Ireland could be only one in EU not ratifying UN convention on rights of people with disabilities

The Medical Council has decided that no further action should be taken against Dr Katherine Astbury (above) in relation to the care of Savita Halappanavar. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Medical Council decides no further steps should be taken against Dr Katherine Astbury

The Department of Social Protection says  changes to the One Parent Family Payment are necessary to activate lone parents away from the “passive” OPFP scheme and into the labour market. File photograph: Getty Images

Changes to One Parent Family Payment intended to activate recipients into labour market

Ashling Lowe and her son Cody (13), Trim, Co. Meath. Ashling fears she will have to give up her job in order to qualify for jobseeker’s allowance, following changes to the one-parent family payment.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ashling Lowe (35) fears she will have to give up her job to get assistance under new rules

Mike Allen, director of advocacy with Focus Ireland, says the department’s report has “no credibility”.    Photograph: Eric Luke

Housing charity seeking legal advice as to whether Department of Social Protection is acting outside its remit

Rents in Dublin increased by almost 10 per cent last year and by almost four per cent outside the capital, though increases have been higher in the counties around Dublin.

Decision comes despite repeated calls for increases to meet market rents

Management at Dunnes Stores are attempting to intimidate staff planning industrial action next week, according to their trade union Mandate.  Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Trade union urges members to ignore ‘lies and misinformation’ as they plan Holy Thursday strike

Clúid says it will resist any move to compel them to collect charges

Fergus Finlay, left chairman of the Stop Out of Control Drinking campaign, clinical psychotherapist Joanna Fortune, LRC chief executive Kieran Mulvey and Aine Lynch of the National Parents Council at the launch of the campaign. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Head of campaign Fergus Finlay says director of drinks giant was not ‘forced’ to leave

A home in Tor na Rí, Balgaddy, Lucan in 2011 showing damp and cracks. Mary Cooney who has lived in Balgaddy for eight years said nothing had improved since she spoke to The Irish Times in 2011. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

People from 20 local authority estates have made “collective complaint” to Europe

Part of the HAI poster, which is to be displayed in prominent locations.

Humanist body to place adverts calling for end to discrimination

Carole Quinn showing mould in her flat in Inchicore, Dublin: she hopes the collective complaint will ‘get us some answers and force the council to come up with a plan’. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘We are just being ignored,’ says Carol Quinn who is one of those taking case to Strasbourg

Among the poor housing conditions cited are persistent damp, mould growing inside homes, persistent bad odours, poor plumbing and lack of central heating. Library photograph: Thinkstock

Residents of 20 council estates in Dublin, Cork and Limerick cite human rights breach

Protesters during the Stand Up to Racism and Fascism national demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London on Saturday. Photograph: PA

Dublin rally told legislation that seeks to dressing racism is ‘completely inadequate’

Marchers are converging on O’Connell Street for a rally at 2pm. Photograph: Pamela Duncan

Large crowds gather on O’Connell Street to call for abolition of charges

An Enar rally in Dublin: Enar received reports of 182 incidents of racist verbal abuse, violence, discrimination and other attacks between July and December 2014. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Study finds social media increasingly used to abuse minorities and ‘mobilise’ racism

Kavanagh Quigley and the team from the Donahies Community School at the Young Social Innovators event in the Mansion House in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

About 700 teenagers from secondary schools across Leinster take part in Dublin leg of Young Social Innovators roadshow

One postmaster who did not want to be named was in touch with Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim, Michael Fitzmaurice, saying the issuing of the letters causes them “serious concern as to my livelihood and the viability of my post office”. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Department of Social Protection writes to recipients inviting transfers to bank accounts

The Pygmalion bar in the Powerscourt Centre, Dublin, has this sign saying: ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, buy her a drink, and she might fuck you’

Experts on sexual crime say sign promotes ‘falsehood that consent can be purchased’

“In prostitution a woman ceases to be seen as a human being in the eyes of others and becomes a trapped mind that lives in a body that no longer belongs to her,” said Mia de Faoite, a survivor of prostitution. Photograph: Lisa Cawley

