• Fix boarded up council houses
    The housing shortage in Co. Mayo is serious. Many families are living with extended families in stressful overcrowded situations. The shortage in the rental market makes it very difficult to find suitable housing. Boarded up council houses should be renovated to house those in need. Emergency accommodation being used should be fit for purpose. To encourage the council to make progress on this, we are want people to sign this campaign to ask Local Councilors and TD's to make it there business to put housing at the top of their list. To ensure emergency accommodation being provided is fit for purpose, and to make renovating boarded up council houses a priority. Also to make finding funding for renovations a priority in the Dail. 145 council house empty as of September 2014.
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    Created by Paddy Kilbane Picture
  • Get on with it!
    While the leaders of the two biggest political parties squabble behind closed doors, the rest of the us are left looking on like it's a joke. But it's not. The housing crisis, health crisis, refugee crisis are contnuing to spiral out of control. All the pre election promises seem like wasted breath when over a month later they've failed to make their decision. It's time to either get on with it or get out of the way.
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    Created by Chloe Moore
  • The Citizen Bank
    How does a society learn from its errors? In a vibrant republic people obtain purpose and trust from the seat of government, which is rarely a single institution. Sadly, the Irish people are too often witnesses to how weakly their Republic is governed. The people cannot find in their institutions a sustained capacity to defend their interests. Such lack of trust is untenable. Given the benefit of learning from past errors - quite relevant to Irish society in this centenary year - we need to address an unresolved disaster from our century. The catastrophic banking collapse of 2008/9 was nurtured by the weakness of our public institutions. We need to learn from the reality of this financial disaster which casts its shadow of debt over us. We have to accept that our Republic was attacked by the negligence of our financial regulators, at numerous levels. We have to accept that there was an implosion of the public interest and this banking episode was simply the means for that to tear into our social fabric. WE can learn from these errors by demanding a forum to establish a public governance where our futures are made safer; Where we can examine and teach and guard against those who would place the citizen’s interests at risk again. In effect a foundation would be established to facilitate citizen empowerment and participatory decision making. We can find the power to insure that this state is fully aware of its responsibilities to our society. And now our Central Bank intends to vacate the ground zero of our odious debt. Is it their prerogative to tell us that this landmark is not available for learning and public discourse? We say that at long last our building can begin to explicitly serve the interests of Irish society. Note: users of the building would be Charities and NGOs who agree to engage in a cooperative enterprise to reduce disadvantage and to coordinate front-line intervention services. The types of services to be assimilated could range across housing, health and social protection, legal assistance and debt resolution facilities, planning, community development, and sustainability. The list of agencies and NGOs who could be integrated into this “hub” runs to several dozen. such a transfer might be established by a Covenant whereby for twenty years the Foundation would have control of the premises. In those two decades it could generate rental income from commercial tenancy in suitable areas of the building. This income along with other forms of public support would create a development account to allow for an eventual full legal transfer from the Central Bank.
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    Created by Edward Stevenson
  • Make Orange Juice Fair!
    While retailers across Europe make enormous profits from the sale of store brand (own brand) orange juice, the majority of workers and farmers who harvest and process the fruit and its juice live in bitter poverty. Orange juice production is also utterly destructive to the environment; the industry is characterised by excessive use of pesticides.
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    Created by Shauna Kelly
  • Protect my Child from Cancer - Stop TTIP Now
    I can’t believe that Johnson & Johnson Talc based baby products and shower products I used on my new-born child, causes cancer! I am shocked at RTE’s recent report stating: “Johnson & Johnson faces claims that, in an effort to boost sales, it failed for decades to warn consumers that its talc-based products could cause cancer. About 1,000 cases have been filed in Missouri state court, and another 200 in New Jersey.” On 25th February 2016, RTE published a report stating: “A lawyer for the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of Johnson & Johnson talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower said: Company documents show using the products could cause the disease” Just a few weeks ago I read, “Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a Missouri state jury in the US to pay $72m (€65m) in damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox, who developed ovarian cancer after using the products for several decades.” Johnson & Johnson is an American multinational medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer founded in 1886. Johnson & Johnson has been operating in Ireland since 1935. The Company is engaged in the supply of healthcare, personal care and toiletries and over the counter products to the consumer market. If TTIP is agreed it will allow big businesses to sue the Irish government in secret and limit democratic government’s power to introduce new health and safety regulations, protect food standards and so much more. I trusted Johnson & Johnson baby products and if I had known how damaging they were I would never have used them on my son. I don’t want Corporations like Johnson & Johnson covering up issues of great public health concern for the sake of their own profits. If this US & EU Trade deal is agreed what will happen to my health and the health of my child in the future? Photo credit: David Avocado Wolfe
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    Created by Jens HayDays Picture
  • Junior Cert Debacle
