Tag Archives: ICCL

This morning.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has lodged a complaint with the Data Protection Commission over the processing and sale of personal data by GeoDirectory, a company operated by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI).

Via the Irish Council for Civil Liberties:

GeoDirectory sells location data about every Irish home, matched with intimate social demographic “GeoPeople” profiles about the income, life stage, and family status of the people who live in each home.

Over 2 million Irish homes and their residents are profiled in this way, under headings such as “striving urban singles”, “deprived urban families” or “struggling older families”.

ICCL has been able to buy data about people living across Ireland, including ICCL staff. These data are available to purchase by any company or organisation.

For example, GeoDirectory sells data to Experian, one of the world’s biggest data brokers. Experian then uses the data to set people’s credit ratings. Aviva, a major insurance firm, uses GeoDirectory data to set individual insurance prices and examine claims.

Marketing itself as having an “unrivalled location intelligence database”, GeoDirectory’s data comes from An Post, OSI and the Census, with GeoDirectory using the latter to create 14 separate social demographic profiles and assigning one to each household in Ireland. It is impossible to know how an accurate or inaccurate classification is potentially impacting a household.

ICCL’s Tech and Human Rights Officer, Olga Cronin, said:

“I was able to buy data about each of my neighbours, including their financial status, and whether they are single or not. This information is specially protected under EU law. But GeoDirectory is collecting, updating, storing and selling this data with utter ease and without consideration of GDPR. The company is also allowing businesses to identify the individual social demographic profile of everyone on their customer list by offering a service whereby they cross-reference a business’s customer list with that of GeoDirectory. This mass processing of every Irish household’s personal data without a legal basis or in adherence with GDPR cannot be lawful.

ICCL reveals that the An Post & OSI company “GeoDirectory” uses Census data to profile every Irish home, for sale to data brokers and insurance companies (ICCL)


This afternoon.

Liam Herrick, executive director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has written to Minister for health Stephen Donnelly about the necessity of the vaccine pass.

The ICCL has said the pass system has been developed without any ‘meaningful consideration of human rights’.

Mr Herrick writes:

We ask you, Minister, to please clarify the following:

What is the purpose of the Government’s vaccine certificate system?

The purpose matters because it affects the proportionality and necessity of the measure. If it is to persuade people to get vaccinated, this raises concerns about the future ramifications or possible expansion of “health passports” and the subsequent impacts of such on everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated. If it is to reduce transmission, the certificate system should include testing.

Why is testing still being omitted from the certificate system?

There is a provision in the Act [Health (Amendment) (No.2) Act 2021] to allow for a “permitted person” to include someone who can show proof of a negative test. It’s utterly unclear why this hasn’t been provided.

Where is the evidence that the immunity certificate system to date has worked in curbing the transmission of Covid-19?

It is vital that this evidence is forthcoming, given the context of extremely high rates of vaccination in the population generally and particularly the age cohorts accessing hospitality.

This is also vital, in the context of persistent transmission of Covid between vaccinated people in all settings.’


Full letter here

Irish Council for Civil Liberties

This afternoon.

Further to plans to re-open indoor dining and drinking only to the vaxxed…

…via the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)

‘ICCL has opposed the idea of vaccine passports since they were first mooted in early 2021. A system of vaccine passports for access to goods and services will discriminate against people on the grounds of health status.

Such a system would also set a precedent of requiring people to share private medical data to gain access to services…

…Up until less than two weeks ago, the Government also agreed that these human rights and civil liberties concerns were too serious to consider introducing vaccine passes. The idea that allowing indoor dining and drinking this month is so urgent that these concerns should now be dispensed with – via emergency legislation and without meaningful debate – is frankly incredible.’

ICCL’s Executive Director Liam Herrick said:

“We cannot set a precedent whereby government can declare that problems with its own re-opening timetable constitute some sort of parliamentary emergency, which would justify ignoring serious and complex issues of workers’ rights, equality law, privacy, and data protection. Human rights law is there to protect us all. We cannot dispense with it when faced with political dilemmas.”

Irish Council for Civil Liberties

Earlier: Clean And Unclean


From top: Liam Herrick, executive director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, whose  concerns about freedom of expression, the right to send and receive information, and the right to privacy are illustrated (above)

Happening now.

Oireachtas committe on Tourism, Culture, Art, Sport and media.

Interested parties are providing pre-legislative scrutiny of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill, including the irish Council for Civil Liberties , whose boss Liam Herrick told the committee that significant parts of the proposed legislation may not meet human rights standards.

Watch live here.


Hello YOU!

Broadsheet‘s Olga Cronin (arrowed), now with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, at the committee hearing this afternoon.

Olga, Olga, give us a wave!


In a video posted to Facebook Taoiseach Tanaiste leo Varadakar said the Government would introduce:

“Additional measures for the fully vaccinated, more freedoms for those who have been vaccinated.”

He added:

“We are developing a digital green certificate vaccine pass, so you’ll be able to prove that you’re fully vaccinated.”


Additional freedoms for the fully vaccinated on the way, says Leo Varadkar (Irish Examiner)


This afternoon.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties launched an Election 2020 Manifesto in which it has asked political candidates and parties to commit to eight calls to action.

