- 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
Paperless Payslips for the Public ServiceMany schools, especially in the voluntary sector are underfunded and rely heavily on fund raising and voluntary contributions. Millions are being spent every year on sending pointless postage to teachers who either file the payslips away and never look at again or simply throw straight in the bin. This wastage needs to stop!
Support our Local Nurses in KilkennyNurses are currently experiencing terrible pay and working conditions. There are not enough nurses employed by the HSE - nurses employed are being overworked to deal with the government-induced healthcare crisis. The result of this is seen in the overcrowding, patients on trolleys and lengthly waiting lists. We cannot take our nurses for granted and we stand with nurses strike action in Kilkenny!
Get 10% of promised SDZ houses in Dublin at Affordable pricesGrand 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.
Save our green space LimerickWe oppose the decision to introduce over 50 parking spaces in Russell Park, Hyde Road. Since the initial consultation in 2015, Limerick’s has drastically changed. Four years after original planning permission was sought, we now have many people living in this area, while many of the businesses whom requested the additional parking have ceased trading. Only 19 submissions were collected as part of the Part 8 planning application and residents do not feel that they were adequately consulted on this issue. Of note, there are many children and adults living with disabilities in the new Hyde Road apartments and they have serious safety concerns regarding the extra car traffic this will bring to the area. Considering the complete reversal of the final works on Davis Street from the finalised proposed plans, there is a set precedent for Limerick Council to halt construction work at this time. The Davis Street improvement infrastructure did not reflect or meet the proposed planning documents with no reason for this change given by Limerick Council. We call for greater linkage between Russell Park and The Peoples Park. This could also include the use of the iconic Park Kiosk to be used as a cultural hub for the surrounding area. We believe that we need to value our city’s green spaces and the enormous health, social and environmental benefits they bring to Limerick and its citizens.
Decriminilise Drug usePortugal’s decriminalization process is over a decade old, there are several long-term benefits that have been recognized, including the following: Substance abuse and addiction rates have been cut in half since decriminalization Addiction treatment and rehabilitation is less expensive than incarceration Individuals with substance abuse problems are much more likely to find recovery in rehab than in jail People completing treatment can become productive members of society much more easily than convicted felons Violence related to drug trafficking is greatly reduced Courts are freed up for other important work The rebellious, countercultural essence of drug use is changed when society sees it as a disease and not a crime
Give Identity Rights to Adoptees in IrelandIrish adoptees have no automatic right to access our adoption files, birth certificate, health, heritage or history information. A right to identity is a recognised human right and adoptees are denied this right. This affects Irish Adoptees from historic, domestic adoption, along with their children and extended families.
Stop the Dump in FahanA planning application has been submitted to Donegal County Council, seeks “retention planning permission for filling of lands” at Crislaghmore, in Fahan. The application also seeks “retention planning permission for a machinery shed and planning permission to fill lands and all associated works.” Residents fear they will be adversely affected by the proposed development. The applicant in question has “made numerous applications for a ‘waste facility’, a ‘landfill site’, a ‘public dump’ and for ‘landfill’ for quarry material.” Each time residents have objected, the applicant has gone on to let things expire, then reapplied on a ‘retention’ basis or as a new application. The re-application is placed in a local newspaper, which probably has limited readership in the whole of the surrounding district. The applicant also posts applications at least 15 to 20 feet from the road so they cannot, not only be read but are impossible to see. Residents feel as if the applicant is trying to ‘slip one by them’ each time. The applicant has erected a shed post expiry of the last application. The shed was not in the previous specification and was not even in the same place as previously applied for. However, the applicant has now applied for retention of the shed and for landfill to help ‘enhance’ the land upon which the shed stands. Residents are puzzled by the application for further building and landfill, when the applicant knew from the start that the area was not suitable for the shed. We also object to the landfill based on the fact that any material could be used, from household refuse to quarry, industrial and commercial refuse. The applicant is also parking HGV lorries on residents' land “in contravention to’ Donegal County Council enforcement letters. A second person is also parking lorries and keeping pallets of bricks on land in the area, also in contravention of a Donegal County Council enforcement notice. Residents see drains being laid, landfill being delivered and other groundworks taking place, day and night. These people think they are ‘untouchable’ by Donegal County Council. Residents are particularly upset by the fact that the applicant has widened part of a little country road. This used to be a quiet residential area but we now have HGV and other large machinery and equipment passing up and down the road, on an almost constant basis. This is a single lane track, you wouldn’t even call it a road, which is not suitable for such machinery and the dust and noise is unbearable. In addition, the widening of the road has been entirely for the applicant’s benefit and not the community’s. They effectively built a turning circle for their trucks. It is unsightly and detracts from what was once a lovely country lane. The community in Fahan is worried about the effect the fumes from the lorries is having on the health of children in the area. Residents are also worried about the run off from this landfill, which will significantly interfere with the indigenous flora and fauna. This run off will eventually reach Lough Swilly. There is a bird and wildfowl reserve on the banks Lough and the environmental impact would be huge. We also have mussels growing in the Lough, which are exported worldwide and the run off could also contaminate this lucrative local produce. In recent times, the water supply has been interrupted, whilst work was ongoing on this site. And, subsequently, it has been cloudy and unfit to drink on occasion, Donegal County Council is pursuing an “active enforcement case” against the applicant seeking retention planning permission for “filling of lands” in Fahan. An Enforcement Notice is a legal document that requires certain action be taken to remedy a breach of planning control. They are issued where a development has taken place without the correct planning permission or outside the conditions of a planning permission. It is an outrage that this slow but steady activity is continuing unabated and his refusal to comply with planning authorities is all but ignored by council. This beautiful, scenic, quiet, country area MUST be saved.
Support the Occupied Territories Bill for its next stage in the DAIL on 24/1/19 (Irish Parliament)‘The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill, 2018’ seeks to ban imports to Ireland from illegal settlements in countries which are illegally occupied, in breach of International Law. This is a chance for Ireland to stand up for the rights of vulnerable people – it is about respecting international law and refusing to support illegal activity and human suffering. Under international law (the Geneva Convention), the transfer by a State of its civilian population into a territory it has militarily occupied is a war crime. This legislation would apply to territories where there is a clear international legal consensus on the status of the occupation. As it stands, only the occupied Palestinian territories have been confirmed as occupied by the International Court of Justice. This Bill does not implement a boycott of Israeli goods, or single out Israel. It only bans the import and sale of goods produced in settlements that are illegal under international law. The European Union’s position is absolutely clear: Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are “illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible”. Despite this, EU states, including Ireland, continue to make the settlements financially viable through trade and economic activity. The legal basis of the Bill and its permissibility under EU law are confirmed by several formal legal opinions: Michael Lynn, Senior Counsel in Ireland, Professor James Crawford of the University of Cambridge, Senior Counsel in the UK and one of the most eminent authorities on international law worldwide and former Attorney General Senator Michael McDowell have all confirmed the legality of the Bill. This Bill has cross-party support from all parties in the Dáil and Seanad but the government is refusing to support it. This is why we are calling on Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and his party to back this Bill as we want all the people of Israel and Palestine to live in peace and security. We stand in support of international law and for the principles of peace and justice.
Implement the EU RIGHT to Civil Legal Aid in Irish legislation NOWSince the economic crash in 2008 hundreds of thousands of Irish people have been affected by financial legal issues which can end up in court proceedings. There are currently 20,000 cases for repossession in the Irish Courts. With a typical family of 5 that is over 100,000 people. Some experts say 250,000 - 500,000 are affected by potential repossession in Ireland. While every criminal in Ireland from the petty thief to the rapist, murderer, drug dealer and maybe even Bankers in criminal proceedings are entitled to legal aid, Civil Legal aid is only available for family law issues in Ireland. People in financial difficulty have to try and represent themselves or, just not go to Court at all and lose their homes by default, without a defence being put forward. Article 47 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights says everyone is entitled to be advised and represented if the legal issue involves EU law, but this is not implemented in Irish law and Judges appear not to have jurisdiction to grant legal aid in Civil Cases. I have an Application to the Irish Supreme Court in relation to the availability of legal aid, pending permission to Appeal since September 2017 and ready for a determination since May 2018, but no Determination has been forthcoming to-date. Minister, please introduce legislation to make civil legal aid available to the tens of thousands of people in the Courts in repossession proceedings and, make the Supreme Court more transparent in how and when, it makes it Determinations. A sequential list of applications ready for determination should be available publicly on the internet and, sequentially allocated a Determination hearing on a first come first served basis with the schedules for Determinations publicly available on the internet.
Make progressive, alternative schools available to all children regardless of financial backgroundEducational researchers agree that our current mainstream school system does not align with meeting the needs of children. We can no longer judge children's abilities in standardized testing, which ignores their creativity as well as talents and often makes them feel isolated, stupid and worthless. Especially children with additional needs are not nourished in the long outdated school system. In most European countries progressive schools such as Montessori, Sudbury, Homeschools and Waldorf Schools have long been a welcoming space for children to flourish, to gain self confidence and to become independent and happy citizens. Unfortunately these schools in Ireland depend fully on fundraising and fees alone because they do not receive a single cent from the Irish government. Teachers often partially work for free, because they believe in the significance of these educational establishments, and more importantly in the children's right to self-direct their learning, no matter of their financial background. It is time to allow parents and children to choose how their personalities will develop healthily, without a religious indoctrination, by letting them learn in an alternative non-denominational school. Please add your name to this petition to collectively ask our new Minister for Education, Joe McHugh, to spread the allocated funds for education more fairly by including alternative schools such as Montessori, Sudbury or Steiner, as well as homeschooling in the state funding, so that no child has to pay fees in order to grow there. With good hopes for the future, Carolin, a former teacher
Ban Letting Agent Fees and Cap Deposits for RentersRents in Ireland are at an all-time high, with the national average standing at €1,334 a month. Yet even these staggering figures don’t tell the whole story, because many tenants are being charged additional upfront fees by letting agents and extortionate deposits equal to two or three times the monthly rent. This is a brutal and exploitative way of screening renters with the result that low-income workers and social welfare recipients are effectively locked out of the market. Scotland successfully banned letting agent fees in 2012 and England and Wales are set to do the same early next year, and also introduce a cap on deposits. The Dublin Tenants’ Association is demanding the same from our Government. Sign the petition to show your support!
STOP paying public money to private companies to help unemployed peopleWhy are Irish taxpayers paying two private companies – Turas Nua and Seetec to profit on Irish job seekers through the job activation scheme Job Path? Not only that but since June of this year, over 11,000 people have been referred to JobPath for a second time having already completed the scheme in full. Job seekers as Irish citizens deserve to be treated with respect and dignity as they continue with their efforts to find employment. Some job seekers need support, some can manage efforts independently. JobPath as a one size fits all programme cannot address the needs of all jobseekers and nor should it. Seasonal and part-time workers are also being forced to engage with JobPath while working and it is widely reported that Turas Nua and Seetec often demand details of employers. THIS NEEDS TO STOP.