    Teachers have boycotted the in-service for the new JC for several reasons: the presentation of the new JC higher and ordinary papers has confirmed fears concerning the 'dumbing down' of, not only English, but other important subjects which will now be assessed as Common exams. The new HL English paper is a single two-hour exam which appears to target only certain aspects of the work that has been studied by the students over a two- year period. Second year students are in the invidious situation of studying a new course while its assessment has yet to be decided upon in formal and concrete terms.A system which takes its advice from only a fifth of the teaching population (of English Teachers) cannot say that it represents that body of teachers, irrespective of the reasons behind their inability to communicate their wishes/ideas. From the beginning, it behoved the NCCA and SEC to organise local meetings on the ground with the Teachers and parents to discuss the changes, to reach a compromise that would have suited all. We would not have needed any Union intervention and would not, today, be in this invidious situation. The arrogance of the Powers that Be has brought about this untenable situation; I would be concerned that many excellent teachers will leave the profession as a result. The irony is that our concern arises from our understanding of our students and a desire to ensure standards in English are at the very least maintained, if not improved. When the original request came for some consultation, it was not seen as a means of using our input to demolish a system that is, by many standards quite excellent, but to enhance that excellence by filling in the gaps and moving forward into the 21st century. While all teachers are happy and willing to engage with the new curriculum, concerns over assessment need to be discussed and determined by the body of English teachers as a whole in order to ensure a successful transition. In recent days further consternation, anger and genuine fear has been expressed by teachers of Science and Business Studies; how can the Department of Education justify a single Common paper in these subjects, at a time when the world at large is crying out for a student body with the skills and the ability, with a solid comprehension and depth of knowledge of the subjects and the work involved to succeed in these areas. Sitting an OL paper at Junior Cycle does not mean a student cannot aspire to taking a subject at LC; some students require more time to mature and develop skills or may be more practical in their learning and, consequently, should be encouraged to study subjects which will allow them to go on and learn a trade. The fact is that a demanding and challenging but, for the most part, a successful system of education is being cast aside; there has been no real consultation with the teachers who are working day in and day out with the students concerned, and whose input should have been acknowledged as being invaluable. I would like to finish with a comment on the ‘dumbing down’ of the grading system for assignments and exams. How many young people were consulted with regard to the grading system? An Education system that ignores the word ‘fail’ does not prepare its students for life in the real world; it insults the intelligence of these students; it does not recognise the concept of learning from one’s failures or from one’s mistakes. George Orwell feared for the limitations he saw being imposed on the English language by a Party that recognised the power of language; instead of a ‘Ministry for Education’ it seems we have a ‘MiniEd’.
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    Created by Frances O'Donoghue
  • Introduce a Living Wage for All Workers
    Making sure that all workers are paid at least the living wage of €11.45 per hour will create a better standard of living for all people. It will reduce poverty, boost local economies and ensure an inclusive society for all people. For more info on fair working conditions, visit: http://www.ictu.ie/charter/
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    Created by Dave Curran
  • PSI: Don't enact the proposed regulations for Pharmaceutical Assisants
    My mother has worked as a Pharmaceutical Assistant for 42 years. She works 29 hours per week in two shops owned by the same pharmacist, during which she is the sole pharmacist on the premises. This has been within the parameters of her qualification as set out by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland at the time of conferral. The only limitation on a Pharmaceutical Assistant's qualification is that he or she cannot own a retail pharmacy, or be in "whole time" charge of one. Pharmaceutical Assistants (PA) do the exact same job as a pharmacist outside of this limitation; in fact, most people would not even know whether or not their local pharmacist is a PA or a registered pharmacist. If these rules become law, my mother will, at best, lose hours, at worst, she will lose her job, with very little chance of finding another position. She is 59 years old, has worked in the same career for over 40 years, and is paying a mortgage. She has 6 years to retirement. The loss of these hours will have a massive detrimental effect on her and her security. There are almost 400 PAs still working; they have decades of experience, and they will be forced out of the workforce by the PSI if these rules are allowed to be amended. The PSI stopped conferring this qualification in 1985, which is why there is such a small number of them today. The last PAs will be retired in 10-or-so years. To restrict their working hours so drastically will force pharmacists to hire registered pharmacists in their place, because a PA will no longer be able to cover holidays or emergencies. For example, a colleague of my mother's was recently called in to work because her boss was rushed to hospital: if these rules were in place, her boss would have had no choice but to close his business because it was too late to bring in a locum; this would in turn mean patients - particularly those with repreat prescriptions held by this pharmacy - would have been unable to get their - often vital - medication. This colleague ended up working 2 weeks of full time hours; this is entirely within keeping of the qualification as it stands today. If these rules passed, the pharmacist would have had to bring in a locum for the majority of those hours, meaning his business would have been cared for by an unknown employee, rather than the perfectly competent, capable and qualified PA on his staff. These rules are unworkable and unfair; they will have the very real effect of forcing people in their mid-fifties to their early sixties out of the workforce, suddenly unqualified for something they have been deemed qualified for since the 70s and 80s.
