- 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
Don't turn Newtownabbey into the dirty corner of Northern IrelandThe planning committee have a duty to represent ratepayers and seek to establish if these are unlawful decisions. These decisions may be unlawful if there has been no study of the combined health impacts on the people living in the area. Downwind, and in the six miles between these two developments, lie the homes of tens of thousands of people, as well as recreational water bodies, holiday sites and the shores of Belfast Lough. The human cost of poor air quality is huge causing the deaths of more people per year, in Northern Ireland, than passive smoking or road accidents combined and costing the NHS over £20 billion per year. (1) At a time when the World Health Organisation are saying that the greater Belfast area air already exceeds safe levels by 20% we deserve a cumulative health impact study before any further work proceeds. (2) Read more on FB @Stop the Newtownabbey Pig Factory & Stop Hightown Waste Incinerator 1. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/belfast-air-pollution-levels-among-the-worst-in-uk-35636923.html 2. http://breathelife2030.org/ 3 https://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2017/11/13/air-quality-breaches-stops-development-which-threatened-to-exacerbate-them/
Eileen Gleeson, Apologise to Dublin's homelessWe believe - and all evidence suggests - that homelessness is caused by an absence of public housing, by evictions, and by sky-rocketing rents. It is offensive to homeless people to suggest in any way that they themselves are the cause of their homelessness - rather than the landlord who upped their rent or evicted them, or the local authority that hasn't built any new houses in years. Homeless people need to have faith in the services they depend on. We want Eileen Gleeson to apologise and retract her comments, as a start to restoring some small level of trust.
Eileen Gleeson must go for "bad behaviour" commentsDublin Region Homeless Executive should be a body that understands homelessness, that supports homeless individuals and their needs. Recent comments by Ms Gleeson show a lack of empathy and understanding of homeless individuals and families  stating that homelessness is a result of bad behaviour. Saying that volunteers who offer soup or tents are being unhelpful shows that Ms Gleeson is only focussed on homelessness as a problem to society rather than a symptom of society. These public comments do not reflect the person-centred approach advocated by the Homeless Executive's mission and show that Ms Gleeson is unfit to lead an organisation that so badly needs to embody a more humane approach to their cause. NOTES:  https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/tents-and-soup-will-not-fix-homeless-emergency-1.3291978
A Youth Work Strategy that Tackles RacismThe current National Youth StrAtegy 'Brighter Futures -Better Outcomes' does not include any intercultural focus. This therefore neglects hundreds of youth in Ireland. Groups affected Intercultural youth groups, international students, migrant youth, children born from migrant parents, mixed ethnicity youth, ethnic minorities excluding Traveller &Roma communities.
Aramark Off Our CampusProfiting from the incarceration of vulnerable peoples is not in line with Trinity’s statement that they “will fearlessly engage in actions that advance the cause of a pluralistic, just, and sustainable society”. Aramark’s actions should not be tolerated or endorsed by the college. This termination of contract must occur at the next available break clause. If replaced, the replacement must be a contractor that is not involved in the direct provision system. Aramark Ltd. have gone from being a relatively obscure American company in Ireland to being at the forefront of Dublin life. They recently purchased Avoca Ltd., as well as having new catering contracts with Trinity College Dublin in the new Westland East food court and Dundrum Shopping Centre. Aramark received €5.2 million in investment from the Irish government in 2016 for services to three direct provision centres - Kinsale Road in Co. Cork, Lissywollen in Co. Meath, and Knockalisheen in Co. Limerick. Residents of these centres do not feel that this large sum is being invested responsibly. In 2015 residents carried out a brief hunger strike in the Aramark run centre in Knockalisheen, Co. Limerick, after some were hospitalized as a result of the poorly produced food. A year earlier a hunger strike occurred in the Lissywollen Accommodation Centre in Athlone, Co. Meath, also run by Aramark- this time due to small portion sizes, poor hygiene, and unacceptable living standards. By continuing their contract with Aramark the board of Trinity College Dublin are supporting these inhumane conditions, and are ignoring the voices of some of the most vulnerable people in society. We need to give asylum seekers their basic human rights by providing them with decent food, housing, and acceptance in our country. 1 - https://www.tcd.ie/strategy/strategic-plan-201419.pdf 2 - http://www.universitytimes.ie/2016/11/as-part-of-new-deal-three-new-food-outlets-to-replace-westland-cafe/ 3 - https://www.businessworld.ie/news/New-Chopped-outlet-for-UCD-567576.html 4 - https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/state-paid-43-5m-to-eight-direct-provision-operators-in-2016-1.2987004 5 - http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/local-news/198585/Hunger-strike-at-Knockalisheen-asylum-centre.html 6 - https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/asylum-seekers-refuse-food-in-protest-over-conditions-at-direct-provision-centre-1.1918296?mode=sample&auth-failed=1&pw-origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.irishtimes.com%2Fnews%2Fsocial-affairs%2Fasylum-seekers-refuse-food-in-protest-over-conditions-at-direct-provision-centre-1.1918296
