• International Students Require Assistance in Ireland’s COVID-19 Response
    International students have not been adequately considered in Ireland’s COVID-19 response: - Due to closed immigration offices, some have remained stuck in Ireland for months, with unanswered emails and calls to INIS and university immigration offices (1). - In Dublin, an online renewal system that requires applicants to mail in their passports has resulted in passports lost in the mail or held up to 3 months (2). - Despite permission extensions, a valid up-to-date residence card is required to allow most non-EU international students to exit and reenter the country (1). These delays have meant that they haven’t been able to return home to care for sick family members or say goodbye to dying loved ones for fear of not being allowed to return. Heartbreaking stories of isolation, frustration, and loss currently fill the international student community. In addition, the recent ruling by the Court of Appeals (3), classifying international students who reside in Ireland for more than one year as “Ordinary Residents,” has put considerable financial burden on international students. Despite bringing in some 400 million euros to the Irish economy (4), international students are already required to pay 300 euros per year out of pocket for residency cards that must be renewed yearly. This ruling now additionally requires international students to purchase health insurance for immigration purposes costing 600+ euros per year (3, 5-7). It is illogical and excessive to classify students as Ordinary Residents and expect a yearly renewal fee - especially when students (Stamp 2) can't avail of social service benefits. Allowing international students, already dealing with family separation and heavy financial burden (1, 2, 8), to carry these burdens alone during a pandemic is unreasonable and inhumane. Irish Universities and Colleges – and the Irish Government - have a responsibility to support the students they recruit (9). We, the international students of Ireland, in conjunction with our allies, call on Helen McEntee (Department of Justice), Norma Foley (Department of Education), Simmon Harris (Department of Further Education, Research, Innovation, and Science), and Stephen Donnelly (Department of Health) to: 1.) Resolve the immigration appointment and application backlogs This could be accomplished through the implementation of a fast, secure, country-wide, fully-online renewal process. To avoid passports being lost or held for excessive periods of time, this could be accomplished via a “sticker system,” whereby applicants submit their details online and are issued a “sticker” in the mail that makes their permit valid until the COVID crisis is over. In addition to the online “sticker system,” issuing residence permits for non-EU students that last for the duration of a student’s study, as done in the United States and the Netherlands (for example), would help improve the situation; additionally, removing the yearly renewal process would help with the immigration appointment backlogs. As non-EU students are already under an obligation to report and change in details, and can only work 20 hours per week and thus would be unable to support themselves financially in Ireland’s high cost of living, there is little risk of these students using their residency cards to stay in Ireland under false pretenses. In addition, these issues have been addressed through simple mechanisms already done in other EU countries. 2.) Re-classify international students to avoid unreasonable healthcare costs Under no circumstances should students be forced to pay healthcare costs of 600+ euros following the Court of Appeal ruling (3). We therefore request that international students be declassified as Ordinary Residents. 3.) Consider international students when making policy decisions Take care to consider issues concerning international students when making future decisions regarding residency, visas, GNIB, health, housing, and the overall COVID response, to prevent further issues from arising. Sources: 1. Kenny, Aíne. “We are “cash cows” for the Irish university system, say international students.” Irish Examiner, 27 Oct 2020. 2. Surve, Aakanksha. “Ireland COVID-19 lockdown: An overwhelmed immigration system leaves hundreds in limbo,” DublinLive, 25 Oct 2020. 3. Tottenham BL, Mark. “Students in the State for over one year were “ordinary resident” for the purposes of medical insurance.” Decisis Law Report, 31 Oct 2020. 4. O’Brien, Carl. “Universities eye more Irish students to replace overseas losses” Irish Times, May 3 2020. 5. Curran, Ian. “I’m not sure my friends can afford it”: International students face hike in insurance costs.” theJournal.ie, 10 Oct 2020. 6 .Brady, Niall. “Why a Court of Appeal could cost Irish universities.” The Times, 12 April 2020. 7. Brady, Niall. “Higher education minister Simon Harris urged to prevent health cover hike for foreign students,” The Times, Sept 27 2020. 8. O'Connell, Pet. “Overseas students “isolated and homesick” under lockdown, say Cork campaigner.” Irish Examiner, Oct 22, 2020. 9. “Provision of Education to International Students: Code of Practice and Guidelines for Irish Higher Education Institutions.” Irish Higher Education Quality Network, 2018.
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    Created by International Students for Change
  • #BringChange
    There is a great deal of concern from parents, teachers, principals and elected members of the Northern Ireland Assembly about the current private system of transfer tests and particularly during this pandemic year.
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    Created by Naomi McBurney
  • Basic allowance for student healthcare workers during corona virus!
    This is important to eradicate the exploitation of student healthcare workers working 39 hour weeks and paying tuition, travel costs and more. These students sacrifice their personal safety and finances to take care of sick and injured people in our hospitals on the daily which is of major public benefit at their expense. Implementing an allowance will also reduce the need for students to work a part time job on top of college and placement hours which will majorly reduce the risk of cross contamination in hospital wards.
