- Animal Rights
- Arts & Culture
- 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
No to More Slash and Burn!The proposed changes to the Wildlife Act will allow for the burning of vegetation in March and the cutting of hedgerows in August. This decision will have serious impact on a range of wildlife species and habitats in Ireland - especially highly-threatened nesting birds and pollinators found in our hedgerows and uplands. Our hedgerows are a vital refuge for many native wildlife species in a landscape with little native woodland compared to other countries. Hedgerows provide food, shelter, nesting sites, habitat corridors and are an essential component for flood defenses, preventing soil erosion and the silting of rivers as well as carbon sequestration. Our hedgerows and upland habitats need proper management, though. Landowners and farmers must be supported to manage them in a way that works for farming, road safety and wildlife. Under existing rules, landowners have six months between September and February to manage hedgerows and uplands effectively and there is provision for hedgecutting for safety on our roads. Therefore, this decision is unwarranted, will cause a significant blow to already threatened wildlife species and goes against advice submitted by Birdwatch Ireland, An Taisce and the Irish Wildlife Trust. The change to the hedge-cutting dates will lead to further declines in populations of Red-listed Yellowhammer, Linnet and Greenfinch birds and reduce essential food supplies for pollinators, of which a third are threatened with extinction. Our upland breeding birds are experiencing significant declines with several species now of Conservation Concern, including the Red-listed Curlew, Golden Plover and Meadow Pipit. Breeding Curlew have experienced an almost 80% decline in the last 40 years. How sad it will be to lose the Cry of the Curlew in our lifetimes. Many of our upland habitats are of international importance and protected under the EU Habitats Directive. These habitats also provide a range of benefits to humans such as carbon sequestration, water filtration and attenuation to protect against floods. Why then is the Minister supporting any burning in the uplands given the fragile state of its wildlife and habitats? By allowing burning of our uplands into March, nesting activities of sensitive upland ground-nesting birds will be affected along with the breeding success of these populations. We ask you to join us in our campaign to persuade the Government to reverse this decision before the Heritage Bill 2016, is passed through the Oireachtas. Sign our petition to show your support for the wildlife that do not have a voice. If we do nothing, we risk losing yet more of our natural heritage here in Ireland. Join us and support “No to More Slash and Burn!”
Declare Clare a TTIP Free ZoneOur local businesses, environment and democracy are under threat from a trade deal currently being negotiated between the EU Commission and the USA. The deal is called TTIP and could outlaw local authorities’ support of local businesses, allow multinational corporations to sue us if councils deny fracking permits and open up services like water, health and education to privatisation. What’s up for grabs are the rules and regulations that force corporations to abide by standards that protect our health, our rights, our jobs, services and the environment. These regulations for example stop corporations releasing chemicals and products into the market before they are proven to be safe. They also make sure workers get their rights and that local communities are protected from environmental disasters. But if TTIP goes ahead corporations will get to have a say on policies that govern our daily lives - before we or even politicians get to see them. And if they don’t like the rules they will be able to sue governments when they make changes or bring in new policies that could potentially affect their profits. Right now in Canada a fracking company Lone Pine Resources Inc., is suing the government for its decision to not allow fracking in Quebec. They are able to do this because of an ISDS clause in another trade deal. In Egypt the government was sued by water company Veolia for attempting to bring in a minimum wage. Germany is being sued by Swedish energy company Vatenfall for €4.7 billion because of Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power. TTIP also removes barriers to US companies who want to sell their products in Europe. Right now the sale of US beef in Europe is very limited. Hormone injected beef is banned outright. Hundreds of councils across Europe have already said they don’t want TTIP. Because of people power politicians are waking up to the threat TTIP poses and to the fact that people aren’t going to stand aside and let our democracy and rights be sold off.
More than sweeping brushes - support for communities at risk of floodingAs a family, we have experienced two major flooding incidents - our family home in Galway in September 2015 and my mother's home a number of years ago - followed by a near escape over Christmas in my mother's home. In the days following Christmas, we witnessed elderly people and families using sweeping brushes and wheelie bins to bail water in an attempt to protect their homes, homes that had already been destroyed a few years earlier. The impact on other communities around the country was, in this instance, far worse. Flooding, and the fear of it that permeates communities prone, is life -destroying. People need to be equipped and supported to protect their homes and businesses. The inevitability of these events needs to be conceded and the promises of action that we have been hearing needs to happen now. In terms of crisis response (prevention is a whole other story) in the immediate term; • There needs to be local co-ordination and a crisis response plan in areas that are prone to flooding, including a text alert system to people willing to help; • There should be a store of sand-bags in these areas. Easy-to-store sand-bags (five in a box about the size of a lap-top box) are now available, but these are generally distributed far too late. In our own case we got a delivery of sand-bags the day after the flood. That evening a local politician sourced them and while it wasn’t too late, it would have been far better if they had been available earlier; • At one stage the fire brigade brought a small pump and generator and this cleared the water out of the worst affected homes in a few minutes – work that had taken us all night. These should be available in all flood prone areas and training provided to local people to be able to use it; • People in these areas should receive grants to install flood-barriers – these work unless the flood is overwhelming; • Guarantees that either insurance companies will be required to provide flood insurance or a national insurance fund is established.
