• Access to Justice
    VERY IMPORTANT to stop this legislation by Minister Murphy as it will effect our ability to take a court case/ judicial review. Environmental groups outline shock at proposed planning Bill. Proposed legislative changes would make it almost impossible for citizens and environmental groups to challenge poor planning decisions in the courts. Ireland’s leading environmental coalition is shocked at the Minister for Housing’s attempt to introduce new planning legislation that would make it near impossible to challenge planning decisions in the courts and hold public authorities and the Government to account. The Environmental Pillar – a coalition of national environmental organisations – learned over the weekend of worrying developments with the Housing and Planning and Development Bill 2019 that is being brought forward by Minister Eoghan Murphy TD. In sum, the proposed Bill will add numerous challenging requirements and restrictions that will make it very hard for ordinary citizens and environmental NGOs to achieve the necessary “standing” to take cases. The changes proposed in the Bill would also add to the complexity of the court process and increases the risks of exposure to significant costs to those seeking to challenge bad planning decisions. This legislation would row back on major changes introduced just a few years ago to enable ordinary people, their organisations, and environmental NGOs to challenge bad environmental decisions. Those changes were already long overdue and necessary to comply with EU law and the Aarhus Convention. The Heads of the Bill sent to the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Housing, Planning and Local Government last week are very blunt that the proposed changes are designed to make it more difficult to engage in the legal process and appears to favour developer’s interests at the cost of environmental rights. The most worrying aspects (some of which are further explored below) of the proposed Bill are: • Complete change to existing cost rules for environmental cases from a system where costs should “not be prohibitively expensive” to a cost cap rules system with court discretion. This exposes the public and eNGOs to much higher costs and uncertainty, ensuring that many will be dissuaded from bringing a case in the first place and makes it harder to engage lawyers • Change in standing rights requirements for applicants from “sufficient interest” to “substantial interest” and a requirement that they must be “directly affected by a proposed development” and “in a way which is peculiar or personal”. This is in addition to a new requirement that the applicant must have had prior participation in the planning process. • Extension of the minimum time that an NGO must be in existence before it can challenge a planning decision from 12 months to 3 years, thereby essentially ruling out newly established citizen-led NGOs concerned with local environmental issues from bringing challenges • Insertion of a new requirement that NGOs must have a minimum of 100 affiliated members, thereby ruling out the vast majority of Irish groups from bringing challenges. • Increased requirements for the “leave” stage (where you get court permission to challenge). The Heads of the Bill propose going back to the abandoned “on notice” system and adding to the tests and complexity of the leave – this adds to the costs, duration and difficulty of court proceedings. “This legislation would row back on major changes introduced just a few years ago to enable ordinary people and small but committed environmental NGOs to legally challenge bad environmental decisions, without fear of incurring eye-watering costs and extensive obstacles to accessing justice.” “The explanation for the Bill is blatant about making it harder to challenge decisions, with the Department arguing that challenges cause delays. It is bad decisions, and flawed legislation however, that are the real issue driving litigation in this country and this Bill does nothing to address that. “Given the context of costs in our Irish planning system, the size and nature of organisations and the costs in our courts, this Bill is an extermination of environmental democracy and oversight. It is particularly chilling that it comes at a time when environmental protection has never been more important, and citizens and groups are mobilising in a powerful Green Wave given the endless failures of this Government and administration.
    341 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Donna Cooney Picture
  • Reinstate Bus Stops On Bettystown Route
    The service has become inaccessible to those with disability and mobility issues. It is having a negative effect on many commuters for little gain. Journey times have not decreased as advised, in fact due to the removal of stops the journey time has increased in many cases. With bad weather and poor visability, the removal of some stops has put an immediate risk to passengers, who must now walk through poorly lit roads to reach thier closest stop.
