• Improving Nurses Pay
    After watching the RTÉ investigates special and watching the nursing staff of St. James’ Hospital fight COVID on a daily basis, it was harrowing to see just what our nursing staff went through and continue to do so. These nurses watched countless people die and treated them with the upmost respect on their passing even acting as their family members due to the COVID restrictions. Our nursing staff have gone above and beyond across the country to save lives. And as the restrictions are lifted, they continue to fight COVID in our hospitals. This is not over for them and they fear a second wave. Our responsibility as the public to say a small thank you to these amazing nurses is to lobby ever single TD in this country until we increase their wages. Enough is enough. These amazing women and men deserve so much more. This is the least we could do for them. Below is a sample email to send to your local TD
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    Created by Emma Quirke
  • Reopen gates in Phoenix Park
    Update: OPW have released this. All gates bar Knockmaroon open from Friday July 10th. Knockmaroon will open when works completed. Truly hope lessons can be learned from this and all stakeholders are considered in future planning. Thank you all for your support!! https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3500180506661143&id=132971523382075&anchor_composer=false Phoenix Park is a worldclass amenity to the people who live nearby, on day trips, and tourists alike. The decision to only have 2 gates open to vehicular traffic is seriously restricting access to the park. Traffic volumes are increasing now that we are coming out of lockdown. Congestion in the surrounding areas is already a huge issue. This will only increase with these access routes cut off without an alternative solution. It can now take up to an hour to get from one end of the park to the other ; particularly at weekends with increased demand for the Zoo, Farmleigh and the Visitor Centre. Engine emissions from cars sitting on Chesterfield Avenue must surely be offsetting any potential environmental gain. Parts of the Park will become no go areas due to their isolation. There are no plans for an increased OPW presence with the gate closures. This decision seems to have been rushed through with little forward thinking and engagement with local communities. Give the park back to the people and then work on alternatives to reduce car traffic.
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    Created by Alison Reynolds
  • Outdoor Education as a COVID solution
    As children return to school in Ireland, the risk of a second wave of COVID will grow. Most schooling means spending long hours, indoors, in close contact but it doesn't have to be that way. A way to minimise this risk, whilst benefiting from nature, is to teach outdoors as much as possible. This has already been done in previous pandemics and is now being tried in Denmark, USA and UK amongst other countries m as part of the covid response. There are many co-benefits to child well-being in spending more time outside, such as nurturing a closer connection to nature and fighting obesity. I am calling on the government to consider this as part of the return to school and to provide resources to schools to build suitable outdoor class shelters. See: https://childhoodbynature.com/the-case-for-learning-outside/
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    Created by Lorna Tevnan
  • Save The SEO, Save Our Rates of Pay
    The Construction Workers Action Group agree that this decision will eventually affect all workers and not only construction sector. This is an attack on all worker rates of pay. Some of the reasons to fight back: 1. Bench mark rate of pay for Construction will be the Minimum Wage of 10.10 Euros. 2. Skilled workforce will exit sector to avoid further low pay conditions. 3. Low wages adds to the long list of employment issues in construction including bogus self-employment. 4. Housing will further contract and Sector will continue to slow down due to lack of skilled workforce. As the political establishment cobble together the most unpopular government ever formed in the state’s history. Workers’ rights were under attack, when a High Court ruling struck down the legislation that provides for Sectorial Employment orders (SEO). The workplace relations act (amended 2015), was instrumental in the provision of SEO's. (A SEO is the legal structure used to set the minimum rates and rights of workers, in any given sector of employment) The ruling signals the intent of a section of employers to undermine these orders, and demonstrates a clear lack of empathy with workers and the already inadequate pay and conditions existing within the sector. It is our intention to organise a defence of the pay and conditions outlined in the SEO and to see that the second instalment, (due on the 1st of October!), is honoured and implemented. And lobby for immediate improvement in our overall working conditions for all workers in construction. The state has the right to appeal this decision within 21 days of the court decision and Minister Varadkar has the responsibility to reverse this disaster decision, and should do so immediately. This petition is a first step towards those ends and we call on workers of all sectors to sign it and demand government appeal the decision and introduce all relevant mechanisms to ensure that the pay and conditions are protected. While the petition on its own will not be enough, we are preparing a series of protests and demonstrations to ensure both employers and the politicians who facilitate them, are under no illusion as to the depth of feeling among workers for this attack on workers’ rights. Other issues such as bogus Self-employment, reckless employment practices, illegal taxation behaviour of rogue contractors and agencies and other will also all be lobbied for, within any movement going forward. We invite you now to sign the petition for better workplace conditions for all workers including construction workers. Organise in your workplace, join your union and fight back against this attack on workers rates of pay and their employment rights and join other workers in other sectors for better employment. In Solidarity Construction Workers Action Group.