Survivor of prostitution describes being repeatedly raped, of being urinated on

The HSE women’s health project, which offers general health services as well as screenings for sexually transmitted infections, a needle exchange programme and free condoms, saw 268 women last year of whom 240 were non-nationals. The largest proportion came from Brazil, followed by Romania. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Most women who use HSE service are under constant pressure to have unprotected sex

Trinity College: Dr Ronan O’Toole from the school of medicine at Trinity College Dublin said listing Travellers’ ethnicity was necessary to help find out why they were more susceptible to some communicable diseases. Photograph: Frank Miller

Travellers contract tuberculosis at a much younger age than settled, research shows

The Rape Crisis Centre said this ad in a newspaper from the Stop Out-of-Control Drinking campaign is “misogynistic”.

Campaign rejects assertion, saying ad ‘wildly misunderstood’

There were 371 families, with 803 children, in emergency accommodation in Dublin last month – an increase of more than 40 per cent since June last year.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

More than 370 families in emergency accommodation in the capital last month

David Hall, of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Association: “The banks can get a rental income from the buy-to-lets whereas with a family home they want the residents out so they can sell it.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Mortgage holders’ spokesman warns that repossessions will reach 25,000 this year

Minister for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said women’s rightsand the de-segregation of schools have to be “front and centre in our discussions about the centenary of the 1916 Rising”.

Co-education benefits young men and women, says Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

The launch of Labour of Love, a new campaign focusing on the rights of workers in private homes across Ireland. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Labour of Love group claims some women work 70 hours a week for as little as €80

 Mary Mitchell O’Connor: alarmed by the volume of messages she has had from constituents against Government plans to end the availability of cheap alcohol.

New alliance to support Government measures to reduce alcohol consumption

Launching the Stop Out-of-Control Drinking campaign last month are Fergus Finlay,  Joanna Fortune clinical psychotherapist, Kieran Mulvey of the Labour Relations Commission and Áine Lynch of the National Parents Council: on leaving Dr Ciara Kelly said she remains a strong supporter of the campaign. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Dr Ciara Kelly cites ‘time constraints’ on leaving campaign funded by Diageo

The Department of the Environment has announced funding to community development partnerships  in Ballymun, Fingal and Rathmines/Pembroke in Dublin, as well as in Connemara and Waterford, would end on April 1st. Among the services they provide are meals-on-wheels and home repairs for the elderly. File photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

CDP funding to end in Ballymun, Fingal, Rathmines/Pembroke, Connemara and Waterford

Dublin Corporation was the only local authority to retain its ambulance service in 1970 when, under the Health Act, others relinquished theirs to the new health boards. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Dublin Fire Brigade, in existence since 1898, could be set to lose its ambulance section

Enjoying coffee and a chat at Tír na nÓg Coffee shop in the Ballymun shopping centre at the weekend, before the cafe closed down. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Only five shops still trading in intended commercial centre of regenerated area

Eamon Timmins of Age Action Ireland called for the findings of Beaumont’s investigation to be made public. Photograph: The Irish Times

Advocates for elderly and nursing representatives critical of ‘ill-equipped’ settings

Vast majority of undocumented migrants entered the State legally

Brigid Quilligan, director of the Irish Traveller Movement, outside the Four Courts yesterday. She said the judgment showed “discrimination [was] very alive and well”. Photograph: Courts/Collins

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission says the decision demands a response from the State

 Mayeli Hernandez who was forced to leave    Honduras as a 12-year-old due to increasing violence. Amnesty International governments paid lip-service to protecting civilians last year while “failing miserably”. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty

Global rights organisation calls on governments to do more to support those fleeing violence

Draft Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill. With regard to the PLDPA and the accompanying guidance, Amnesty says: “Neither . . . provided sufficient assistance to medical professionals in assessing when a pregnancy posed a risk to life, or adequately protected the rights of the pregnant woman or girl”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Accompanying guidance published by the Department of Health also criticised

A file image of  Mary Stokes who challenged the admissions policy of the Christian Brothers High School in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. Photograph: Collins

Traveller claimed rule giving preference to children of past pupils was discriminatory

 Daithí Doolan: figures obtained by the Sinn Féin Councillor indicate  the council was owed almost €23 million on December 8th, 2014, by 14,191 households. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The council, owed over €23m in arrears, may relax rule stopping debtors changing home

