Tag Archives: bills


Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, who has co-sponsored recent bills on reproductive leave and period products which omit the words ‘woman’ and ‘mother’

This morning/afternoon.

Further to removal of the word “mother” from seven Acts of Irish legislation and the omission of the words “women” and “mother” from proposed pieces of legislation affecting women: the Organisation of Working Time (Reproductive Health Related Leave) and the Free Provision of Period Products Bills….

Via Irish Times Letters:

Euphemisms for menstruation were common when women’s reproductive business was considered unmentionable and slightly shameful. It’s good that we’ve matured to the point of recognising the significance and importance of openly and correctly naming things for what they are.

However, something else is happening which is quite sinister. The euphemisms have moved from the word “period” to the word “woman”.

The word “woman” does not appear once in either of the Bills. It is replaced by “anyone”, “everyone” and “people”. None of the female Fianna Fáil or Labour Senators contacted seem to know why or where the word went, although it must have been deliberately excluded.

Labour’s Ivana Bacik had no difficulty referring to women and girls in 2019 when she raised the issue of period poverty in the Seanad as she used both throughout her speech.

When contacted, neither she nor any of her female Seanad colleagues answered my question – why are you deliberately excluding the word “woman”?

Women need the word women. We are a distinct biological and political class who are oppressed on the basis of our sex. Language matters. Labour and Fianna Fáil must do better.


Irish Times Letters



Further to reports this morning that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil discussed changes to Irish Water – including it becoming a State agency – last night…

Paul Melia, of the Irish Independent, Brian Dowling, of RTÉ’s political staff, and Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy spoke to Keelin Shanley on Today with Seán O’Rourke.

Mr Murphy raised questions about Irish Water and their non-release of payment figures for the first quarter of this year.

Paul Murphy: “We haven’t an explanation for why Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have colluded in the Dáil since the election to avoid any discussion of water charges on the floor of the Dáil. We’re now in the fifth sitting and we still haven’t discussed them. We’re also owed an explanation for why Irish Water, which has been acting in a very overtly political manner with its legal opinion paid for by the taxpayer and now not releasing the payment figures – that are due at this stage – for the bills that went out for the first quarter of this year that, in my opinion, based on very strong anecdotal evidence, will show a significant increase from the levels from 50% non-payment that we saw in the last quarter of last year.”

Keelin Shanley: “In fairness, we’ve been in touch with Irish Water. They say an update on the first year of billing will be made available once all payment information is collated. They’re certainly not saying they’re delaying it…”

Murphy: “I’m sure they’re not saying they’re delaying it but I believe that they are suppressing it. All the bills would have been due for payment by the end of last month. It was on the 14th of January that the last payment figures were released. We’re now on the 20th of April.”

Shanley: “So you’re basically saying…”

Murphy: “That’s not accidental..”

Shanley: “…you think that people have stopped paying their water bills since this new uncertainty around Irish Water has emerged?”

Murphy: “I do, I obviously don’t have the figures and I think even when Irish Water release the figures, they’ll release it in a such a way to create the impression that still loads of people are paying. But 50% didn’t pay the bill for last quarter of last year and I think it’s likely to be higher.”

Listen back in full here

MORE THAN 100,000 domestic customers of Electric Ireland have begun receiving higher electricity bills – because they are not using enough electricity.

A new “low user standing charge” was introduced by the ESB-controlled supplier with effect from February 1st, targeting customers who “use an average of 2 units (2 kWhs) or less per day in any billing period”.

Households not using enough electricity are seeing their bills increase by 15.5 cent a day, or €9.45 per two-monthly bill, or €56.70 per year.

Domestic customers have been informed of the increase in bill inserts, in some cases by letter, in the past fortnight.

Terms and conditions apply. Don’t they just, though?

Over 100,000 Face Higher Bills For Not Using Enough Electricity (Irish Times)

MORE THAN half a million Irish people either cannot pay their bills or have nothing left to spend after meeting their monthly financial commitments, according to a survey published by the Irish League of Credit Unions today.

A further one million people have “very little” money to spend on anything other than essentials after bills are taken care of, the survey found.

The level of acute financial hardship being felt across the State is revealed in the league’s final “What’s Left” spending report of 2011.

Extrapolating from its survey of 1,000 consumers, the league found that 280,000 people or 8 per cent of the population say it is impossible to cover their bills each month, while 350,000 can pay their bills but have nothing left after doing so.


More than 50% of Consumers Struggling To Pay Bills On Time (Conor Pope, Irish Times)