• Remove Columbus Memorial in Galway
    In light of the global Black Lives Matter movement, Galway City cannot, in all conscience, allow a memorial to a coloniser who stands for the millennia of systemic oppression, murder and enslavement of millions of non-white peoples to remain, as if his supposed brief visit to Galway was something to be proud of. It needs to be removed immediately, and better still, be replaced with a memorial to his victims.
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  • Save Cavan Midwifery Led Unit (MLU)
    A still unknown decision has led to the MLU in Cavan being effectively closed in all but name under the guise of a merger with the consultant-led unit. This may be the third time Cavan MLU has faced closure and the pregnant people in the area have faced limitation of their care choices. The effective closure of the Midwifery-Led Unit on Monday 1st of June 2020 and the manner in which this decision has been taken, with no public consultation or formal announcement from either Cavan General Hospital or the RSCI group, who we understand are leading of this decision, shows a clear lack of understanding to the needs of those in the surrounding area. The claim that it is not a downgrading of service provision is simply false. For all who have accessed the MLU, either as a service user, healthcare professional or student, this closure will have significant impact on practice and care provision. To our knowledge, no rationale has been given to explain the decision. National and international evidence supports the expansion of midwifery led services. Closure of the unit limits choices for pregnancy care in direct opposition of this evidence. We cannot emphasise strongly enough 1. The retrograde nature of this decision which flies in the face of all the international evidence on best birth practices 2. And which spells the death knell of the 2016 Maternity Strategy which was specifically committed to the expansion of MLUs, not their closure Our model of maternity care relies on the majority of women going through a system of GP referral to an obstetric unit or maternity hospital. Despite the National Maternity Strategy, the dominant model of care across all our 19 maternity units is a consultant-led model of care. We have only the two midwifery-led units in Ireland (Cavan and Drogheda) and midwifery clinics across the maternity system are far too few. -- In international terms, our model of maternity care does not offer women choice of models of maternity care, something the National Maternity Strategy acknowledges clearly. Indeed, the Irish model of maternity care is at odds with best international evidence on the effectiveness of models of maternity care - The 2016 National Maternity Strategy, called for many more MLUs to be built. Instead this has not only been completely stalled - its implementation committee has met only four times up to 2019 (PQ 14615-19; PQ 14616) and the budget of the strategy has been slashed - The HIQA maternity report (February 2020) highlighted the lack of progress in supported care pathways under the National Maternity Strategy The 2003 Hanly Report on medical staffing with its overall aim of increasing still further centralisation of all hospital services continues to cast a shadow over the relevance of the small Cavan MLU – which has never had the full support of senior clinical and management staff in Cavan. If it had, it would be used to capacity and would not now be ‘merged’ with the consultant-led services. Who is affected? *this is not an exhaustive list of affected groups* Pregnant people are entitled to choice in care provision. There is no evidence at present to show that this has been supported or considered in the move to close the Cavan MLU. We hope to hear from service users to determine what plans are in place for those currently booked in the unit, those who were potentially being transferred back to the service following obstetric assessment, and those who had previously or planned to access midwifery led care in Cavan. Supporting practitioners in the Cavan/Monaghan area to continue the provision of Midwifery Led Care is vital. Evidence of support and solutions offered thus far to the midwives within the unit is needed so that as a national community of professionals and experts in normal pregnancy care can come together to save Cavan MLU. Midwives are the experts in providing pregnancy care and a wealth of evidence supports this model, referred to as “supported care” in the Maternity Strategy. Student midwives who began their training from 2018 in Dundalk Institute of Technology must complete Midwifery Led Unit placement experience as a core area, a change from its specialist area status before 2018. This reflects the importance of midwifery led care experience in well rounded learning. If Cavan MLU were to close, students would be limited to the Drogheda MLU to achieve the hours in order to qualify and register as midwives. It is already difficult for these MLU hours to be achieved between two units with the number of students requiring the necessary time in midwifery led services. The limitations that this closure will place on students has immediate and long-term consequences. Students in the 2019 cohort were due to attend Cavan MLU for placement in March/April and must make up this time due to COVID19. These students are now in limbo regarding completing these hours and gaining critical core learning experience. USEFUL LINKS; National Maternity Strategy 2016-2026 >> https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/0ac5a8-national-maternity-strategy-creating-a-better-future-together-2016-2/ HIQA Maternity Services report February 2020 >> https://www.hiqa.ie/sites/default/files/2020-02/Maternity-Overview-Report.pdf HSE / TCD 2009 MidU study >> https://nursing-midwifery.tcd.ie/assets/publications/pdf/midu-report.pdf Association for Improvements in the Maternity Service Ireland - Midwifery Led Care information >> http://aimsireland.ie/midwife-led-care/#:~:text=Midwife%2Dled%20services%20for%20eligible,further%20attention%20 AIMSI “What Matters to You” Survey 2014/2015 >> http://aimsireland.ie/care-choices/ Bump2Babe – Cavan General Hospital survey answers CLU >> http://www.bump2babe.ie/all-answers/unit/0/ MLU >> http://www.bump2babe.ie/all-answers/unit/1/
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  • Right to Work for Asylum Seekers in Ireland