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    Created by Nathan Hallett Picture
  • Let Ken & Tarak go Home for Xmas
    Two members of Veterans For Peace, Ken and Tarak, were arrested on St. Patrick's day 2019 (March 17) for going onto the airfield at Shannon Airport carrying a banner that said: 'U.S. Veterans say Respect Irish Neutrality U.S. War Machine out of Shannon Airport Veterans For Peace' They wanted to demand that police inspect a U.S.-military contracted plane believed to be carrying U.S. troops and weapons on their way to illegal wars in the Middle East. These flights, which have been passing through Shannon Airport since 2001, are in violation of Irish neutrality and international law. The 2 men were charged with Trespass and Causing Criminal Damage at Shannon airport. After being held in Limerick jail for nearly 2 weeks, Ken Mayers and Tarak Kauff were released on €2500 bail each and forced to surrender their passports. They have been unable to return home for over 7 months. The High Court will not reconsider their application to change their bail conditions until they can show that their trial is years off, which will be the case with the current backup of cases in the Dublin Circuit Court. Changing their bail conditions is key to getting their passports restored. The process the 2 peace activists are being forced to endure is a clear attempt to punish them before any trial takes place. Major Ken Mayers served 12 years in the US Marine Corps. He is a former National Board member of Veterans For Peace and participate in veterans peace team delegations to Palestine, Okinawa, Jeju Island, South Korea, and Standing Rock. Tarak Kauff was a paratrooper in the US Army during the early sixties. He was a member of the VFP National Board of Directors for six years. He has organized veterans delegations to Palestine, Okinawa, South Korea and Standing Rock. He is currently the managing editor of Peace In Our Times
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    Created by Galway Alliance Against War Picture
  • James Joyce House for cultural heritage NOT a 56 bed hostel
    15 Ushers Island is also called the House of the Dead. The building got this name, because it is the setting of the last short story, in Dubliners written by James Joyce. The house is of value to future generations and to scholars. It is of national and global cultural importance. DCC failed to purchase the house in 2017 when it was for sale. Action must be taken immediately by the council, to restore the building to good condition and national ownership. We the undersigned object to the planning permission for a 56 bed hostel at 15 Ushers Island, due to these reasons. We also hope a cultural plan for the centenary of Ulysses could be put in place for the house and surrounding area.
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    Created by Zoe Obeimhen Picture
  • Immediate Resignation of Regina Doherty
    Gross misappropriation of public money. 150 million of Irish taxpayer money given to two private UK companies under the guise of jobpath.
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    Created by Ireland Against Jobpath
  • No to the Cork LNG terminal
    In 2017, the Port of Cork signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with NextDecade, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) development company. The MOU allows the Port of Cork to negotiate with NextDecade on the development of a new Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) and associated LNG import terminal infrastructure in Cork harbour. We are asking the Port of Cork to rescind this undertaking in the MOU for the following reasons: 1. Climate Change To keep global temperature rise below 1.5C and to avoid catastrophic climate change, fossil or “natural” gas must be phased out of the energy mix in Europe by 2035 [i]. Claims that gas is a “transition fuel” have been discredited ͥ[ii] and recent studies show that gas sourced through hydraulic fracturing, like 69% of all gas now produced in the United States ͥ[iii] and imported to Europe as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), is 44% more damaging to the climate than coal [iv]. Research also states that we can’t develop any new fossil fuel infrastructure from 2019 onwards if we are to have a 64% chance of limiting temperature rise to less than 1.5C [v]. 2. Fracking In 2017, fracking was banned in the Republic of Ireland due to its devastating health and environmental impacts [vi]. If the Cork LNG infrastructure is developed it will facilitate the importation of fracked gas from the planned NextDecade export terminals in the Rio Grande Valley region in Texas. Allowing this infrastructure would be hypocritical of the Republic of Ireland as it would have severe impacts on indigenous and marginalised communities in Texas. 3. Renewables and Energy Security The Cork LNG infrastructure would also have a considerable negative impact on the developing Irish renewable energy industry [vii]. The government has stated that LNG projects are necessary for the purpose of energy security [viii]. However, recent research shows that the rapid development of indigenous renewables combined with energy storage technology is the best way to achieve this [ix].   [i] Anderson, K. and Broderick, J. (2017) Natural gas and climate change, Manchester: University of Manchester Available: https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/natural-gas-and-climate-change(c82adf1f-17fd-4842-abeb-f16c4ab83605).html [ii] Perez, A. (2018) Global Gas Lock-in: Bridge to Nowhere. Brussels:Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung [iii] US Energy Information Administration (2019) How much shale gas is produced in the United States? Available: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=907&t=8 Accessed 06.11.2019 ͥ[iv] Howarth, R (2019) Opening Statement to the Joint Committee on Climate Action. Dublin: Oireachtas. Available: https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/committee/dail/32/joint_committee_on_climate_action/submissions/2019/2019-10-10_opening-statement-robert-w-howarth-ph-d-cornell-university_en.pdf Accessed 06.11.2019 ͮ[v] Smith, C. J., Forster, P. M., Allen, M., Fuglestvedt, J., Millar, R. J., Rogelj, J., & Zickfeld, K. (2019). Current fossil fuel infrastructure does not yet commit us to 1.5 C warming. Nature communications, 10(1), 101. [vi] Concerned Health Professionals of New York (2019) Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (Unconventional Gas and Oil Extraction) Available: https://concernedhealthny.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Fracking-Science-Compendium_6.pdf Accessed 06.11.2019 [vii] Shakeb Afsah & Kendyl Salcito (2014). Shale Gas: Killing Coal without Cutting CO2 Available: https://co2scorecard.org/home/researchitem/28 Accessed 06.11.2019 Accessed 06.11.2019 [viii] The Green News “State confirms support of Shannon LNG project” Available: https://greennews.ie/state-support-shannon-lng-pci/ Accessed 06.11.2019 [ix] McMullin, B., Price, P., Carton, J., & Anderson, K. (2018). Is Natural Gas “Essential for Ireland’s Future Energy Security”? Dublin:Stop Climate Chaos
    3,117 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Not Here Not Anywhere - NHNA Picture
  • Support Irish emigrants #ComingHomeInCrisis
    Every day, Irish emigrants who have lived abroad are returning to Ireland in crisis situations such as homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, threats and intimidation, severe health and care needs, deportation, release from detention or prison, loss of income and isolation. On their return, they often struggle to get access to supports such as emergency accommodation, emergency social welfare, medical and psychological treatment, often because they are incorrectly treated differently to residents. Access to these supports is urgently needed, but bureaucracy and administration create barriers and delays to the supports and services. Crosscare Migrant Project supports returning emigrants everyday to access emergency accommodation, social welfare and medical treatment. Some people assisted by the service include older clients with severe healthcare needs and lone parents returning with young children who are asked to use night-by-night only emergency accommodation for weeks, sometimes months, on end. Crosscare Migrant Project has recently published new research identifying all the issues that emigrants in crisis experience before their return and after they have returned to Ireland. The report makes recommendations to the government to introduce appropriate and immediate access to supports such as emergency accommodation, social welfare and medical treatment. You can read the report here www.migrantproject.ie/policy_research/coming-home-in-crisis/ Please sign our petition to ask the Irish Government to support Irish emigrants #ComingHomeInCrisis.
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    Created by Crosscare Migrant Project
  • BRING the UNCRPD TO IRELAND NOW! Legal Capacity = Right to be HUMAN
    The UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities), is a human rights instrument with a social development dimension. It reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. You, me and our loved ones are very likely to acquire a disability at some point in our lives. To make decisions for yourself is WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN. No government or organisation should be able to remove these rights because we have not signed the UNCRPD, but this is occurring in Ireland today. This is hidden and happening each and EVERY DAY that we deny ourselves the rights under the UNCRPD. Please help remove the medieval Ward of Court System in this country now by making the government COMMENCE the long overdue UNCRPD. HELP COMMENCE THE UNCRPD
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    Created by John Murphy
  • RENT CONTROLS AND SECURITY OF TENURE
    Rent should not take more than one third of anybody’s income. If it does so, you could be falling below the poverty line. Irish rents have reached crazy levels and they sometimes eat up nearly half of many tenants' income. The high rents mean that you can never save enough money for a deposit on a house. You will be stuck in a rent trap for the rest of your life. One in three TDs from Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are landlords – and so they have a vested interest in voting down measures that really control rent. We need a big people power movement to change all this. If you want proper rent controls that allow for downward adjustments on rents, please sign this petition. And then join the people’s movement to control rents.
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    Created by Rent Controls
  • O'Devaney Gardens, Land, Say No To Crumbs
    Ireland needs homes for the many thousands of homeless families and children ASAP, However we need an action plan implemented immediately. This government and its policy makers need State land to build homes. As a State, we need to be turning to the Europe bank for a lone to build state homes for our people. If we give away our State land to private developers, we are literally telling the many thousands of homeless families and children in Ireland that we do not care. We must call on all TD, and Councillors to seek change to the homeless crises and the best place to start is with the O’Devaney Gardens lands and seek a significantly higher amount of social housing for this bad deal with Bartra Capital Development, or take the deal of the table.
