Tag Archives: irish times

homeless

A homeless person sleeping rough in Temple Bar in November 2015

In forming a government, unlike Lanigan’s Ball, it is less important who is stepping in and out again and more important what policies they agree on. All of the parties to the current dance have explained, during the election, that their priority is to “protect the most vulnerable”, but now we need to turn this into detailed multi-annual policies to reduce poverty.

The first step is to recognise the shocking scale of the problem. The CSO has found that, between 2008 and 2013, the proportion of our people experiencing “deprivation” nearly trebled to 29 per cent. This means being unable to afford two from a list of items like heating your home or eating a substantial meal every second day, a very basic measure in the 21st century.

More than a third of children and one in five of people at work were classified as experiencing deprivation, while the picture is worse for groups like Travellers, lone parents, the long-term unemployed and the homeless.

For decades we have danced around in the same pattern. In boom times, people in poverty are left behind, while in more austere times the same groups suffer the most. Breaking this cycle will need a long-term commitment to policies and investments to provide adequate income, quality work and services, funded by sufficient and fair taxation.

There has been plenty of research and experience to show what makes the difference between a country with high and low levels of poverty. Nearly 20 years ago, the all-party National Anti Poverty Strategy pointed to most of the instruments needed. However, strategies alone don’t change the world; we need solid commitments in the programme for government to end the dance of poverty and despair.

Anne Loftus,
Chairwoman,
Robin Hanan,
Director,
European Anti-Poverty
Network,
Upper Ormond Quay,
Dublin 7.

Tackling poverty (Irish Times letter)

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A notice on the Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme website

You may recall how last year Marie O’Connor, of Survivors of Symphysiotomy, spoke about the group’s grievances in relation to the symphysiotomy redress scheme.

She explained that the scheme demanded survivors to produce ‘objective evidence of women’s injuries’ – including receipts for incontinence pads or prescriptions for anti-depressants going back 50 to 60 years.

Further to this, it’s emerged that the Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme is “happy to shred” the women’s records and supporting documents to prove they had a symphysiotomy.

In response, a number of academics and medical experts wrote the following letter in yesterday’s Irish Times…

The Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme announced on its website this week that it will be “happy” to shred records, if applicants are so minded, or in the alternative, return them.

The UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern that symphysiotomy was performed in Ireland without patient consent from 1944-1987, and cited Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and involuntary medical experimentation.

The committee ruled that Ireland should, inter alia, “initiate a prompt, independent and thorough investigation into cases of symphysiotomy” and “prosecute and punish the perpetrators, including medical personnel”.

Obstetric records that could potentially be destroyed may be some claimants’ only proof that they were subjected to the surgery. Many notes record the name of those who participated in these involuntary operations.

There is no guarantee that these records will be accessible in the future to investigators, researchers or even to claimants themselves. To shred these data after March 20th, as proposed, is therefore to destroy material that will be needed in any future inquiry (or research) into symphysiotomy.

Survivors are continuing to press for an inquiry with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. A further submission has been made by them to the UN Human Rights Council under the Universal Periodic Review, a framework under which Ireland will be assessed in May of this year, and a complaint to the UN Committee Against Torture is due for examination in 2017.

Informed consent is also an issue. Applicants who do not seek the return of their obstetric records are not being informed that they may not be retrievable from their hospitals of origin.

Indeed, the Department of Health has recently given public assurances to the contrary, stating that “medical records cannot be lost by any action of the scheme”. Hospital data storage limitations suggest that this is not the case.

We urge Judge Harding Clark to reconsider her decision and return all records to all applicants by post, as per the scheme’s terms of reference.

Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley,
Department of History,
NUIG;

Dr Fiona Buckley,
Department of Government,
UCC;

Prof Linda Connolly,
Institute for Social Science
in the 21st Century, UCC;

Prof Mary Donnelly,
School of Law, UCC;

Mairead Enright,
Law School,
University of Kent;

Dr Noelle Higgins,
Department of Law,
Maynooth University;

Mark Kelly,
Executive Director,
Irish Councilfor Civil Liberties;

Prof Kathleen Lynch,
Equality Studies, UCD;

Fred Logue,
Solicitor;

Dr Jo Murphy-Lawless,
School of Nursing
and Midwifery, TCD;

