above: fundamental problems). In summary, the Public Services Card is an infringement on your right to privacy and it has to be stopped!!
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    Created by Sinead Nolan
  • Stop The Children's Hospital
    We need to have a conversation about its location, size, facilities, and cost. If we, the people, are to spend €2 billion, we need to be consulted about how our money is being spent. The hospital, as currently scoped, is not sized for the current population. It will not be coastguard helicopter accessible in cases of emergency. Co-located with a maternity hospital would be desirable. There is no denying that we need and want the best of care for our children, but the Children's Hospital project in its current runaway state, is dangerously close to making us the laughing stock of the world. We demand more transparency and accountability. Re-open the discussion on location. Rigorously consult the people now.
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    Created by Maryrose Lyons Picture
  • Cut Citizenship Fees for Adults Raised in Ireland
    Adults who came to Ireland as children should not be forced to pay the same amount for citizenship as someone who chose to come to the country as an adult and has lived in the country of Ireland for 5 years. There are currently people living abroad that have never and will never step foot on Irish soil that are more entitled to Irish citizenship because they have parents or grandparents who are Irish. These adults were raised in Irish culture and identify culturally as Irish. Many speak or have some level of the Irish language, went to Irish primary and secondary schools, attended Irish colleges, play Irish sports such as hurling and Gaelic football with their local communities, vote in local Irish elections, are members of Irish political parties, currently have employment in Ireland and are paying taxes in Ireland. They are as much a part of Ireland and Irish society as a child born in the country. They should not be expected to pay such exorbitant fees for a piece of paper that tells them they are officially an Irish citizen when it is clear that they are already Irish. No-one should be rejected or taken advantage of by the country they call their home so I ask for your support to help adults who were raised in Ireland to be given the citizenship they deserve.
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    Created by Valerie Mckay
  • NO to VAT on health supplements
    23% VAT rate on supplements outstrips the VAT paid on fast foods!!! It puts a serious financial burden on people who use supplements, especially on the elderly. This outrageous increase in price will push the cost beyond what many people can afford. It will also have a serious impact on the health stores and pharmacies that sell and offer this important service.
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    Created by Orla Kelly
  • Get 10% of promised SDZ houses in Dublin at Affordable prices
    Grand Canal Docks SDZ Affordable housing project in jeopardy Part 5 social housing delivery will not be delivered on site and possibly not within the Dockland SDZ or greater Dockland area. The North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock SDZ planning scheme envisaged a model of sustainable inner-city regeneration incorporating socially inclusive urban neighbourhoods and by not delivering social housing on site or within the SDZ the spirit and the promise of the Docklands SDZ Scheme has been broken. “We have seen a lot of cranes in the Docklands but not a lot of homes. Particularly affordable homes.” ‘Affordable’ housing means different things in different places, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy says. Private developers must deliver affordable homes on lands benefitting from public funds. He added: “Affordable needs to mean affordable.” Economic recovery, and with it rising apartment costs, has had an impact upon “Part Vs”, to the legal rule that means developers have to sell 10 percent of homes in larger developments to the council for affordable housing, or make some equivalent arrangement. Part V: New developments are required to provide up to 10% of units (or equivalent land) for social housing to councils at ‘cost’. However, this has not resulted in any confirmed new social housing units in the SDZ (awaiting update from DCC), and to our knowledge none of the planned 2600 new residential units in the area are currently designated as social housing. Recently, DCC councillors have been informed that the costs of purchasing units in the Docklands area “well exceed the DPHCLG cost ceilings and are not deemed value for money”. Therefore, the City Council has determined that off-site provision (albeit in the ‘entire Docklands area’) be considered to comply with Part V. As a result, the local community has “lost out”, while developers in the Docklands are making an absolute fortune out of this site. Subsidised sites would always deliver affordable housing. Where significant public money is being brought to open up a site, affordability will have to be part of the negotiations. The North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock SDZ was made by the Elected Members of Dublin City Council in November 2013 and approved by An Bord Pleanála on the 16th May 2014 and will provide for 2,600 residential units and up to 360,000 sq. metres of office space, as well as retail, community and public amenity facilities which will create 23,000 jobs. If the SDZ were delivered under the proposed schemes, there would be 260 units available for the households eligible for these units. Funding is a major issue in relation to those social units. The theory is that DCC would acquire units at cost, rather than at market value. If 260 units were made available to DCC at an average cost of say €500,000, the total cost would be €130m. Can DCC realistically source funding of €130m from the DoHPLG?. The system as currently implemented appears to leave the balance of power with developers. Source: https://www.dublincity.ie/councilmeetings/documents/s21553/320%20DOCF%20Annual%20Report%202018.pdf Dublin City Council has said it prefers to take social housing on site, within the same complexes and estates as the private homes. But it is being priced out of the Docklands SDZ area, unable to purchase the homes on offer in new complexes there. In April, Executive Housing Manager Anthony Flynn said the council was talking to five developers about other options for how to get that Part V social housing. When councillors get updates about the Docklands, council planners often brush off queries relating to housing provision, Workers’ Party Councillor Eilís Ryan says. When they “are pushed on housing they don’t actually claim any responsibility for it”, Ryan says. Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) where a fast-track planning process allows developers to get planning consent within two months of application. Under the planning laws, Developer is required to provide 10 per cent of the apartments for sale to the council for social housing at a discounted price, if it secures planning permission. Changes made in 2015 mean councils can no longer take cash from the developer instead of social housing. Back in 2010 Mr Ahern said: “The fact that the Grand Canal Docks would be primarily used for housing met Government policy objectives to increase residential densities and provide social housing. Well done to the DDDA in the way social and affordable housing are an integral part of the plans. The Taoiseach also commended the authority for its commitment to a public procurement process in seeking joint-venture partners from the private sector, and said he was pleased it would be using its Section 25 powers to "fast-track" the development.” Progress to date The recent 2017 Review of the 2015 Dublin Docklands Social Infrastructure Audit 20151 very disappointingly demonstrates that in the past 3 years there has been little real progress on any of the social infrastructure recommended in the 2015 report. This situation, in the view of the Committee, is unacceptable and continues to fail to address Community needs. Instead large-scale office developments, and exclusive, gated residences have been progressed by commercial developers and have led to an environment that is not inviting to local residents. The Docklands Community requires that social infrastructure be prioritised immediately in order to maximise the sustainability and integration of the indigenous and new communities in the Docklands.
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    Created by Julia Svedoff
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