We want an investigation to be implemented into the mass stranding of at least 16 offshore deep diving cetaceans, beaked whales which occurred from August 3rd to August 25th 2018, along the north-west coast of Ireland from Co. Mayo, Donegal and Co. Antrim. Simultaneously, 13 beaked whales stranded off the Scottish coasts and 2 more were reported stranded in Iceland. These are minimum estimates of mortality as they do not account for animals which may have sunk to the seabed or animals stranded in remote places and remain unreported. Previous studies on cetacean carcass drift have suggested that strandings represent a minimum of at sea mortality; depending on drift conditions carcasses may not always wash ashore, thus, the actual number of dead animals may be much higher (Peltier et al., 2014). Other mass stranding events of beaked whales around the world indicate beaked whales are susceptible to death or injury directly (temporary/permanent hearing damage) or indirectly (gas embolism, ( also known as the 'bends' ) due to extremely loud man-made oceanographic noise such as that produced by low and mid frequency naval sonar and certain types of acoustic survey used to examine the sea floor and below. Mass strandings of beaked whales associated with naval exercises have been recorded in Greece, the Canaries and the Bahamas. With no certain cause of these beaked whale mortalities on Irish shores having yet been established, this needs to be recognised as an unusual mass stranding event (UME) in an effort to identify the potential cause(s) and perhaps prevent future stranding events. Beaked whales are among the most diverse yet least understood groups of marine mammals.owing to their deep-water oceanic existence and typically inconspicuous surface behavior. Feeding in depths often exceeding 1000 m, most species are rarely seen; some have never been identified alive at sea and are known only from beach-stranded carcasses. According to the IUCN Red List, approximately 40% of marine mammal species are considered Data Deficient, whereas for the Ziphiidae, 90% are Data Deficient. Population trends for all beaked whale species are listed as unknown on the IUCN Red List. Ziphius and Mesoplodon are the two beaked whale genera known to suffer impacts from naval sonar activities. They exhibit strong behavioral responses to certain types of active sonar, resulting in altered movements and space use for prolonged periods after exposure (e.g., several days). In more extreme cases there can be physiological consequences leading to death or stranding. Mass strandings of beaked whales throughout the Northern Hemisphere have been associated with offshore military activity (Moore & Barlow, 2013). It is important that we aim to mitigate these stranding events and reduce human impacts on beaked whales in Irish waters. Thank you for taking the time to address our concern, Kind Regards, Emer Keaveney, Executive Director, ORCA Ireland.
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    Created by ORCA Ireland Ocean Research & Conservation Association Picture
  • Community Swimming Pool for West Wicklow
    Blessington and the surrounding areas have a growing young population. Presently the residents must travel outside of our community to Naas or Tallaght to access swimming facilities. The nearest community swimming pool to West Wicklow, provided by Wicklow County Council, is in Bray, an hour drive away from Blessington by car. According to the 2016 Census the municipal district population of West Wicklow is over 26,000 people. A community swimming pool would be of great benefit to the local communities and would help promote physical exercise, water safety and provide local employment. We believe that a community swimming pool needs to be provided for the growing population of West Wicklow.
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    Created by Deirdre McCormack
  • Stop TV & Radio Censorship in Ireland now!
    Both Gemma O'Doherty (award winning journalist) https://gemmaodoherty.com/ and respected financial whistleblower Johnathon Sugarman http://whistleblowerirl.blogspot.com/ have un blemished track records in uncovering political and financial corruption for the public good in Ireland. Notably issues that are totally relevent, newsworthy, affect peoples lives and need to be known by the Irish public. For instance Gemma O'Doherty was the first to uncover the penalty points scandal and has yet to be interviewed or allowed to comment on this issue! Johnathon Sugarman who is a financial whistleblower with indepth knowledge about the financial and banking corruption that is rife including the recent Drumm judgement. Why have they not been asked to comment? Is this a form of media censorship? Many People believe that for any other reason than balance alone they should be given a voice on mainstream media otherwise this is a form of Censorship in Ireland.