stop the killing of pike in the western fisheries regionnot only is this going to lead to an unprecedented slaughter of one of our natural predatory fish species ,it will also lead to an environmental imbalance in the waters eco systems - pike feed mainly on sick ,dying and distressed fish - this helps keep the waters delicate ecosystem in check - in short it is natures way of balancing the books ,the unnecessary and indiscriminate killing of pike without restriction to any size ,weight or number will lead to an imbalance . pike are not only predatory fish but also cannibalistic in as such as they will feed on their own species -- this helps keep down the number of smaller 'jack ' pike in any water - killing and removing larger pike will lead to an explosion af smaller jack pike , these smaller jack's can only eat fish that are again smaller than themselves - so will feed on younger fish and fry of other species - leading to a reduction in the numbers of those species - jack pike are far more likely to devour more 'prey' in one day than a larger -older pike would -so the more jacks a water holds -the more small fish and fry that get eaten , conservation wise the decision to allow the unlimited killing of pike across the western fisheries region is akin to shooting ones self in the foot - a pointless and painful exercise . in addition to the environmental aspect of this 'cull ' there are also other aspects that must be considered - ireland rely's on the tourist industry , a large part of ireland's tourism is t in the angling and sport fishing sector - over 1 million anglers per year come to fish irish water - that number of anglers bring many benefits - businesses such as tackle and bait suppliers , b&b's ,guest houses , holiday homes ,hotels ,bars ,pubs, cafe's restaurants, boat hire companies ,petrol stations ,camping sites all gain from anglers visiting these shores - in the to late 1980s ireland attracted almost as many anglers as there were residents -some 3 million per year - those numbers have declined because of issues with water quality ,access to rivers ,lakes and fisheries , poor water management and maintenance - but over the last 5-6 years tourist numbers have been on an upward trend and are now back over the 1 million mark for the first time in a decade . many of those anglers come here because of the excellent pike fishing - especially the uk, french ,german and dutch anglers - a great many of those anglers are so disgusted by this backwards step to allow the unregulated slaughter of predatory species especially pike that they are considering removing ireland from the list of countries to visit - the knock on effect to the tourism industry and other small local businesses would be devastating to say the least - imagine losing at least 1 quarter of your prospective business !! therefore im asking people -not just anglers but also those interested in the conservation and natural resources of this country to sign this petition and try to get this disgraceful decision reversed . thank you
Stop using turf to generate electricityClose down the peat fired electricity generator in Edenderry. It is not viable without enormous subsidies, burning turf is more polluting than coal, if they substitute wood chips when they phase out turf there is not enough in Ireland and there is some nonsense about importing it from the US, and wood chips are only marginally less polluting. We would reduce our emissions by 10% if we closed these plants. In 20 years what will we be talking about? It will be why nobody did anything meaningful about preventing climate change.
Reverse decision on Bottom Mussel Dredging for spat/seedBottom Mussel Dredging for spat/seed along Ireland's east coast has over the last 30 years caused widespread habitat destruction and biodiversity loss. This is particularly apparent off the coast of North County Wicklow. The Irish Bottom Mussel Industry with the help of Bord Iascaigh Mhara are seeking a Marine Stewardship Council Certificate which in plain terms deems Bottom Mussel Industry products as sustainably produced and not environmentally damaging. Over the last 30 years permanent mussel banks, which attracted many species of fish, crustaceans, invertabrates, worms and a host of other benthic creatures have been destroyed by "spat collection" dredging which is a key element in the supply chain to market of Bottom Mussels. This "dredging" element is so invasive to the benthic environment that the once great mixed fishery off Greystones, Co. Wicklow presents today as a marine desert where thirty years ago it was a marine Garden of Eden which sustained both local artisan fishing jobs and a thriving recreational sea angling product. If you feel that this MSC cert' should not be awarded submit your reasons through the following link
Switch Clondalkins water supply back to Ballymore EustaceThe people of Clondalkin are spending extra money a week to buy bottled water to avoid the scum like oil that is floating on top of a glass of water or a cup of tea. They are also noticing staining in their cups from the tea and for health reasons are not using this water for baby bottles.
Clean up the site of the derelict houses at Palmer Avenue, RushThese houses are in shameful condition and this is now Health and Safety concern to the whole community. The derelict houses are being are attracting anti social behaviour and locals are afraid to let their children play in the Park. It is just a matter of time that something more serious or life-threatening will happen. Not to mention that these are about 200 meters from a local Primary School thus school children walking through the Park to and from school are in danger of being mistreated. It is high time this issue to be taken seriously.
BUILD SKYSCRAPERS IN IRELANDSo that Ireland isn't stuck in the past with its buildings anymore. If you look at the comments of any youtube video or newspaper article about box buildings (6-8 stories) the main focus will be, 'why on earth are they not being built upwards???' We need tall buildings, and fast. They look great, can offer amazing views and will have a positive impact on the economy.
Recognise Catalonia as an Independant stateCatalonia are being robbed financially and culturally and the majority want independence from Spain. Spain is divided up into 17 communes and each should pay 5.88% tax but Catalonia pay over 20%.Their infrasture has not been invested in with road charges going straight to Madrid while most of the rest of Spain enjoy no tolls on their roads. Their trains are over 40 years old as the rest of Spains trains have been updated while their system is falling apart. Catalonia are forbidden to create flights to the USA therefore American businesses set up in Madrid instead. Catalonia are not allowed to use renewable energies in such a sunny climate as this would affect profits for electricity suppliers based in Madrid. An agreement that Spain would reimburse Catalonia with 769 million euro was reneged upon.Spain also are trying to wipe out the Catalan language by not funding schools to teach it. There are 50 corruption cases opened with no sign of anyone been held responsible. Catalonians want a Republic like ours and not a dictatorship and I think Ireland should stand behind them.