• Support a Free Belarus
    Alexandr Lukashenko, “Europe’s Last Dictator”, has been ruling Belarus with an iron grip for 26 years, suppressing democracy and smashing any dissent. But it’s possible his hold on power may finally come to an end. On August 9, Lukashenko proclaimed another landslide electoral victory despite clear signs that the election was rigged. But this time it was too much for the people of Belarus! Thousands of people marched on the streets of Minsk and other cities to challenge the result. These brave defenders of democracy were met by riot police, and dozens of protesters were beaten and injured over the past two weeks. More than 6,000 people have been arrested. [1] What happened this summer in Belarus cannot be called elections: main opponents are either imprisoned, or barred from registration. [2] Lukashenko's opponent in the elections, Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya, was forced to leave the country and is now in exile in the EU, in Lithuania. [3] Tsikhanouskaya’s campaign was run on the promise to establish fair and free elections within 6 months. [4] What matters now is the EU’s response. The EU has already signalled that it will issue sanctions against President Lukashenko and the ruling elite, but this is not enough. [5] The EU can stand up to Lukashenko by refusing to recognise him as the President and support free and fair elections as soon as possible. The EU needs to provide all the necessary support to guarantee new elections, including by recognising the opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, as a necessary counterpart in any diplomatic or international talks over the future of Belarus and its people. Together, let’s tell EU leaders to stand with the people of Belarus and call for free and fair elections in Belarus. References: [1] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/12/belarus-protesters-and-police-clash-for-third-night-as-eu-threatens-sanctions [2] https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/opinion/what-is-happening-in-belarus-cannot-be-called-elections/ [3] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/10/belarus-opposition-candidate-rejects-election-result-protests-svetlana-tikhanovskaya-lukashenko [4] https://www.euronews.com/2020/08/04/belarus-presidential-election-rising-opposition-star-svetlana-tikhanovskaya-speaks-to-euro [5] https://www.dw.com/en/belarus-eu-sanctions/a-54564440
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  • Cllr Martin Brett must resign as Councillor and L. Ceatharlach over Golfgate Scandal
    On 19 August, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan attended an Oireachtas Golf Society dinner along with 81 other people in what was a flagrant breach of Covid-19 public health guidelines. Even before the government announced new measures curtailing the numbers at social events this week, the maximum number of people allowed at indoor social events was 50. Brett's decision to ignore public health guidelines is unacceptable. In attending this event, he has displayed utter contempt for ordinary people who have done their utmost to abide by guidelines and stop the spread of Covid-19. Despite the resignations of Minister Dara Calleary and Senator Jerry Buttimer this week, Brett has merely resigned his membership of Fine Gael and has brazenly refused to step down from his position as Kilkenny Councillor and Leas Cathaoirleach. Speaking to Kilkenny Now, Brett has said: " I have no thoughts on my position in the Council that doesn't come into question. There are a lot of people much higher up the pecking order than me who were there as well as me and none of them is resigning from anything so why should I??" His arrogance is a slap in the face to health workers at the front lines and to all those who have lost loved ones to this pandemic. His actions have also undermined the public health effort at a crucial time. https://kilkennynow.ie/im-staying-putt-kilkenny-councils-vice-chair-not-standing-down-despite-attendance-at-galway-golf-dinner/
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  • Phil Hogan must resign from his position as EU Commissioner over Golfgate scandal
    On 19 August, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan attended an Oireachtas Golf Society dinner along with 81 other people in what was a flagrant breach of Covid-19 public health guidelines. Even before the government announced new measures curtailing the numbers at social events this week, the maximum number of people allowed at indoor social events was 50. Not only this, but it has been reported that Hogan has been spending some of his time at a residence in County Kildare. For the past two weeks, Kildare residents have been asked not to leave the county because of increased restrictions there. Hogan's decision to ignore public health guidelines is unacceptable. In attending this event, he has displayed utter contempt for ordinary people who have done their utmost to abide by guidelines and stop the spread of Covid-19. Hogan's disdain for working people and the poor has been on show before. In 2014 he threatened those who would not or could not pay water charges, saying their water pressure would be "turned down to a trickle". More recently, he has been at the forefront of the push to implement the Mercosur deal, which will undermine small and medium farmers' livelihoods and pave the way for further destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Yet despite the resignations of Dara Calleary and Jerry Buttimer this week, Hogan has thus far brazenly refused to step down. His arrogance is a slap in the face to health workers at the front lines and to all those who have lost loved ones to this pandemic. His actions have also undermined the public health effort at a crucial time. Hogan represents the worst of a rotten political elite that believe there is one rule for them and another for ordinary people. He must resign immediately and apologise for his actions.