They are:

“Establish Safe Access Zones at medical facilities so that women and pregnant people can access abortion care in privacy, safety and with dignity.

Introduce Hate Crime legislation so that we all feel safer from hateful attacks.

Protect our privacy and data by halting the illegal Public Services Card project.

Establish a new Independent Office of the Police Ombudsman so that we can all have confidence in An Garda Síochána.

Implement inspections of all places of detention in order to prevent torture behind closed doors.

Establish an Ombudsman for Victims of Crime to ensure justice for victims of crime.

Outlaw image-based sexual abuse to prevent non-consensual creation and/or sharing of intimate images.

Reform the Electoral Act to allow civil society organisations to function without fear.”

The manifesto can be read in full here

Previously: “It’s A Photograph. Let’s Call It What It Is”


Via The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)

We agree with the organisations and independent experts that have called for an end to Direct Provision.

Ireland’s history of grave and systematic abuse in institutions should make it obvious that the State cannot discharge its constitutional, European or international human rights responsibilities towards individuals who need the State’s assistance by (1) outsourcing social service provision to private, largely unaccountable, commercial entities and (2) containing people in institutions operated by those entities.

We also agree with the recommendations  from the Irish Refugee Council (IRC) and the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI)) that the Department of Justice is not the appropriate Department with which to place responsibility for meeting the accommodation, health and other social service needs of people seeking international protection.

The direct testimonies of people living in Direct Provision – particularly their experiences of being isolated from society, being forced into a relationship of almost total dependency on the managers of the institutions in which they live, and being denied access to many basic opportunities and services in Irish society – convey a clear sense that people in Direct Provision feel, and are effectively, living in punitive detention.

We believe that the fact of placing responsibility for Direct Provision in the Department of Justice contributes to this penal culture and practice.

We are reminded of the treatment of a group of survivors of the Magdalene Laundries who applied to the ex gratia scheme which the Department of Justice has administered since 2013, and whose experiences were the subject of the Ombudsman’s Report in late 2017, Opportunity Lost.

The Ombudsman’s report demonstrated that there was a culture of disbelieving survivors within the Department of Justice, and of going overboard to ‘protect against fraudulent claims’.

The Department that had been responsible for detaining girls and women in Magdalene Laundries, both as part of the ordinary criminal justice system and on an ad hoc basis through the involvement of An Garda Síochána, was not of an appropriate mindset to administer ‘restorative justice’ measures to women who had suffered grave human rights violations in Magdalene Laundries.

ICCL submission on Direct Provision


Earlier: Blue Wave

The Best Banned in the Land – A Forum on Artistic Freedom of Expression.

On Tuesday, April 30, from 11am until 4pm.

At the Projects Arts Centre in Temple Bar, East Sussex Street, Dublin 2.

Irish Council for Civil Liberties writes:

The ordered removal of Maser’s Repeal the 8th mural has brought censorship to the fore once again. Is freedom of artistic expression being limited in Ireland? Are issues such as funding, promotion, social media restrictions and discrimination creating conditions for self-censorship?

Join a host of artists and activists as we remember and examine the role of censorship. Guests include Be Aware Theatre Company, Lian Bell, Donal Fallon, Declan Long, Una Mullally, and more to be announced.

A light lunch will be provided.

More here

Martin McAleese with his report into the Magdalene Laundries

This weekend.

The Frontline DefendersDublin Human Rights Festival will take place at the Wood Quay Venue, Smock Alley Theatre and The International Bar.

As part of the festival…

Tomorrow, at 1pm, at the Wood Quay Venue…

Maeve O’Rourke, of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, will present a follow-up report to the Department of Justice’s assertion that there is an “absence of any credible evidence of systematic torture or criminal abuse” in the Magdalen Laundries.

Specifically, in August 2018, the Department of Justice told the UN Committee Against Torture:

“While isolated incidents of criminal behaviour cannot be ruled out, in light of facts uncovered by the McAleese Committee and in the absence of any credible evidence of systematic torture or criminal abuse being committed in the Magdalen laundries, the Irish Government does not propose to set up a specific Magdalen inquiry or investigation. It is satisfied that the existing mechanisms for the investigation and, where appropriate, prosecution of criminal offences can address individual complaints of criminal behaviour if any such complaints are made.”

The Department of Justice’s assertion came after the Sate rejected the UN Committee Against Torture’s call for an investigation into allegations of ill treatment of women in Magdalene Laundries.

Ms O’Rourke will also be joined by Stixy Nyaluso, of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, who will outline some of the conditions experienced by people living in Direct Provision.

The Dublin Human Rights Festival is organized in partnership with the Dublin City Council, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Fighting Words, the Latin America Solidarity Centre and the National LGBT Federation.

See programme of events here

Previously: ‘The Irish Government Does Not Believe A New Inquiry Is Warranted’

UNfinished Business

Standing By McAleese

The McAleese Report: A Conclusion

Dr Maeve O’Rourke

Yesterday evening.

Dr Maeve O’Rourke, human rights lawyer and senior research and policy officer at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, posted a series of tweets about how Ireland is continuing to cover up for its collusion with the Catholic Church.

She tweeted: “The abuse is not ‘historic’, it is ongoing and we are all implicated.”

These were her tweets…

Previously: Open The Files

Pic: Maeve O’Rourke