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    Created by Callum Lowe
  • One Stamp for All Spouse and Dependents Immigrants #Equal Rights Ireland
    Immigrants spouses are being treated and marked as herds by giving them stamp 3/1g, making it impossible for them to access the job market. What are the spouses being punished for?? It is causing mental and health deterioration for the skilled immigrants who are suffering financially by being dependent on spouses. Isolation during covid-19 is building up some serious mental concerns as depression and suicidal thoughts. Furthermore adding to the misery of immigrants, stamp 1g is given to the graduates on job search and spouses of CSEP holders and hosting agreement holders. Recruiters are not willing to entertain anyone on Stamp 1g or stamp 3. Now with many of them listing an eligibility criteria as EU/Stamp 4 holder only may apply. Immigrants' spouses who have stamp 1g or stamp 3 are as if they are handcuffed for a crime which is simply being a dependent to a permit holder or critical skill worker. Dependent immigrants want to work and equally contribute to the society and pay taxes.
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    Created by Aysha Mazhar
  • Reclose the Schools
    Students account for 20% of Ireland's population. Sending students to school in the current climate, while also considering that online learning was practiced successfully last year, is an unnecessary risk to public safety. Issues facing schools include confusion over the definition of a close contact, no guarantee of when a test result will be returned to a student, and no option for high-risk teachers to teach from home. An inadequate following of restrictions, including a lack of social distancing before and after school as well as at break times, masks not being used at break times and hand sanitizers being recalled because they were not safe are just some of the health concerns affecting schools. Finally, students are struggling massively with their mental health right now. The fear of contracting and possibly spreading Covid-19 to loved ones and high risk friends is leaving many students stressed and afraid to go to school.
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    Created by Close Schools
  • Stop the Stigma of Mental Health in Third Level and Further Education
    It is important for this to happen, because there are students in both Third Level and Future Education Colleges who are being looked down upon and made feel ashamed and embarrassed because of their mental health and the majority of us Students are being kicked out of their college for having a Mental Health Illness. You can't just stick a plaster over a Mental Health Illness, it's not the same as a broken arm or leg; were it it will heal in approximately 6 weeks. I think both students and teachers should be taught about Mental Health so they can understand it more and know exactly how to help someone with Mental Health; mental health isn't just an illness; it affects everyone differently and the majority of mental health goes unnoticed due to it been invisible. 1 in 5 people have Mental Illness, 5 in 5 people have Mental Health We want you Simon Harris to join us Students in stopping this Stigma of Mental Health in college, especially now in these difficult times.
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    Created by Danielle Cuddihy Picture
  • Open our Libraries Now for Click & Collect Service
    Libraries can safely operate a click and collect service while maintaining adhering to the current guidelines. Under Level 5 , retailers which can provide a click and collect service to customers are allowed to continue to operate, this shows lack of consistency in Government policy. Public libraries provide an essential service to local communities. While we acknowledge that online services such as audio and ebook rentals are offered under Level 5, these services should not be considered equivalent to library book rental.
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    Created by Claire Grace
  • High Quality Public Broadband for All!
    This pandemic has shown that the internet can be used to connect and strengthen communities - but only if they have high quality, affordable access. If we build a public network, we can guarantee free, quality internet for everyone.
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    Created by Emily Duffy Picture
  • Save Marian College Swimming Pool
    Did you learn to swim in Marian College Swimming Pool? Generations of local children and adults alike have been using this unique facility in the heart of Dublin 4 since the early 1960's. Marian has played a key role in helping our communities fitness and wellbeing. We believe that the time is now to maintain and build upon its importance and outreach. Securing a better society where community, social interaction, exercise and education are at the heart of our daily lives. We would like to be assured that there is a plan in place to re-open in the not too distant future. Our entire community is in danger of losing the swimming pool forever, if nothing is done. This petition serves to show how much support and goodwill exist to you the board of management, together with your dedicated staff. Who have the knowledge to plan a safe reopening of this much needed facility. Please show your support to Save Marian Swimming pool from closure , before it is gone forever.
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    Created by Save Marian College Swimming Pool
  • Help our Gaelscoil in Ballincollig find a permanent home
    Ballincollig multi-denominational Gaelscoil, Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin, seeks a permanent site to help meet the needs of our children and future students in Ballincollig. We are so proud of all that we have achieved as a school in a temporary site, however our children deserve a permanent site in the area that can see us put down roots to help us grow. With this growth, we can meet the needs of an ever expanding population and carry on our work on a larger and more sustainable scale. We are a resourceful school, and we are mindful of the ongoing cost associated with being in a temporary location. The school currently rents its accommodation but a permanent building for our much needed school is a much better use of our taxpayers’ money. The demand from young families in the area for multi-denominational gaelscoil places cannot be fully met due to the temporary and limited nature of the current location. The Board of Management is very grateful to Ballincollig Rugby club for its support in accommodating the growth of the school to this point. We hope the people of Ballincollig will support is in our quest to acquire a permanent site! Please sign this petition and share it far and wide to help us.