    Asylum seekers are restricted from working in Ireland until they have been in the country for over 9 months. Prior to 2018 Asylum Seeker in Ireland were banned from working indefinitely. This was overturned because a Supreme Court ruling in a case, NHV, decided Ireland's policies violated fundamental rights. These historical policies restricting asylum seekers from working fuelled a cycle where people become trapped in direct provision centres and are subjected to inadequate living standards. The restrictions still imposed since 2018 are still much longer than other EU Countries such as Sweden and Portugal which allow asylum seekers to work immediately. Ireland had a recent chance to improve the lives of asylum seekers considerably and choose less restrictive options available to them when allowing asylum seekers to work. They chose lengthier waiting options for the right to work. This is contrary to recent rhetoric offered by some Irish politicians. (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/direct-provision-system-not-comparable-with-a-man-killed-by-police-varadkar-1.4270979) Allowing asylum seekers a right to work is a step towards combating racism in Ireland, slightly ameliorating the detrimental impact of direct provision in Ireland, and recognising the human rights and dignity of asylum seekers in Ireland. MASI are an excellent grassroots organisation who are campaigning tirelessly on this issues. They can be followed and supported here: https://www.masi.ie/support-us/ *The views expressed above are my own and are I am not directly attributing them to any of the organisations mentioned
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  • PLANNING FOR ALL
    The planning process governs many aspects of our daily life and daily natural and built-in landscape with profound, sometimes irreversible social and environmental transformational impacts for past, present and future generations. As such, it should therefore be entirely democratic in nature. However, planning processes in their current forms are profoundly exclusionary. The right to meaningful participation is most unevenly granted according to financial/material/social resources and/or determined qualifications. In other words, citizens who lack such resources and/or qualifications find themselves de facto excluded from the process of making essential decisions about their lives and those of future generations. Please sign the present petition if you would like to see planning processes rethought and reformed from scratch based on extensive nationwide public consultation and securing the following minimum requirements: • FREE PARTICIPATION FOR ALL AT ALL STAGES OF THE PLANNING PROCESS • EQUAL ACCESS FOR ALL AT ALL STAGES OF THE PLANNING PROCESS • EQUAL VOICE FOR ALL AT ALL STAGES OF THE PLANNING PROCESS Many thanks from All People and All Nature! Please fill in our quick survey about your own planning experience by clicking on the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeUFyrrHqErgahWH4k82mOhVGQnuMiyIDpcZywFQyjtqOgZeg/viewform?usp=pp_url
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  • Stop shutting out our vulnerable from our parks
    Everyone deserves to enjoy the beauty of a local park and that includes Daniel and his family. Dan has Sotos Syndrome and goes out daily with his amazing parents, Sinead and Keith for runs in his special buggy. Running the park, chatting to locals and saying hello has been a highlight, especially during C-19 as all day services etc. are closed. Now with these new gates, the Tighe family along with lots of other families are now PROHIBITED from entering our parks. This is wrong and SDCC need to remove this prison like gates and let those who are in wheelchairs etc. use the park like everyone else.
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  • EU citzens assembly
    Democracy needs to come from the ground up we need for all the people see demoracy in action. Each indidvual needs to be able to voice their concern or idea as long as it is not harmful or discriminatory to anyone else in or outside the EU. Then this collective voice needs to be brought to Europe and listened to
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  • Safe Access to Bull Island
    This amenity is very important and has been enjoyed by thousands of people during COVID-19 restriction as a safe place for recreation to walk and cycle with plenty of space for physical distancing. With the lifting of car restrictions onto the Causeway and the Wooden bridge of 18th May it will no longer be possible for the majority of people of all ages to continue to enjoy this amenity safely. Bull Island is an important protected biosphere and it should be kept free from air pollution. It is the stated aim of Dublin City Council to encourage cycling and walking.
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  • Stop the development of a dangerous asphalt plant in Burnfoot, Co. Donegal
    Plans have been submitted to Donegal County Council in February 2020 for an asphalt plant to be developed in Gortnaskea, Burnfoot, Co.Donegal. The development will take place behind a large quarry at the foot of the Scalp Mountain. Asphalt plants mix sand and gravel with crude oil derivatives to make asphalt to pave roads, carparks etc. They have a huge impact from both an environment and a public health perspective. They release harmful chemicals into the air during production including arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde and cadmium. Exposure to these toxins can cause cancer, central nervous system issues, respiratory problems and skin irritations. Animal studies have shown that Polycylic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH's) effect reproduction, cause birth defects, and cause damage the the immune system. We want Donegal County Council to take notice of these grave concerns and to refuse planning permission for this development. Please sign to support and protect our communities environment and health, and to show that public health is more important that private wealth! If you have any further queries in relation to this issue, please contact conaloboyle2016@gmail.com
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  • Let Them In -3rd level places for all Leaving Cert students
    Everyone no matter what their circumstance or chance of birth deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. Education is a powerful tool against poverty and inequality for both the individual who can access it and the generations after them. The current Covid19 pandemic poses an unique opportunity to change the entry process to 3rd level education in Ireland and let everyone who wants to be in education in. This petition is inspired by RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy using his platform to promote the importance of equal access to education throughout his life such as his campaign 'Let Them In' 40 years ago. If not now then when? LET THEM IN
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  • No Going Back - We Want an All Ireland National Health Service!
    Covid 19 made abundantly clear that our existing health services needed radical transformation to cope with the pandemic. Insufficient hospital bed capacity, too few intensive care beds, too few hospital nurses and staff, glaring structural defects accumulated over decades, as well as two separate health services on an island of 6.6 million inhabitants, were shown up as markedly inadequate. The lack of PPE and other public health resources for testing, contact tracing and protecting older people in nursing homes or health and social care workers arose from the absence of a coordinated, efficient national health service. The situation required the enactment of measures which would have been unthinkable pre-Covid 19. The budget of the Health Service Executive was expanded by €1 billion and the recruitment embargo on nurses and other key staff lifted. North and South, agreements were secured with private hospitals that they would temporarily operate as public hospitals, open to both Covid 19 and non-Covid 19 patients. In the South, patients with Covid-19 are being treated as public patients in what the caretaker Fine Gael government itself has lauded as a single national hospital service with no private-public distinction. If the extension of public healthcare can happen in a pandemic, why not also in ‘normal’ health crisis times? Why can it not be used to address the waiting lists of at least 700,000 in the South, 300,000 in the North? To address the totally inadequate step- down facilities or the lack of home care support? Or to enable everyone to have free access to GPs? The measures taken have shown that a comprehensive public health service is both possible and indispensable for providing healthcare to all when they need it. However, the Dublin government’s deal with the private hospitals, while a welcome step of making private hospitals public, is also costing the public purse €115 million a month. This continues the policy of shoring up the private sector with public money, a policy which has been shown in the North to undermine the ability of the NHS to provide timely cradle to grave treatment, free at the point of use.
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  • Reallocate Road Space to Walking and Cycling in Limerick City #WeNeedSpace
    Limerick Cycling Campaign, the Limerick Cycle Bus and the Irish Pedestrian Network are launching the #WeNeedSpace campaign calling on Limerick Council to provide safe, usable space across the city for people to shop, exercise and commute by walking and cycling during the current crisis. Research published by Sports Ireland on the 30th April shows an additional 500,000 regular walkers, 450,000 runners and 220,000 cyclists. These numbers show a huge increase in people using public space to move around and exercise. This positive cultural change in how we use our streets should be further encouraged by making more space for people to get out and stay healthy during these difficult times. It’s very difficult for young families in the city to get fresh air and exercise while trips to parks and beaches are off-limits. We need to facilitate safe segregated cycle routes in the city to encourage family and more cautious cyclists to come out and get some exercise. A circular segregated cycle would open up the city to young people to get their exercise in a safe way. These temporary actions in response to the current emergency, would be strategic in creating a positive cultural change to make our towns and cities more liveable and contributing to a much needed boost in footfall required to aid the economic recovery when we move beyond the current crisis. Please support this campaign by signing and sharing on social media using the hashtag #WeNeedSpace and read our letter to the Council on the Limerick Cycling website.
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  • Help Cuba fight COVID-19 and the US blockade
    At this time of international pandemic we would ask you and the other foreign ministers of the EU to seek a relaxation of the trade blockade by the US to end its blockade immediately, or at the very least to temporarily suspend it to allow vital supplies of food, fuel and medical equipment to the Cuban people allowing them to fight the coronavirus at home and abroad. As the world fights an international battle against the coronavirus pandemic, Cuba has once again proved itself a paragon of internationalism and solidarity. In recent days the island has sent highly skilled medical brigades to many countries including Italy, Grenada, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Venezuela to support foreign health services overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis. On 18 March the Cuban government offered safe haven to passengers of the stricken British cruise ship MS Braemar allowing it to dock in Havana when many other countries had refused. It has also made its anti-viral drug Interferon Alfa-2b available to nations around the world to help in the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19.The island’s altruistic response to the global emergency continues a long history of Cuban humanitarianism. In the last 56 years 400,000 Cuban health workers have responded to natural disasters and helped build health services in 164 nations. This includes sending medical brigades to Pakistan in the aftermath of the Kashmiri earthquake (2005), to Haiti to assist with the devastating cholera outbreak following the earthquake (2010), and to West Africa in the region’s fight against Ebola (2015). Cuba has also trained 35,613 health professionals from 138 countries at its Latin American Medical School since 1998, where many members of the Irish Cuban Solidarity Alliance have visited. At the same time the island has suffered the effects of the 58-year old criminal United States blockade which causes daily shortages of food, fuel and other basic necessities. Last year the cost to the Cuban health sector alone amounted to more than $104 million. As we write, Cuba is itself combating the spread of coronavirus within its own population and needs access of medical equipment and resources to safeguard the well-being of its most vulnerable citizens. Cuba has always put the humanitarian needs of people first, regardless or borders or politics. At this time of international crisis, the US blockade is criminal, not only for its impact on the Cuban people, but also for hindering their ability to assist in the worldwide battle against the virus.
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