- Animal Rights
- 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
Demand full rights for people with disabilities in Ireland - add your voiceAfter an 11-year delay, the Government recently took the final steps towards ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. However, it turns out that the government has for now abandoned its pledge to at the same time ratify a key protocol that goes along with the Convention. The protocol gives people with disabilities a real chance to achieve their rights in cases where the government is failing them. The protocol allows groups or individuals to make complaints to the UN to ensure the government does what it says it will do. This government has effectively turned its back on 640,000 people with disabilities in this State by failing to ratify this protocol.
Minimum wage increaseThe wages paid at present in ireland are not enough to cover the rising living costs .This is simply not enough to live on, with the average weekly minimum wage income €320- €360 per week. (€9.60 per hour). The average wage needs to be set to at least €11 per hour to cover living costs and for a decent standard of living, which is our right. The wages have stayed the same for a decade in Ireland, while everything else has gone up in price considerably. The wages are completely unrealistic and anyone trying to pay rent/ mortgage/ car costs/TV licence/ utility Bills/ refuse/ WiFi/ loans,etc are stretched to the limites and having to get into further debt just to make ends meet. This is not good enough. In Ireland it is well known that the cost of living is really high and it should be met with a fair minimum wage to meet the rising living costs. We deserve better than this, and we demand an immediate review of the minimum wage to a fair and realistic one. In Scandinavian countries, where the standard of living is rated the highest in the world, the minimum wage is €25 per hour, and the working week has been decreased to 32 Hours. This means people have a good standard of living for the work they do.They are less stressed, therefore they don't need to take sick days, and their overall work productivity is higher, as they are less stressed. They can easily cover their living costs and have some kind of lifestyle, which we are entitled too. This is also really good for the economy and communitites as people will spend more, meaning there is more money circulating in communities and the economy- everybody benefits. Please help to support this campaign and share with family and friends. Something really needs to be done, and together we do have a voice.
Scrap the unfair €450 fee for Supplemental ExamsOur University should put the welfare of students at the center of everything that it does. We need a freeze on fees for all students and affordable rental options. We are a collective of undergraduate and postgraduate students in Trinity College Dublin who can no longer stand by and watch the commodification of our education. Last month, in a referendum held by TCDSU 82% of students voted strongly against the implementation of Supplemental Fees. The College Board decided to ignore the voice of the students, and implement Supplemental Fees at a flat rate of €450. Last year, College signed the Student Partnership Agreement, which promises to promote democracy and ensure that students are stakeholders in decisions that College make. Trinity’s decision to introduce supplemental exam fees is evidence of their continuing disregard for students, their opinions, and their welfare. Please sign this petition to show your support of the #TakeBackTrinity campaign. If you are a Trinity student or staff, please sign with your tcd.ie address If you are not please use your preferred email address. We thank you for your support!
Stop the The Data Protection Act 2018!Whilst the rest of the Europe prepares for the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to protect citizens personal data, Fine Gael right now is trying to exempt itself and Govt from these laws! Given the state of the nation where we see daily evidence of Garda and ministerial corruption including the cover-up of the Mary Boyle child murder case, fraud investigations at the Garda training college, on-going criminal activities within the Dept of social protection, allegations of corruption in NAMA, proof of theft, over changing and illegal home evictions by Govt owned banks and most recently smear campaigns and intimidation of Garda whistle-blowers and jailing of anti-corruption activists this is not the time to give the Govt more cover to hide behind, we need greater full transparency than exists presently. Fine Gael right now is trying to circumnavigate data protection laws including the incoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is trying to do this through the introduction of The Data Protection Bill 2018 which in fact not only weaken Irish citizens’ rights dramatically but also see the Fine Gael government is able to break established laws that it will still meanwhile, demand others to obey. By any stretch of the incoming situation being created by Fine Gael, this is blatant one law for them and another for the rest of the people in Ireland. In short, the Data Protection Act 2018 as it is being presented, waiting to be Dail voted on, is a complete disgrace and is far from acting to the benefit of all. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties says that the bill “impacts fundamental human rights, and on first reading gives rise to serious concerns across a broad range of privacy rights issues”. “The ICCL believes that proper analysis and consideration of these issues is required, and we are concerned at the apparent haste with which the Government is pushing through important legislation in a highly sensitive area.” Independent Senator Alice Mary Higgins has stated: “The bill proposes a number of wide, often vague, exemptions which allow the State and public bodies to override an individual’s right to privacy and data protection and, outrageously, it also seeks to exempt public bodies from fines when they break the rules. No financial consequences are a recipe for disaster.” The bill will see state departments will be unaccountable for passing people’s personal data to others, from one department to another or from a department to private companies. This