Justice for UL Whistleblower Leona O’CallaghanMinister of Education, HEA and President Of UL, now that ye have found that Leona O’Callaghan was wronged, what are ye doing about her losing her job? My name is Dylan Campion, I’m 17 and son of Leona O’Callaghan who blew the whistle on financial wrongdoing in UL and was managed out of her job because of it. She was on Primetime and the news in the past few days. Back when my mam was trying to make decisions about payments that she knew shouldn’t be made out of public money, I remember how stressed she was, how much she worked back and how worried she was about losing her job. I mistakenly never thought it would come to that. She taught me that doing the right thing should always come first no matter what your personal risk is. She challenged her management about payments and chose her morals were more important than giving into pressure from her bosses higher up. I’ve seen my mam lose her job over this decision. I’ve seen her feel hopeless about her career and her future. I’ve seen her worry about money and having to cope on social welfare for years now when before all this she always worked and was good at her job. My mam tried really hard to go up against UL with solicitors but it went on for years. She did sit-ins, protests and lobbied ministers when she saw the same thing that happened to her happen to others. My mam has taught me the importance of truth and standing up for what’s right. A lot of people have said lovely things on Facebook about my mam and I believe that the honest people of Limerick can help put pressure on the Dept of Education and UL to sit with my mam and give her justice. Please sign the petition to show your support that it’s not ok to treat whistleblowers like my mam in the way they have. They should be thanked and promoted for doing the right thing not have their job and future taken from them. Regards, Dylan Campion
Keep Phibsborough Post Office OpenPhibsborough Post Office is a major branch office of An Post, employing seven people directly and providing vital social and postal services to the communities of East Cabra and Phibsborough with a population of c. 15,000 people. The closure of the Post Office would result in the loss of a vital public service, particularly for the elderly.
Secure Hours NowI’ve been working for Dunnes Stores for 8 years now, and I still don’t know what my wages will be from week-to-week. On any payday, a Dunnes workers' wages can be slashed by up to 60% (more than €200). This makes it impossible for my family and I to plan our lives, and we’re not alone. There are almost 10,000 workers in Dunnes Stores who have the same worries I do. Most of us are low paid. Most of us are women. And most of us are on 15 hour contracts. So some weeks we will work 40 hours, but when a local manager takes a dislike to us, they can slash our hours to 15. And there are hundreds of thousands of workers across the country in a similar position. We don’t know from week-to-week whether we will be able to pay our bills. We can’t get loans or mortgages because the banks look at the lowest hours on our contracts and see how insecure our wages are. It’s impossible to have peace of mind. That’s why in April 2015, two and a half years ago, 6,000 of us went on strike to win secure hour contracts. After the strike, management targeted us. They sacked some of us, slashed the hours of others, changed our working patterns and generally made our lives hell. They use the allocation of hours as a control mechanism over us. So we now have to rely on politicians to legislate in order to make sure every worker in Ireland is protected from zero hour and “If and When” contracts. There have been several opportunities to pass legislation in recent years, which would have ended zero hours and ‘If and When’ contracts, but the government has delayed and postponed and are now preparing their own legislation which we believe will not benefit low hour workers. Our Union, Mandate, believes the government are going to leave loopholes open so that employers can still exploit workers like me. But if all TD’s commit to support the Secure Hours – Better Future charter, we can make sure no worker is exploited and workers like us can plan our day-to-day lives, provide for our families and pay our bills. Please sign this petition and call on your local representatives to support the Secure Hours – Better Future charter today.
Minimum Standards Needed in Rented AccommodationThe current system, in which local authorities are responsible for the inspection of properties in the private rented sector, is not fit for purpose. The present system relies on landlords being caught. But the prospect of being caught is slim. There is no fear of the consequences, in the absence of regulations and proper inspections. The current reliance on the fire service to enforce fire safety standards is too much of a demand on overstretched frontline services. A certification system needs to be put in place NOW, where the onus is on landlords to prove their compliance with minimum standards. If a certificate does not exist, the penalty for renting should be severe, so that there is no excuse for being outside the system. Inspections would then focus solely on whether the landlord held a certificate of compliance.
Safe and appropriate Emergency and Private Rental AccommodationIn the light of the recent RTE Prime Time Program "Nightmare to Rent". It is now obvious to all of us that the inspection regime who the County Councils are responsible for is not working. Tenants are being forced to live in unsafe and sub-standard accommodation in Co Meath and all over the country. Meath County Council and all its councillors have a duty of care to all tenants especially those in emergency accommodation to ensure their safety and that their accommodation is not sub-standard.
Cork City Council to take a stand on funding housingHomelessness is increasing in Cork with no sign of reducing. The social housing waiting list has people on it for over 10 years. Rents are increasing year on year. People are being evicted from their homes. House prices are soaring as the housing market is being speculated on. The private sector will not resolve this crisis. Public housing is desperately needed. Unfortunately, central government has no political will to provide this. Public housing cannot be provided by local government if they are not given the resources for this. We are asking our local councillors to make a statement to central government. Local government needs to be provided with resourcing for building public housing. If they are not provided with resourcing then the council needs to take a stand against the consistent defunding of local government and housing provision. We are asking our councillors to not pass the budget. On November 9th we will be marching from Patrick's hill to Cork City Hall. Assembling at 4.30. Join us here: https://www.facebook.com/events/702754979929537/