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    Created by Andrew Keegan
  • Stronger Regulations for Airbnb
    Airbnb is a a major factor on homelessness. As Airbnb is so unregulated many landlords are evicting tenants to turn their premises into nightly lets. This is causing the massive reduction of properties available in the private rental market. Therefore pushing up the cost of rents. The People of Ireland are living in hotels and B&Bs while the tourists are living in the houses. Until this sector is regulated and the rules enforced this will continue to happen. Covid 19 has highlighted this, we saw 1000s and 1000s of houses lying empty because travel restrictions. I am urging the Government to do someting about this once and for all.
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    Created by Caroline Neill Picture
  • Public Benefit Manifesto for Roscam Peninsula and A Legacy Project Proposal for Galway 2020
    This Global Public Benefit Manifesto for the Roscam Peninsula, if well executed, will lead to the preservation & restoration of the National Monument and preserve the surrounding pastoral landscape of this Bronze age settlement and create an iconic “Sustainable by Design” Culture, Heritage, Arts and Theatre experience embedded within a dramatic natural seaside parkland setting. This can be a cornerstone Galway 2020 Legacy Project to mark Galway's year as European City of Culture
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    Created by James McCarthy
  • Wear a mask to protect old people
    The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recently reviewed the latest scientific evidence on the use of face masks in the community. It reported that the use of face masks by people who are asymptomatic may help reduce the spread of infection in the community. This is done by minimising the excretion of respiratory droplets from infected individuals, who may not even know they are infected and before they develop symptoms.
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    Created by Grandpal Ireland Picture
  • Restore the Cork, Bandon and South Coast Railway as a greenway
    The Covid crisis has shown that recreational space in rural Cork is scarce and this is especially true for the Cork-Bandon-Skibbereen area. But with quiet roads, more people were out cycling and walking than ever before, showing how eager we are to take up active travel. Let us build the infrastructure to support it. In Ireland, we are already seeing the effects of the next crisis we have to face: The climate crisis needs bold and quick action. This is a unique opportunity to support a shift in transport modes for Cork commuters while also creating recreation space close to the home of thousands of people. With electric bikes becoming more easily available, cycling is quickly gaining attraction as an affordable, accessible and healthy alternative to the commute by car. By providing an infrastructure separate from the N71 we would not only provide a safe route for cyclists. Motorists would profit from this change, too: By reducing the number of cars on the road we would improve traffic flow and move cyclists - often seen as obstacles by motorists - off the road. The more extensive the greenway, the more likely it will also have a positive impact on tourism, with knock-on effects for local businesses. We know how many people use the Waterford greenway and the positive effects it has on the region. By contributing to Irelands cycle network we could even attract international active tourism. As a historic railway, the touristic value of the greenway would be priceless. With many of the structures still intact the former railway would itself be an attraction. We do understand that there have been prior attempts at this undertaking that have been dismissed or delayed due to the costs involved. However we would like Cork County Council to address this with the same urgency, the dedication and the budget they would use for a motor-traffic-centered infrastructure project. This is one of the bold actions required to prepare Cork County for the future. There has also never been more funding made available for active travel than ever before. The investment would benefit a very broad set of people, including motorists. We would like Cork County Council do address this project as a matter of priority.
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    Created by Janis Altherr
  • Sign the Insurance Reform Act Now
    The insurance industry wreaks havoc on so many aspects of Irish life. Thanks to skyrocketing premiums; people have been put off the road, childcare has become too expensive, and small businesses are struggling to survive. A new law called the ‘Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill’ could help tilt the balance back towards ordinary people. But, even though the law has been passed and signed by the president - the sitting Minister for Finance says he won’t sign it because the insurance companies ‘could quit the market’. It seems the Minister is forgetting just how many drivers, small business owners and childcare centres are urgently at risk of losing everything because of massive insurance bills.
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    Created by Emily Duffy Picture
  • Save the Firhouse Educate Together Secondary School
    The Firhouse Educate Together Secondary School community has been left reeling with the news that suitable accommodation for their school is not in place for September, as promised by the Department of Education and Skills. Parents/Guardians, students, the Board of Management, the staff team and supporters are all calling on an immediate, appropriate solution to ensure children are not left out in the cold with no school this September. Having been accommodated to date on the campus of two co-located National schools, plans have been continually delayed in both acquisition and planning for the permanent School building. A permanent site has now been secured which was warmly welcomed and the Board of Management, parents/guardians, students and the staff team were promised a temporary solution in the locality pending the construction of the new school, expected to take up to 24 months. Instead they are dismayed to learn that the Department of Education is now proposing to require children to travel to a site in Citywest/Saggart, located far beyond the school catchment area, until the school is built. A bus funded by the Department is proposed to carry the children from Firhouse to Citywest and back. Conor Harrison, Chairperson of the Board of Management said: “This proposal was already put forward by the Department and rejected by both the Board of Management and school community back in December 2019, as wholly inappropriate. We are incredibly disappointed and dismayed to see it being put back on the table again. It shows a staggering lack of imagination or will to follow through and secure an accommodation that will not impact so negatively on our students, their families and the staff team.” Conor Harrison emphasised: “A site was identified locally to accommodate the school temporarily, with considerable time and expense already invested in preparing and submitting plans. Suddenly there is no mention of this option and we are asking the Department to urgently explain their silence and set out clearly if and why this cannot be pursued as intended?” Parents including, Eoghan Looney, expressed anger and frustration at the DES proposal: “This feels like a kick in the teeth. Our children can currently access their school by walking or bike. We were told a local option was being pursued and now there is this news at the 11th hour, and in the middle of a public crisis.” Mr Looney continued: “What if a child misses this proposed bus to ferry them out to Citywest, or gets sick in school? We can’t drive them as we both work full time, and many other parents/guardians are in the same boat. Many of us don’t have any direct commuting options for Citywest. What about extracurricular activities, sports, drama, etc.? All these will be compromised and that’s unacceptable. Why should our children suffer? The Department needs to engage with us meaningfully, and find a solution to continue accommodation of the school locally.” Another parent June*, who is one of a number of parents whose child has healthcare needs, laments the proposal as a non-starter for her child. “My child has to attend medical appointments and that means sometimes arriving late or leaving class early. We simply can’t manage this with a site so far away. This proposal puts us in an incredibly tough situation with no other current options for alternative schooling at this short notice, besides the fact that it would break our heart to have to leave this wonderful school. Our levels of anxiety are through the roof and this feels like a callous disregard of our child’s rights by the Department. It can’t go ahead.” The signatories of this petition are calling on the Department of Education and Skills to engage with the school urgently to quickly secure accommodations that will not fracture a new and much needed local school in which the students have been blossoming despite the adversity it has faced since opening. *Name changed to protect the confidentiality of parent and child.
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    Created by SOS Firhouse ETSS Campaign Picture
  • Appoint a Senior Minister for Women and Equalities
    A long-term solution to remove systemic blocks to equality, for Women, girls and minorities in Ireland, is needed. The UK, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark and Canada have a Minister for Women or similar. It is time for the Irish government to consider a Minister for Women, like other countries. A Minister for Women and Equalities would need to do the job full-time, with enough resources, time and authority to do the work. A Minister for Women could look at systemic, policy blocks to equal opportunities in employment, education, housing and other areas for all people in Ireland, regardless of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, socioeconomic status and membership of the Traveller community. Enquires Twitter: @zoehealy3
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    Created by Zoe Obeimhen Picture
  • Maintain Children's Voices at the Cabinet Table
    #TheDCYAMustStay It is welcome that in the proposed Programme for Government the DCYA appears to be included. It is imperative that DCYA is retained, and the proper support and budget requirements that would allow the Department to fulfil it's duties and responsibilities to children are provided. Children need a strong voice in government now more than ever. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in society. There are more than 1.25 million children and young people in Ireland. That represents 25% of our population. Children have suffered hugely during Covid—19. They have experienced worry and loss in many ways: illness/death of loved ones, parental unemployment, school closure, transitions and rites of passage have been abruptly cancelled, interrupted friendships, loss of the freedom to be a child, new stress and worry, and much more. Some of these children will need extra support to help them deal with what they’ve experienced. For some there will be difficulties with addressing the future and adapting to the new and unexpected world that lies ahead. Some will have suffered abuse, neglect, domestic violence and other trauma behind closed doors as their family struggles to survive, and many live without the safe space provided by trusted adults in their extended family, schools, sports clubs, and community services. Prior to the Covid 19 emergency government figures indicated that 11% or 134,000 children and young people lived in consistent poverty, for example not owning a warm winter coat or being able to heat their home adequately. 3,555 children and young people faced day to day difficulties living in homeless accommodation and another 1,674 in direct provision accommodation. Many parents had difficulty accessing readily available and appropriate mental health or disability services for their children and teenagers. Additionally many parents were struggling with the cost of quality child care and afterschool care. These worries and concerns haven’t gone away. We need a minister focused on children and young people at the cabinet table to continue to develop our children’s services and bring children’s voices to discussions and decisions. We are deeply concerned about the possibility that the functions of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) may be carved up, subsumed, or amalgamated with other departments in the next government. We are concerned about the possible downgrading of the key role of Minister for Children, and the danger that this will again take us backwards in a history that has not always treated children well. 2011 brought hope for children, with the appointment of the first full ministerial appointment dedicated to the children of Ireland and the establishment of the DCYA. In November 2012, the referendum on the rights of the child resulted in the addition of Article 42A to the Irish Constitution, placing an emphasis in law on the best interests of the child. The establishment of the new Child and Family Agency in 2014 saw the separation of the business of looking after children from the delivery of health services. There was hope that we were awakening from our historical past of disregard for children, their rights, voice and visibility in society and public policy. There was hope that this would be the foundation for ‘brighter and better futures’ for the children of Ireland. We need a Minister for Children who will continue the work to ensure that services supporting children and young people’s well-being, welfare and protection are properly resourced. The DCYA has undertaken so much necessary work since its establishment, work that has positively impacted on children’s lives in this country. There remains so much more to achieve going forward if we are to tackle issues such as child poverty, child and family homelessness, equal access to services, proper health provision, protection and welfare of children, and deliver a fair and equitable Ireland for all our children.
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    Created by Aoife Bairéad