is unacceptable. Section 54 of the bill will seek to restrict the data rights of individuals regarding GDPR when the state deems at it sees fit, that they should be restricted. This is totally unacceptable. The bill will see that the government can process a person’s data contrary to GDPR where the ‘public interest’ is in question. In other words, Ignore data protection. This too is totally unacceptable. The bill will see allow the new Data Protection Commission to have a discretionary option to not investigate a complaint made to it, as it sees fit. This is just incredible unjust and unacceptable. From the expensive farce that is the Public Service Card (the national identity card in all but name) and its attached new national database, accessible by over 140 various state sections, to the giving away of people’s personal data to private companies like Seetec and Turas Nua in “JobPath”, the rights of the people of Ireland regarding their personal information are disgracefully being watered further down. We therefore call on you NOT to support the Dail passing of the Data Protection Act 2018. If you do this, it is a betrayal of the people of Ireland and an open disregard to the protection of their personal rights. Words by Jeff Rudd
Build Fair Rent Homes on St. Michael's EstateThis new cost rental housing model would be a self-financing approach to housing, involving State provision of housing which would be made available for rent to a mixture of households on medium or high incomes as well as those on the social housing waiting list. It’s a model that caters for all. The current system is not working, the housing crisis is crippling the lives of individuals, families and communities. In 2017 local authority data show that 100,000 people are on waiting lists for social housing in Ireland. Already successfully rolled out in Denmark and Switzerland, this housing model is guaranteed and permanent. It provides security of tenure and will put an end to people living hostage to rapidly increasing private rental rates, to unsustainable mortgages, and to the risk of debt, eviction and homelessness. Public land should be used for public good, not for profit. Almost 6.1 billion of public money has been paid out in rent supplement to private landlords in the last 17 years, alternatively that could have built well over 30,000 homes.
No Mass Harvesting of Seaweed on Coastline from Mayo to ClareThe government is supposed to reach a decision in April 2018 on whether or not to grant a license for the right to mechanically harvest seaweed to a private Canadian company. The sale was complicated by a legality. The ownership of the right to harvest seaweed is currently under question. Traditionally local people, owned the rights to harvest seaweed and harvested it in a sustainable way. Mechanically harvesting seaweed is not environmentally sustainable and will have a serious impact on the ecology of the sea. Harvesting rights to seaweed belong to the people and should not be allowed to be sold off by the State for private profit. Seaweed is now a highly lucrative resource which should be harvested in a sustainable way for the benefit of the people of Ireland living now and for future generations.
Pay your tax in IrelandTax income is how our public services - hospitals, schools, roads are run from the income we raise in taxes. Paying tax is an important part of being a proud member of society. The Netherlands are changing the loopholes that allowed you to avail of cheap tax for many years .- so now its time to support your country and pay your fair share in Ireland
Stop attacking horse ownership in the Traveller communityProposals to tackle issues and dangers associated with horses on public roads have all been based on a top down approach, with the most recent seeking to castigate and blame the Traveller community for horse-related issues to do with animal cruelty and accidents on the road. While law enforcement is an essential part of any response in all these cases, real progress can only be based on inclusive consultation and on respect for each other's culture.
Save the Tyrrelstown GAA pitchTyrrelstown GAA is one of six Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) clubs based in Dublin 15, and the youngest, founded in 2008. The club was officially launched in the GAA’s 125th anniversary year, 2009. When the club launched in 2009 the developer ‘Twinlite developments’ allocated a piece of land for the clubs use to provide training, playing and to host games for the kids/members. In 2012 the club found themselves in a position where they had no playing facilities due to the development of a secondary school on this piece of land. The club got no warning/notice to evacuate this land and had to work extremely hard to locate a new area for its children. We identified a piece of land in front of the local Community Centre and two schools, T.E.T.N.S and St Luke’s. We then approached the developer and succeeded in retrieving a six-month roll-over license on this area. After securing the area the club approached the local council (Fingal County Council), and asked them to provide funding for the clearing off and development of the area to turn it into proper playing pitches for the club. The Council’s view on the situation was/is they could not provide any funding to the club as we had no long-term hold on the land. The club decided we would fund-raise to develop the area ourselves. We held many events to raise the money required. Through the hard work of the committee members, generous help, plus donations from the local community we were successful and raised €24,000 to develop the area into proper playing pitches. Today the club, in addition to playing there ourselves, provides the pitches and area at no cost to the local schools so they can hold their weekly PE, sports days, football and hurling games, training and many other events for their girls’ and boys’ teams. In addition, the club has been very successful at providing a vital social service to our community. Tyrrelstown, as you may know, has both the youngest, and most ethnically diverse population in the entire European Union. Due to it’s rapid growth, bad planning, and serious under-investment in facilities, Tyrrelstown has seen more than it’s fair share of social problems. In particular youth antisocial