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    Created by Paul Anderson Picture
  • Save Nonso from Deportation
    Muojeke Family Case History Mr. Muojeke, the boys father, died in 2006. Mrs. Muojeke, as a widow, became the property of her husband’s brother, as is the custom. She was seriously mistreated by that brother and the rest of the family. Mrs. Muojeke fled to Ireland in 2007 with her two boys, one 2 year old and one 7 year old. Vulnerable and very afraid, they lived in a hostel in the Direct Provision System in Dublin before being moved to Co. Laois. The family applied for asylum based on the horrific treatment of Mrs. Muojeke and her two children. This was turned down in 2009. Mrs. Muojeke requested the solicitor on the case to file an appeal within the 15 days allowed. He did not do so. A Deportation Order was then issued and the family moved to Tullamore where Mrs. Muojeke continued to engage by trying to get her file back from the original solicitor. After a very long time she succeeded and, finally, Mr. John Gerard Cullen took up her case and appealed to the Minister of Justice in 2015. The Minister did not reply at first for more than a year. The Minister then refused Humanitarian Leave to remain in 2017. The reasons given included that the older boy will settle well if returned to Nigeria as he settled well, aged 7, when he came to Ireland. Also, it was stated that the severe mental trauma suffered by the children is not a ground for granting Humanitarian Leave to remain. The issue of the best interests of the children was not considered a relevant matter. Both boys identify totally with being Irish, neither speaks any Nigerian dialect and has no cultural awareness of that country whatsoever. Why is this case unique? The boys have been here since they were very young children and have been brought up as active Irish members of their community Their mother has always sought to engage with the Authorities They are excellent young persons (one is still a fourteen year old child) who are making, and want to make, a positive contribution to this society The Irish Constitutional guarantee on the best interests and rights of children is not empty rhetoric; and it must be honoured. What next? Minister Charles Flanagan has the power to grant “Leave to Remain” to these boys. Please go to the following: [email protected] and add your email address to the petition. Please email the Minister and the Taoiseach ([email protected] and [email protected] pledging support to the children’s right to life and education here in their country
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    Created by Save Nonso
  • Kinsealy Court needs a Playground and Basketball Court
    It is important for the health and well being of the children in the area. We have a substantial amount of children under the age of eighteen in Kinsealy Court especially between the age's of 2-16yrs and the park has plenty of room to facilitate one. It will also help with keeping the children from playing on the road so much as there is a large volume of kids that play on the road on a daily basis. The closest playground to the estate is Holywell which is not an option as it's too far for the children to travel to.
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    Created by Niamh Weston
  • Stronger legislation to prevent discrimination against mental health in workplaces
    Its important because anxiety and depression can affect one in 6 people. As one of them I want to be able to contribute positively to society. I want to be able to be able to work. I want to be able to work with an organisation where having anxiety does not mean I live in fear of loosing my job if my employer finds out. Or be discriminated from promotions or progressing in an organisation if they know I have anxiety. I want to fulfil my potential and be treated with dignity not with misunderstanding or stigma.
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    Created by Cat Mc
  • Rockfield Park needs a playground
    There is a ready made ideal site for a playground in Rockfield Park, namely the now unused square surfaced with tarmac which used to serve as an all weather five-a-side. DCC intend re-greening this when it could serve as a ready made foundation for a playground. A properly secured playground would be a great amenity and would lead to a more widespread use of the park by the community
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    Created by katechris hanlon
  • Open Tipperary Town Library on Saturdays
    Current opening hours do not facilitate the working public- closed for an hour at lunch, closed Wednesdays and closed on saturdays. Huge money has been spent on the new facility recently opened in the Excel and the weekend footfall is huge. It’s a massive waste of a resource not to allow access on Saturdays.
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    Created by Siobhan Ní Dhubhlainn
  • Full secularization of all Irish Schools
    Hi, Ma name is Val. I'm an atheist. My son is an atheist too. At present there are absolutely no schools in Ireland for hundreds of thousands atheist children brought up by the atheist parents. In the primary school with a lot of effort we managed to escape most of the religious education through informal private agreement with the school authorities, however in the secondary school, which my son would have to go approximately within a year, he would be coerced/forced to attend compulsory religious classes in the form of Religious Education and/or Pastoral Care. I simply don't want my son to be religiously brainwashed in one way or another. Therefore, I petition to secularize all Irish schools, so all Irish children would be able to enjoy normal modern secular education in line with human evolution. All children in the world are born atheist, however then get brainwashed by society/community/education system into one religion or another. We should stop this practice and let our kids to grow free from any religious dogmas. Those parents who want to continue brainwashing their children should do it outside of our education system. Let's make all Irish schools completely free from any religious education!