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    Created by Ailbhe Byrne
  • EXTEND RIGHT TO VOTE IN SEANAD ELECTIONS TO ALL IRISH CITIZENS (including Irish emigrants)
    Ireland needs a better democracy giving people a greater say and improved accountability of government. Currently less than 5% of Irish voters are entitled to the vote in Seanad Elections. This is undemocratic and elitist. In 2013 a majority of Irish people voted to retain the Seanad and gave a clear message that they wanted it reformed rather than abolished. A reformed Seanad could improve democracy in Ireland if, • all citizens are given the vote to elect Senators to the Seanad • the Seanad is given meaningful powers to enable it to fulfil its role to scrutinize government and propose legislation The Oireachtas working group on Seanad Reform 2015 concluded that “a parliamentary assembly such as Seanad Éireann whose electoral system excluded the majority of its citizens from participation lacked popular legitimacy”. The government, therefore, should show their commitment to democratic reform by enacting legislation to • • Provide for free and fair elections to Seanad Éireann where the franchise (entitlement to vote) is extended to all Irish citizens over 18 including Irish citizens in Northern Ireland and to holders of Irish passports living overseas • • A majority of Seanad seats to be elected by popular vote on the principle of one person one vote • • Strengthen the powers of the Seanad to scrutinise, amend, and initiate legislation
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    Created by Rory Hearne Picture
  • Save Jigsaw Roscommon - Find Our Clinical Co-Ordinator
    Jigsaw Roscommon provides a free and confidential support service for young people aged 15 to 25 living in County Roscommon. The Jigsaw hub, opened in 2012, is located in Roscommon Town in the Primary Care Centre on the Golf Links Road. There has also been a huge outreach programme, to areas where young people found it difficult to access the hub, such as Boyle, Monksland, Castlerea to name a few. Jigsaw Roscommon is part of the national Jigsaw network supported by Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. Jigsaw Roscommon has always aimed to make sure that young people’s voices are heard, that they get the right support, where and when they need it. Unfortunately, due to the unsuccessful recruitment of a Clinical Co-ordinator, the service is temporarily suspended with it's future uncertain. We need to find a Clinical Co-ordinator so the 5 other posts (Project Manager, 2X Clinical Support Workers, Youth Engagement Officer and an Administrator) can be filled with the Jigsaw Roscommon Service restored and the mental health of the young people of Roscommon cared for. According to the reports, over the 3 year period, a total of 409 young people were supported by Jigsaw Roscommon aged between 12 and 26 years. The age of highest need presenting to the service is 17 years of age. This is the typical age that falls between child and adult service provision. The numbers of referrals seen in the first year of Jigsaw Roscommon in 2012 was 39 with one staff member. When there were two members of staff in 2013 the number of young people coming to the service multiplied four times to 184. We have no doubt that had efforts been put into raising awareness of the service in schools and at a community level that the Jigsaw service in Roscommon would have had the potential and scope to be of benefit to many other young people in County Roscommon.
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    Created by Catherine Hanly
  • Allow NUI & TCD graduates have their vote in Seanad Election
    Are you a graduate of UCD, Trinity, NUIM, UCC, NUIG, RCSI, or NCAD? Did you know that you are eligible to vote in the upcoming Seanad election (set to take place on April 26th)? Emigrants who are graduates are also eligible to vote. But you must be registered to vote. However, due to lack of awareness and publicity, there are tens of thousands of graduates who have not registered. For the General election it is possible for a voter to be added to the Supplementary Register up until 15 working days before polling day. But in the Seanad Elections this is not currently the case. In fact, you needed to register before February 2015 to be eligible to vote in this year’s Seanad Election. The current Seanad register is not representative of people who have graduated in recent decades. For example, less than 10% of NUI college graduates since 2000 are registered to vote. That is why the Minister for Environment should set up a supplementary register for the 2016 Seanad Election. This would allow graduates to register up to Monday 18th April (which is reasonable as it is the same date for acceptance of change of address notification). This is also important for Irish emigrants because it is the only election where emigrants have the right to vote. The Minister should add to this supplementary register anyone who has registered since February 2015 and he should then promote the extended deadline for Seanad registration and the requirement for NUI & Trinity graduates to register in order to have their vote. The Seanad is in need of significant reform such as giving all citizens the entitlement to vote in Seanad Elections. Extending the registration deadline would at least, in the interim, extend the opportunity to vote to tens of thousands of Irish citizens in Ireland and abroad.
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    Created by Rory Hearne Picture
  • Migrants for Ireland: Election Manifesto
    Twelve percent of the population of Ireland are migrants, of whom so many have the right to vote. Migrants bring enterprise and initiative, and in order to actively participate in Irish society, migrants must be visible in all spheres of Irish life and be represented proportionally to our number in the Irish population in all decision making processes. Irish political actors have done little or nothing to reach out to immigrants during elections. Integration has dropped off the radar and from the programmes of all political parties. A diverse republic needs inclusive politics and institutions that reflect the composition of a diverse society. Government bodies and local authorities need to do much more to engage with immigrant communities. We, the Migrant-Led Coalition, are calling on all politicians and candidates to sign up to our election manifesto and pledge to represent the needs of their migrant constituents.
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    Created by Farah Azadi Picture