Prof Joan Lalor,
School of Nursing
and Midwifery, TCD;

Prof Patricia Lundy,
School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies, University of Ulster;

Prof Louise Kenny,
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
CUMH;

Prof Irene Lynch Fannon,
School of Law, UCC;

Dr Mary McAuliffe,
School of Social Policy,
Social Work and Social Justice, UCD;

Dr Joan McCarthy,
School of Nursing and Midwifery, UCC;

Dr Claire McGing,
Department of Geography,
Maynooth University;

Dr Jacqueline Morrissey,
Historian;

Daragh O’Brien,
Katherine O’Keeffe,
Data specialists,
Castlebridge Associates;

Marie O’Connor,
Chairwoman,
Survivors of Symphysiotomy.

Shredding symphysiotomy records (Irish Times letters page, March 7, 2016)

Previously: ‘Prove It, Prove It, Prove It’

Pic: Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme

irishtimes

Today’s Irish Times

Reggiecide writes:

‘Up to seven billion’…

Let’s take that with the pinch of salt we need for every utterance that comes out of that failed utlitity but why is the Irish Times continuing to allow such obvious spin to dominate its front page. After peddling fear (which few bought) throughout the General Election campaign you have to hand it to them for their stamina if nothing else..

In fairness.

Irish Water abolition ‘would cost State up to €7bn’ (Irish Times)

pen-and-paper

Sinéad O’Loghlin took the words out of my mouth. Her point about the great majority of published contributors to your Letters page being male had struck me very forcibly in recent months. For my own amusement, I have been keeping a running check on letters published.

From February 3rd to February 15th, inclusive, a total of 196 letters have appeared. Five signatories might have been either gender; of the other 191 letters, 155 (over 81 per cent) were from men and 36 (under 19 per cent) from women.

Do these figures really reflect the contributions received? If so, I can only echo Ms O’Loghlin’s appeal to women to get writing.

Colette Ní Mhoitleigh,
Baile Átha Cliath 6.

Women and ‘Letters to the Editor’ (Irish Times)

Pic: True North Quest

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Today’s Irish Times.

 

Be Your Own Reason tweetz:

“Plain Cockamamie Part 2 [Part 1 at link below], on steroids…”

Survey finds 95% of homes for rent too high for rent allowance (Irish Times)

Cockamanie Part 1

Meanwhile:

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This afternoon.

Glasnevin, Dublin 9

Minister for the Enviornment Alan Kelly (above left) at the Fold housing development Agency development with new resident Hilda Hickey Wrenn (above centre) and local Labour TD John Lyons TD .

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

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Front page of today’s Irish Times

The EU’s refugee relocation programme – which was to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy in two years from September 2015 – is moving at a glacial pace.

The Irish Times today reports on Ireland’s involvement in the scheme.

A front page report  headlined, “‘Very low’ take-up of EU refugee programme in Ireland – Only 20 asylum seekers have applied to Ireland so far as part of relocation plan’ may imply that asylum seekers currently waiting in Greece and Italy are able to choose the country in which they would like to live.

Like picking a holiday location.

However…

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According to  the European Asylum Support Office states (above) in a brochure for asylum seekers :

“It is not possible to choose the country to which you are relocated.”

Further to this:

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Previously: Pawns In The Game

Thanks Subpri.me

UPDATE:

The Irish Times has updated its headline…

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton

Tánaiste Joan Burton believes that a living wage “means that a person in full-time work, without additional welfare support, can afford housing, food, utilities, clothing, transport, healthcare, childcare and recreation”. She has promised to make this happen “if Labour is returned to government” (News, November 18th).

This is the sort of urgent action which should be happening right now. The Labour Party should be taking advantage of the fact that they are in Government and that they are in a position to implement this change before the next election.

Furthermore, with the whole country so far away from a true economic recovery, wouldn’t you think our Government would be working overtime to deliver as much progress as possible before the election? Positive results will get them re-elected, yes?

Instead, all of our Ministers have become a bunch of politicians making similar announcement to the one above. “If Fine Gael are re-elected this will happen”;“If Labour are voted back into power that will happen”. If, if, if. None of them deserve to be re-employed by Ireland Inc.

Lulu Cleary,
Rathmines,
Dublin 6.

Pre-election promises (Irish Times letters page)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie