- 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
Fair Rent Homes NowHousing injustice is a national emergency in Ireland. We need a sustainable solution to the crisis. The provision of state owned rental housing on a large scale, on a non profit basis, would go a long way toward solving the problem. This would provide secure, affordable, high quality rental housing for anyone who needs it, no matter what your income is. Fair Rent Homes would mean that: - 70,000 households would be provided with a home, at a fair rent, for life - a pool of high quality, Fair Rent Homes would be there, owned by the nation, for future generations, instead of spending billions on rent subsidies to private landlords - pressure would be put on the private rental sector to improve standards and provide fairer rents in order to compete with Fair Rent Homes
#PassTheBillsAccording to the latest IPCC report, the next twelve years are crucial for action on climate change. There are four ambitious climate and environmental Bills which have been brought by Opposition Parties to the Dail. If the government truly wants to make Ireland a leader on climate change, it should support the passage of these Bills immediately. These are - The Climate Emergency Measures Bill (Bríd Smith PBP) - The Microgeneration Support Scheme Bill (Sinn Fein) - The Just Transition (Worker and Community Environmental Rights) Bill (Green Party) - The Waste Reduction Bill (Green Party) This is a simple ask. These are all sensible Bills which will move Ireland towards being a cleaner, greener and fairer place to live. We have no time to wait. #ClimateActionNow
Use Irish Peacekeeping Record in Lebanon to protect Syrians from harassment from Lebanese ArmyLebanon, along with Turkey and Jordan, has been extraordinary in providing refuge to Syrians fleeing war and persecution in their homeland since 2011. While the numbers and circumstances of how the refugees have been accommodated vary greatly, the willingness of Syria's neighbours to accept proportionately massive numbers of refugees has undoubtedly saved countless thousands of lives. In Lebanon, specifically, with a native population of just 4.4 million, upwards of 1 million Syrians have sought refuge. This, clearly, has created massive challenges and strains on the services and infrastructure of a country which itself is only recovering from years of turmoil and strife but, in general, Syrians have been able to feel relatively safe in Lebanon. Of late however, elements of the Lebanese army have escalated a campaign of intimidation and harassment against Syrians with the putative intention of forcing people to return to Syria. Just last week, on two successive nights, soldiers under the command of Lebanese Army Intelligence Colonel Melhem Hadchiti and 9th Brigade Commander Brigadier General Pierre Abu Assaf carried out raids in around 30 camps around Arsal in freezing temperatures. People were forced out of their tents into the cold with no regard for their welfare or dignity while their tents were ransacked. Many hundreds were detained and suffered torture and abuse. As a country with a long and distinguished military record in Lebanon and the Golan Heights in the form of UN peacekeeping deployments, the Irish Army is uniquely placed to exert its influence with the Lebanese Army. We are urgently but respectfully requesting the Minister for Defence Leo Varadkar to use his influence and good offices with the UN as well as with his counterpart in Lebanon Yaacoub Sarraf to ensure that these unforgivable violations against suffering and defenceless people cease immediately. References: Deutsche Welle: Germany says Syrian deportees could face reprisals: reports https://www.dw.com/en/germany-says-syrian-deportees-could-face-reprisals-reports/a-46367849 Out of Syria: shifting routes and returns: https://www.iss.europa.eu/content/out-syria-shifting-routes-and-returns Union of Relief and Development Associations - Number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon : http://urda.org.lb/en/details.aspx?ID=1426
Students Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice“I may be in the library but today TDs will hear my voice. #IRiseForClimate Jobs and Justice with students across Ireland.” We have 12 years to take action on climate change. This Wednesday TDs are gathering to listen to constituents concerns about the government's lack of climate action. Students’ voices need to be heard! Sign your name and we will print out a huge petition to show the TDs how many of us demand action. As students, most of us can’t attend because it’s exam season. We are studying hard for exams so we can get a job that might not exist in a world that will be very different from the one today. There are no jobs on a dead planet. We RISE for Action on Climate Change. We RISE for Jobs on a living planet. We RISE for justice for all.
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 BillThis 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.
Fianna Fail: Don't drop support for Palestine & the Occupied Territories BillThe Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Such settlements have been condemned as illegal by the UN, EU, the International Court of Justice and under Irish law. They result in human rights violations. There was a standing ovation in the Seanad when the Bill passed a historic stage vote in July. Since then there has been an overwhelming positive response from the Palestinian people, and a large section of the international community. The Bill returns to the Seanad for the next stage on 28th November 2018. The Bill has however raised criticism from Israel, and Fine Gael are backing down on the advise of the Attorney General. The EU has expressed concern over " the EU’s competence on trade matters”. Given Fianna Fail's strong record on the issue we beseech the party to be resolute supporting this Bill, reasserting Ireland's commitment to justice, peace, and the rule of law. It is important that Ireland leads the way at a time when many of these values are under threat around the world. Fianna Fail may hold the numbers to either make or break this Bill becoming ground-breaking legislation to tackle the issue of illegal Israeli settlements, which may even constitute war crimes under the Geneva conventions. Will the party continue its support?
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!
REVERSE VENDING IN LIMERICKThose begging for change on the streets will now have an easier way of earning cash. By picking up litter ! Let's clean the streets of Limerick .Be a part of our campaign. Countries in mainland Europe have already introduced this kind of infrastructure. Let's pioneer it for Ireland Lets sustain our development through recycling.
Build culturally appropriate housing for the Traveller Community in MonaghanMonaghan County Council could be fined because it hasn’t spent any Government funding on traveller accommodation. It’s one of 9 local authorities not to drawn down any funding allocated for it to provide the accommodation, Longford and Westmeath are also included. Over €1.2 million in funding earmarked for the provision of the accommodation has gone unspent.