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  • Cabhraigh linn ! Help us find a permanent site for our Gaelscoil in Ballincollig!
    Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin, Ballincollig has been waiting for 5 years for a permanent site. We need the help of our community to highlight the urgency around this issue. Our children and the wider community require a permanent site for Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin to meet the needs of the current students and families in the area. We hope you will support us with your signature and sharing of our petition. Tá Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin ag fanacht le láithreán buan don scoil le cúig bhliain anois. Tá cabhair an phobail ag teastáil chun ár n-imní faoin moill seo a chur in iúl don Roinn Oideachais. Tá foirgneamh buan tuillte ag ár bpáistí agus a muintir. Táimid ag súil go dtacóidh tú linn agus ár n-achainí. Aside from the pressing matter of securing sibling places at the school, the protracted wait time in acquiring a site has hampered the ability of the school to serve the wider population in the local community, many of whom are keenly awaiting an opportunity to enroll their children in the school. The present temporary accommodation, rented at a huge cost to the Department of Education and the taxpayer, will not cater for the growing enrolment in the area. Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin has been on the Department of Education building programme since its establishment in 2017 but no progress has been made in acquiring a site for a permanent building. The school currently has 118 students, it is growing rapidly and increases in physical size each year to cater for the new incoming class. Bíonn an-éileamh ar áiteanna sa scoil gach bliain. Tá Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin lonnaithe faoi láthair i bhfoirgneamh ar chíos ollmhór don Roinn Oideachais. Cé go bhfuil an scoil ar chlár tógála na Roinne ó 2017 níl láithreán buan ceannaithe go fóill don scoil. Tá 118 dalta ag freastal ar an scoil atá ag dul i méid gach bliain le rang eile. Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin is a vibrant and developing Multidenominational Gaelscoil with a thriving music and violin programme, a keen focus on sport, a passionate faculty, and a reputation for excellence that has driven huge demand for places from families in the community of Ballincollig since its inception. Is scoil bheoga, ilchreidmheach í Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin atá ag forbairt. Cuirtear clár ceoil den scoth, ceachtanna veidhlín san áireamh, ar fáil. Leagtar an-bhéim ar chúrsaí spóirt agus is le dúthracht a thugtar faoi gach gné den churaclam. Dá bhrí sin tá éileamh thar na bearta ar áiteanna ó mhuintir na háite. School Principal, Máire Uí Shé is hopeful that a permanent site will see the long-term vision and potential of the school realised, “to continue to enable the dedicated school community to provide each pupil in our care with an excellent all-Irish primary education which promotes the holistic development of each child and enables him/her to become bilingual and attain high achievement levels in all areas of the curriculum. We are committed to nurturing the school as a caring learning community for children, their parents and staff in a welcoming, happy, safe and stimulating environment. Ní neart go cur le chéile. ” Is Gaelscoil Ilchreidmheach í Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin. Tá Príomhoide na scoile, Máire Uí Shé an-dóchasach go gcuirfí fís na scoile I gcrích agus láithreán buan a cheannach " chun bun Oideachas lán-Gaelach den chéad scoth a chur ar fáil do gach dalta chun forbairt iomlán an linbh a chur chun cinn agus le cur ar a c(h)umas bheith dhátheangach agus ardchaighdeán a bhaint amach i ngach achar den churaclam. 'Sé ár n-aidhm an scoil a chothú mar phobal foghlama ina dtugtar aire do na páisrí, dá dtuismitheoirí agus don bhfoireann I dtimpeallacht fháilteach, shona, shábháilte agus spreagúil." Parents and management are calling on the Department of Education to expedite the acquisition of the site without further delay. Tá tuismitheoirí agus Bainistíocht na scoile ag impí ar an Roinn Oideachais láithreán buan a cheannach don scoil gan mhoill. We appreciate the help of the people of Ballincollig in helping us by signing and sharing this petition. Is mór againn cabhair mhuintir Bhaile an Chollaigh agus an achainí seo a leanas a shíniú agus a roinnt le bhur gcairde. Please share widely with your circle Go raibh míle maith agaibh!
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    Created by Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin
  • The Hamilton Way
    Dunsink Observatory in Dublin 15 was built in 1785 and is a unique part of the scientific and cultural heritage of Ireland. It has been home to many of Ireland’s greatest scientists, including Sir William Rowan Hamilton, and has played an important part in astronomical discovery and public engagement in Ireland for over two centuries. The observatory currently receives about 5,000 visitors per year, but access to the observatory is limited via Dunsink Lane. We therefore propose a ~450 metre foot and cycle route to the observatory from the top of Dunsinea Lane (at Phoenix FC/Priorstown House gates). The Hamilton Way would transform access to the observatory and open it up to many more visitors from Ashtown, the Royal Canal, Tolka Valley Park and the Phoenix Park. Learn more about the Hamilton Way at https://www.dunsink.dias.ie/hamiltonway/.
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    Created by DIAS Dunsink Observatory Picture