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  • Golfgate Gang Must Go
    An apology is not sufficient. This new government must show real leadership and remove Dara Calleary, Phil Hogan, Seamus Woulfe, Senators Jerry Buttimer, Paddy Burke, John Cummins, Paul Daly, Aidan Davitt and Niall Blaney immediately. We do not need to stand for 'do as we say, not as we do' politics.
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    Created by Tony Le Blanc
  • Irish Diaspora call to End Direct Provision
    Today ( Aug 27th 2020) another person has lost their life in Ireland's horrible Direct Provision system. It is time now for the 1.47 million Irish citizens outside of Ireland to push for change through whatever channels we can. Colm Brophy TD is Minister for the Diaspora and is the only voice we have and we must make our views clear to him - Céad Míle Fáilte is not conditional! Direct Provision was introduced as an emergency measure in 1999. Today there are 7,000 people living in direct provision. The current government coalition has committed to ending the Direct Provision System within their term however there has been limited communication about any action so far. Last week it was revealed The Department of Justice and Equality compiled daily reports of social media relating to Direct Provision, how much traction they had and how critical they were for the government. COVID-19 has again highlighted how unsafe this system is with multiple outbreaks in centres across the country. In recent times of crises, Irish governments have historically favoured austerity rather than investing in a social safety net. We have to pressure the government to deliver on their commitment by the end of their term AND ensure there are improved provisions to care for Asylum Seekers in the meantime. Irish people all over the world are given the opportunity to support our communities, to contribute to society, and to share our culture in our new homes so we want to remind you of this. Wherever you are, wherever you are from the Céad Míle Fáilte is not conditional. #DiasporaagainstDirectProvision Tag Minister for the Diaspora, Colm Brophy @brophytalks Tag Minister for Justice, Helene McEntee @HMcentee Tag Minister for Integration (DP disestablishment) Roderic O'Gorma @rodericogorman Tag Dept of Foreign Affairs @dfatirl Tage Dept of Justice @deptjusticIRL Tag MASI to show support @masi_asylum
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  • Remove school profiling from the leaving certificate calculated grading system
    From the example of the UK, we can see just how disastrous school profiling would be for a large amount of students. 39% of teacher predicted grades were downgraded by an algorithm, which could have robbed thousands of students of their futures (if not for the recent U-Turn of the British government). School profiling is frankly not an accurate assessment of student ability. All students, regardless of their background should be given the opportunity to excel in their leaving certificate without being held back by economic circumstances. Students should be assessed on their own ability and not the past performance of their schools. We recognise that we are a long way from solving the problem of inequality in our education system, but many of us are worried that this is a step backwards.
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  • Private Small Bus Operators Of Ireland
    Our industry moves Ireland , school children,Airports, train stations ,Ports ,Government Departments infant when groups of people need to be moved around we are the industry that does it . We are the ones that move Ireland with out us no one gets to their destinations in one vehicle . Our full size bus takes 6 cars of the road for every full size Coach .We transport school children on a daly basis .Our precious daily cargo is people dont wait till its to late when the operators are no longer in business . School transport have been totally ignored in relation to getting back on the road and having extra cleaning time cleaning equipment and not funding. Refund on vehicles that have been parked up since March on road tax,cvrt or extenstions Allowing this industry claim vat on all business like our counter parts in Northern Ireland.
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  • Tackle Human Trafficking NOT Consenting Sex Workers.
    The review of this legislation is accepting submissions until September 11th 2020. The Criminal Justice Act 2017 Part 4 was put in place after lobbying by individuals and groups, some of whom were founded by and still have members of religious orders who ran Magdalene Laundries in their organisations, who believe all sex work is exploitation. This is not the case. This stance means ALL sex workers are being classified as exploited which in turn is distracting efforts from identifying real human trafficking victims. Human trafficking victims exist in many industries in Ireland including agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and many more. Child trafficking is also a problem in Ireland. Yet, we are targeting consenting sex workers. The belief was that the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services would end the demand for sexual services. This has not come into fruition. Ireland has been downgraded to Tier Two Watch List in the latest Trafficking in Persons Report and there have been NO PROSECUTIONS for human trafficking in Ireland EVER. Consensual sex workers exist in Ireland and will always exist in Ireland. This legislation has unfairly targeted their earnings, their safety and their autonomy rather than tackling human traffickers. These people and organisations have had very little communication with sex workers or experience in investigating cases of sex trafficking or other forms of human trafficking. This means there are victims of trafficking who are not even being looked for. This law has cut the flow of information to Gardaí from sex workers about real trafficking victims and children being requested for exploitation. Not only that but violence against sex workers has increased to dangerous levels because clients are afraid to get caught and sex workers are stigmatised to the point where abuse is deemed a natural part of their work - which should never be the case. Nicer clients have been scared away by the illegality of purchasing of sexual services and many who are still buying sex are the ones who take risks, putting sex workers in Ireland in serious danger. Sex workers report more issues with clients regarding safe sex. Sex workers in Ireland are not legally allowed to work together for safety under Ireland ‘Brothel Keeping’ legislation so they do not even have that comfort. To make buying sex illegal On top of the Brothel Keeping legislation, without first ensuring sex workers have access to social services and housing and all the other things they need to survive is horrific. For these reasons we are demanding an end to the Criminal Justice Act Section 27 part 4! TACKLE HUMAN TRAFFICKERS NOT WORKING PEOPLE!