    698 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Anthony Mc Creery Picture
  • Help our school... grant extension for Shellybanks educate Together teachers
    Shellybanks - Educate together school has 9 pupils arriving in December. We currently fall 4 students short of numbers. It is a brand new building in Sandymount. It represents all religions. As a developing school it is expected to have more pupils - There is currently a directive from the Department of Education requiring developing schools to have a total of 5 additional pupils more than a fully developed school. This makes it harder for the 4%, yes only 4%, of multi denominational schools to get started. Shellybanks are only asking for an extension to December - given the current Brexit climate the term extension should be very clear. Allow our students teachers and school to thrive. Health and safety will not allow the classes be combined - so its not safe for the students! In December there will be the required (additional) number of students in the school. Please support this petition to get change Fast. Thank you +++++++ Additional details: Teacher Allocation There is currently a directive from the Department of Education requiring developing schools to have a total of 5 additional pupils more than a fully developed school. i.e. In our situation, as a developing school, we are required to have 281 students to retain 11 class teaching posts, while a developed school is required to have 276 to retain 11 class teaching posts. As of the deadline mandated by the Dept of Ed, our total enrolment had unexpectedly dropped to 277, which meant we were just 4 students short of retaining 11 class teaching posts. What this now means for Shellybanks is that the Department expects us to divide some of our year groups into multi-grade classes in order to distribute our children across 10 classrooms. While this is far from ideal, in normal circumstances it could be accommodated. However, in our current premises, our fire certificate does not allow us to accommodate these mandated class sizes from the Dept. In other words, we find ourselves in an impossible position, because the Dept. says the rules are we need 281 students, but the fire cert means we can’t combine classes. We have known and prepared for the loss of a teacher in 1st class since August and have been communicating this situation to those families and staff affected. We are now challenging the decision made to lose the second post. So the Dept. is asking us to obey one rule, while they choose to ignore another, namely Health & Safety. We simply refuse to put our students and staff at risk in this way! The Appeal Our Board of Management appealed to the department based on these health and safety concerns. In past appeals, we have been successful in retaining our teaching posts. However, in this instance, the Dept. is simply taking the post from the school, with no recognition of the Health and Safety, and, critically, with zero direction as to how we can safely accommodate teaching and learning. We have also informed the Dept.that we expect an additional 9 pupils to enrol before Dec 2019 and have requested an extension based on this information, but to no avail. At this stage we have exhausted all avenues & resources over an extended period to try to overturn this decision, but the Department will not grant an extension, nor accept our appeal until the numbers are met. See below for additional timeline of events This is incredibly frustrating and disappointing, and we want to assure you that the safety of the children as well as minimising disruption in teaching and learning are our number one priorities. What We Ask Of You We need you, our community and parent body, to support us by reaching out to our TDs and local representatives to explain the situation, so they can raise this through the relevant government channels. Please feel free to show them this communication from the Board of Mgmt.
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    Created by Sine Dunne
  • Stop Greyhound Exploitation in Ireland
    The Irish government has given a quarter of a BILLION euro to the IGB since 2001 . 16.8 million a year to fund a non charity that encourages drinking and gambling , kills dogs and gives nothing to the community. The IGB cannot support itself as a business and uses OUR MONEY where it should be spent on health care , the homeless, cancer research and many more genuine causes. 6000 plus young Greyhounds are killed each year because they cannot run fast enough for commercial use . Greyhounds are brutally killed with bolt gun in knackeries for as little as €8 or just shot and dumped in pits many found in mountain rural settings . Hundreds of dogs are killed in stadiums where they fall and are killed if they even break a toe as it’s not economical to keep . Each race track has a freezer for the many murdered dogs . Dogs are doped and young dogs often drop dead of a heart attack. Many heart attacks are caused by cocaine . Ireland is one of only a few archaic countries that still allow Coursing with live hares . Thousands of hares are caught each year fenced in and chased by two greyhounds who even if muzzled throw the hare around ,pin it to the ground and get broken up themselves in the process .all this they call entertainment. Ireland breeds 1000% more greyhounds than required for Ireland’s racing circuit to allow a large Poole if pups to choose from . Also approx 80%plus of all dogs raced on the UK are Irish such is our overbreeding . Many greyhounds when they can no longer race are sent to barbaric countries where there is no animal laws and are sent to stud or to breed in horrific conditions where they could end up when that use runs out : cooked alive and eaten . In Ireland Greyhounds are not even classified or run as a sport greyhound racing is under the ministry of agriculture and greyhounds are not classified as dogs but as “ Farm animal “ and are not seen as dogs but they are .
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    Created by OPAGE Ordinary people against greyhound exploitation Picture