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    Created by Val Dublin
  • New St Paul’s Secondary School for Monasterevin
    The current school is not fit for purpose. We feel that our children are being treated as second class citizens because of the conditions they endure on a daily basis. The following list are some of the issues students and staff are facing each and every day; Heating: The heating breaks down on a regular basis, the boiler is over 20 years old and we can't get parts for it anymore. There are currently 14 classrooms in prefabs, most of which are almost 20 years old. They leak when it rains heavily and are freezing cold in winter and like saunas in summer. Room Availability: We regularly have to use 2 rooms in the Community Centre as we don’t have room for guest speakers/workshops. We also use the scouts den for workshops and sometimes for PE. We use a room in the local convent for recorded interviews for LCVP and also the State Oral Irish and French exams. Toilets: We currently have 227 boys attending. They have one toilet which has 2 cubicles and 3 urinals between them. The drains are constantly getting blocked in both the boys and girls toilets. Privacy Issues: Students receive first aid treatment in reception. We don't have anywhere for students with medical issues to administer medication or make adjustments to medical equipment. This is done on the corridor or in the female staff bathrooms. Staff Workroom: There is nowhere for teachers to do corrections/prepare for class. When they are not using their room another teacher is in it. Some teachers don’t have a room, as there aren’t enough and so they are carrying books, copies, laptops etc to and from classes at every change of class. They are currently using their cars to do corrections as it is the only quiet space available to them. There is also nowhere for teachers to have a private telephone conversation with a parent or sometimes a face to face meeting. Subject Options: Some students are left disappointed as they are not getting their first or second choices because there simply aren’t enough practical rooms – we have 1 Art Room, 1 MTW, 1 Home Ec, 1 Science Lab, 1 DCG room. Max per class is 24 students. Outside Space: The yard space for students at break times is rapidly diminishing as we install more prefabs. It is unsafe in some areas and when the gym is in use for TY show or exams the yard is used for PE. It can be slippy and dangerous. We do not have any green space or playing fields which means that students have to walk to the local GAA pitch or soccer pitch for training and games. Parking: The main road where parents collect their children is a hazard as parents double park on both sides of the road and children walk across the road without looking. There is one designated wheelchair space and no bus space. On 12/03/12 the then Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn announced that St Paul's Secondary School Monasterevin was to be one of 219 new schools to be built over 5 years as part of a €2 billion capital investment programme. Our school was due to go to construction in 2015/2016. The project has been plagued with delays over waste water, drainage issues, traffic lights etc etc. We have recently been informed that construction is due to begin in quarter 3 of 2019 a full 4 years from the original construction date. The project is currently running almost 3 years behind schedule and we need the Minister to exercise his ministerial function and direct the Department of Education to progress this vital school project without further delay.
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    Created by Monasterevin Action Committee
  • Education Equality: don't teach religion during school hours
    It’s horribly unfair that children not of the right religion – that’s the Catholic religion in 90% of primary schools in Ireland - are segregated and excluded in our taxpayer-funded schools. Religious patrons control the vast majority of schools in Ireland. The solution is simple: any religious faith formation in our taxpayer-funded schools should take place outside school hours. This respects the religious freedom of everyone - who could object to that? From four years of age, children who are not of the right religion sit separately in the classroom during the daily 30-minute period of religious faith formation, segregated from the rest of the class doing non-curriculum busywork while their friends come together for lessons, to sing songs and so on. This is the fate these children will face every day of their primary school lives. Every. Single. Day. The situation is far worse during communion and confirmation years as days and weeks are lost to sacramental preparation. Ireland has a blind spot when it comes to religious discrimination. Just imagine if we segregated children in school on one of the other grounds that are prohibited by law, such as race, nationality or ethnic origin. It's unthinkable, right? So why should we accept religious discrimination in our schools? The Constitution forbids religious discrimination and sets out the explicit right “to attend a school receiving public money without attending religious instruction”. But the State does absolutely nothing to uphold this right. Not only are children made to feel different and unwanted within the classroom but they absorb every word of the lesson anyway, thus undermining the child’s right not to receive religious instruction. It's almost as though parents are supposed to just shut up and be happy that their children got a place at school. But we do not want children to be grudgingly tolerated at the local school – we want them to be treated equally. A state's education system provides an extraordinary opportunity to shape young minds, foster independent thought, challenge inherited institutional structures and influence the development of society for generations. Is religious difference really what we want to reinforce in our children throughout their school years? Is the State doing its job by allowing this to happen? We say ‘no’ on both counts – and we believe that many other parents and fellow-citizens throughout Ireland feel the same way. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you would like to share your story as part of this campaign.
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    Created by Paddy Monahan
  • Support the Sex Education Bill
    The Sex Education Bill will deliver: Factual, objective and scientific sex education for all schools regardless of religious ethos Consent and sexual harassment issues being part of the curriculum LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education Sex education that is not gender normative and teaches about all genders Education on abortion in factual and objective way Education on all forms of contraception
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    Created by Adam Dudley