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  • Ministers new €16,000 pay rise is obscene
    We need to let the politicians that voted for this pay rise know that this is totally unacceptable while the country is in crisis and they are accountable to us, the people.
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  • Revoke Green Card for NI travel to Eire.
    This is important because no such issue is being considered with regard to Scotland, England or Welsh borders within UK, or with UK, Welsh or Scottish travel to the South of Ireland. NI is being penalised on our own Island, to travel within our island, on the back of a BREXIT that the majority of NI Citizens voted against in the first place. This is our chance to stand and take our place today in the fight for tomorrow and demand Boris Johnson, Taoiseach and the NI Assembly Ministers listen to and seriously reconsider this decision.
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  • Public Inquiry into Systemic Abuse at Muckamore Abbey Hospital
    This is the largest adult safeguarding investigation in the UK of its kind. The PSNI has examined CCTV footage and has so far established that there have been more than 1500 criminal assaults on patients in a 6 bed ward in a time period of 6 months. Two weeks ago yet another staff member was sacked from the hospital for abuse on a patient. The abuse is continuing. There can be no tolerance of abuse and it is critical that the individuals and institutions responsible should be held to account. That includes those who were directly responsible for the abuses but crucially also, the institutions and individuals responsible for systemic failures or whose action or inaction otherwise permitted the abuse to occur. These people were in the care of the state and are amongst the most vulnerable in society.
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  • Cap Senior Politicians Pay
    Senior politicians are continuously challenged as being 'out of touch' with the electorate. Many would argue it is difficult for politicians to understand the struggles of many of their constituents because, financially, they exist in a different realm. Currently, the AVERAGE ANNUAL earnings of a worker in Ireland is just under €39,000. Meanwhile Senior politicians AVERAGE ANNUAL Salaries and add-on's are as follows; TD = €96,189 Senator = €68,111 Taoiseach = €207,590 Tánaiste = €191,403 Minister = €175,699 Minister of State(a) = €134,976 Ceann Comhairle = €175,699 Leas-Cheann Comhairle = €134,976 Cathaoirleach = €114,130 Leas-Cathaoirleach = €93,468 Leader of the Seanad = €88,288 Deputy Leader of the Seanad = €77,611 Added to this, Oireachteas members also get ADDITIONAL SALARIED ALLOWANCE of up to €19,000, Travel and Accomodation Allowance of up to €35,000 and UN-VOUCHED expenses of up to €20,000 (source https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/salaries-and-allowances/salaries/ and https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/salaries-and-allowances/parliamentary-standard-allowances/ ) Sign this petition if you believe Senior politicians AVERAGE ANNUAL earnings should be benchmarked to the National AVERAGE ANNUAL earnings, capped (with no add-on's), and Reviewed Annually, as follows; TD - Average Annual Earnings x 2 = €78,000.00 Senator - Average Annual Earnings x1.25 = €48,750.00 Taoiseach - Average Annual Earnings x4 = €156,000.00 Tánaiste - Average Annual Earnings x3.5 = €136,500.00 Minister - Average Annual Earnings x3 = €117,000.00 Minister of State(a) - Average Annual Earnings x2.75 = €107,250.00 Ceann Comhairle - Average Annual Earnings x2.5 = €97,500.00 Leas-Cheann Comhairle - Average Annual Earnings x2.25 = €87,750.00 Cathaoirleach - Average Annual Earnings x2 = €78,000.00 Leas-Cathaoirleach - Average Annual Earnings x1.75 = €68,250.00 Leader of the Seanad - Average Annual Earnings x2 = €78,000.00 Deputy Leader of the Seanad - Average Annual Earnings x1.75 = €68,250.00 All ex. Senior-Politicians pension to be capped at the level of Average Annual Earnings, regardless of office(s) held, and not come into effect until the State Pension (Contributory) Qualifying Age. (Currently 66)
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    Created by Michael James