behaviour. Sadly, a small minority of these youths have, over the last few years gone beyond mere bad behaviour to outright criminality including violent crime. We cater for, and attract a significant number of children of all ages, skill levels, and from multiple nationalities and religions. We believe it is no exaggeration to say that we have kept many of our most vulnerable youths “on the straight and narrow”, and away from activities that would be harmful to themselves and others. We have also brought a great number of their parents from all backgrounds together in an atmosphere of friendship and mutual respect. Yet all our hard work, and all of the aforementioned benefits to the community, could potentially be wiped away overnight. Twinlite Developments, and more particularly the Larkin family, who have benefited financially so well from Tyrrelstown over the last two decades, have through their greed overstretched themselves. This is well known and has been publicly documented through the media over recent years. They have also been helped by the state at the taxpayers expense when this happened. They gave NAMA all their land around Tyrrelstown, while holding onto all their revenue generating assets such as the commercial buildings in Tyrrelstown centre and houses in Cruise Park which they rented out. This no doubt benefited them greatly, but has provided no benefits to us as a community. On the contrary their mismanagement of the area has contributed greatly to many of the problems we experience in Tyrrelstown today. If we lose this ground, it could effectively mean the end of Tyrrelstown GAA Club, and all the services it provides to the community. The facilities that exist are simply not fit for purpose. The Tyrrelstown Community Centre costs €30 at a discounted rate. But, only four slots a week are available. This is not enough for our teams. And the cost is much too high for a smaller club like ourselves. We have a new astropitch, but it is not yet open as no one has taken it in charge. Even then we are informed that the cost will be €120 per hour. This also is well out of our budget. And finally there is no other land left around to have another pitch. Now we are told that NAMA wishes to sell the ground we have worked on for a commercial centre? In Tyrrelstown Centre we have multiple empty units. In fact some of these units were never used, not even at the height of the so called “Celtic Tiger” boom! And of those units that are in use, many have changed hands multiple times over the last number of years. We must be unique in Ireland in being the only town in which there is no pub, as ours has been closed for years. How then could more commercial units hope to succeed where the others have failed? It is a well known and publicly acknowledged fact by all our elected representatives, State bodies, and others, that we have been criminally neglected when it comes to the provision of youth services and investment in the area. That all this takes place in the Taoiseach’s own constituency makes it all the more of a disgrace. There is however an alternative. Were this land to be put at the disposal of the community, for the benefit of the community, it would represent a great step forward. We at Tyrrelstown GAA are more than prepared to work in partnership with other community organisations, from the Residents Association, to Foróige, to our schools, and to continue making it available for all these groups. Indeed, with security of tenure, we could continue to develop the land further, improve the facilities, all to the benefit of all the community. We are asking for your help and support in whatever capacity in this endeavour.
Speak-Up Boxes for SchoolsToo many of our children and teenagers are self-harming and dying by suicide, many of whom have reached out to their peers, many of whom are being bullied by others. Irish Millie Tuomey aged 11 killed herself after announcing to friends that she wanted to die, Darren Hughes 17 from Balbriggan and Gabriella Green aged 12 died also killed themselves after they were cyberbullied. Our children and teenagers often find it easier to talk to friends instead of their parents but these friends are often unequipped to help. Some kids want to tell an adult that they are worried about someone but they don't want their friend knowing they betrayed their trust and often are just afraid to get involved in case they get bullied too so they stay quiet and say nothing. Often kids themselves want to tell a teacher that they are dealing with bullying, suicide thoughts, self-harm or abuse but they find it too hard to reach out and are often afraid that it will get worse if the bullies find out they told. By introducing "Speak-up" boxes, it allows the children and teenagers to anonymously tip off the teachers that one of their classmates are in harm's way and may need support. This allows the teachers and parents to put in the necessary supports. The person themselves that is being bullied can make an anonymous report about themselves without fear that the bullies will know they went to a teacher as anybody could have reported it. These "Speak up" boxes should be in all schools, in bathrooms, common areas and easily accessed. There should also be a way to "speak up" online also anonymously without fear of repercussion. Enough of our children and teens have suffered long-lasting damage because they were dealing with these issues alone. We need the Minister of Education and the Schools to be pro-active instead of reactive in reaching out to make it easier for their classmates to speak up without fear of consequence. We are thankfully getting to an age where "whistleblowing" and "speaking up" is seen as brave and right and no-longer tell-tattling or troublemaking. We need to pass this message onto our children and teens to protect them from harm's way.
We demand our Right2Water Referendum.We want the people's voice to be heard respecting water and sanitation services in Ireland, and a referendum be held. Across the globe ordinary people have undergone tremendous hardship and suffering when water services are privatised. Water is a human right and must never be under the control of 'for profit' companies. Publicly owned, funded and managed water and sanitation services, free at the point of use, is the only way to guarantee access for all.