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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 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.
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.
Stop victim blaming in Irish courtsDear Department of Justice and the members of the Irish Court System, Women in Ireland are afraid to report sexual assault as they feel they will either be judged or traumatised by going through the system. This current system oppresses women and puts the onus on them to prove they were not, in some way, giving the aggressor the wrong idea. They are questioned on their state of mind, their physical state, how much they had to drink, how they spoke to them, and most of all on what they wore on the night in question. Just this week we heard about a barrister asking for a teenage girl's underwear to be considered as an indicator of her consent. "Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front," This is a blatant attempt to reframe the narrative and hope to shed a bad light on the victim. We must not allow this language to be used in our courts and allow suggestion and assumptions to rule the outcome of a case like this. Women are being re-traumatised by the actions of solicitors in the Irish Courts. Do the right thing and protect the victims of sexual assault by not allowing the clothing they wore on the night of their assault be used against them. We need the Irish courts system to defend the victim, not the aggressor, and show empathy towards them. We need to be able to trust that the justice system in Ireland supports victims and right now they are falling very short of that. This case and that of the Belfast rape trial show just how hard it is for a victim to be shown any respect through the course of a trial. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard and treat victims with dignity and respect. We cannot accept outcomes like this. We must stand up and be counted where it matters. #ThisIsNotConsent
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.
The State should NOT pay Martin Callinan's legal costs1. The most senior Garda in the country knowingly and deliberately smeared a serving Garda who raised the shortcomings in performance of other Gardai. 2. The State already funded the Tribunal to establish the facts and the facts have vindicated Garda McCabe. 3. For the State to then indemnify the guilty party is further persecuting the McCabe's and also means there is no consequence for the guilty party. 4. The Minister for Justice should review the former commissioners contract of employment to see what sanctions were possible for breach of contact for bringing the force into disrepute. If there is such a provision the State should then seek to review his retirement and pension arrangements and if necessary take action to recover costs borne by the State because of his scurrilous actions. 5. This sets a dangerous precedent, where employees of the State can ruin peoples lives with absolutely no consequence for their actions. The government say that this is being done on legal advice - I would strongly suggest getting a second opinion. The legal profession won't be on the hook for the costs if this goes unchallenged, it will be ordinary citizens of this state. A functioning police force is one of the cornerstones of a democracy. We expect better from the most senior police officer in the land.