Crowds gather outside the Central Bank in Dublin to protest against the jailing of five anti-water charge protesters. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Derek Byrne and Paul Moore are believed to have been refusing food since Friday

 Dr Rhona Mahony, master of the  National Maternity Hospital:  said it  galled  her that the HSE had paid millions of euro to families after birth injuries in maternity hospitals, but had failed to invest in enough midwives and obstetricians to provide safe maternity services. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

President Michael D. Higgins tells conference, A Woman’s Place in the World, that all men should be feminists

 President  Michael D Higgins addressing the gender equality conference A Woman’s Place is in the World!  Mr Higgins told the conference he had accepted an invitation from the UN to join its HeforShe campaign. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

President accepts UN invitation to be involved in HeforShe equality campaign

SICAP funding will begin in April, replacing the Local and Community Development Programme which had been the funding stream for the sector for almost 20 years. Photograph:  iStockPhoto

Department to announce winning ‘bids’ for €30m worth of funding for projects

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said the new fund was in addition to enhanced funding for social housing  announced in the budget and in the social housing strategy. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Housing Finance Agency will invest another €150m in project to deliver 2,000 homes

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar personally urged Ms Y to participate in “an inquiry at some stage in the future” so what happened to her “never happens to another woman”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Health meets refugee at the centre of controversial abortion case

Tara Tevlin and her son Leon (2) from Duleek, Co Meath, who have been homeless since April 2014. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Rent caps blamed for escalation in homeless families throughout counties around Dublin

Tara Tevlin and her son Leon (2) from Duleek, Co Meath, have been homeless for nearly a year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Rent family can pay is capped at €550 a month, but ‘everything is between €850 and €1,000’

 Brigid Quilligan  of the Irish Traveller Movement: “the vast majority of young Travellers are focused on getting an education and they choose their own partners later in life”. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Director of Irish Traveller Movement says it is not custom for Travellers to get married as teenagers

Prof Philip Alston  told a conference on taxation justice, hosted by Christian Aid, that  Ireland had a “surprisingly ambivalent relationship” with economic and social human rights. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

US rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights says taxation policies are ‘anti-social behaviour’

The Workers’ Party will publish a series of policies and run candidates in the next general election.

Left parties not focused on ‘alternatives to what’s currently in place’, meeting hears

Anti-water charge protestors during a demonstration in Dublin. A member of Greece’s Syriza party has said the Irish campaign was an inspiration. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Syriza member says ‘working class movement challenged narrative that everything is good’

Government plans to make it mandatory for restaurants to display calorie counts on menus will have a “devastating impact” on the industry, the Restaurant Association of Ireland has warned. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Royal College of Physicians says mandatory rule a step forward in ‘tackling obesity’

Eddie Rockets in the Bridgewater Shopping Centre in Arklow, Co Wicklow, was one of nine businesses served a closure order by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland last month. Photograph: The Irish Times.

Neighbouring kebab shops in central Dublin among those outlets found in breach

The doorway in Molesworth street where Jonathan  Corrie, who was homeless, was found dead. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Dramatic rent inflation in capital ensuring people remain homeless for longer periods

Clare Daly: A Bill moved by the Independent socialist TD for Dublin North last December providing for a referendum on abortion was defeated by 110 votes to 13. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Proposal sponsored by Independent Clare Daly for cases of fatal foetal abnormality

Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says he is  “worried” the referendum, to be held in May, could be lost because of low voter turnout and because the electorate wanted to express anger with the whole political system.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Referendum may be lost over electorate anger with politics, says Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Tara (24) who travelled to England for an abortion.

Cork woman tells BBC of travelling to England for abortion

 Households in the private rented sector and in receipt of rent allowance are enabled  to seek an increase where they face rent increases they cannot meet. The service has operated in Dublin since June last year.  Photograph: Eric Luke Staff Photographer

Scheme aimed at keeping families at risk of homelessness in their homes

Finín Máirtín, head of Coláiste Eoin boys’ secondary school in Stillorgan (above), said some parents had not wanted their sons to attend the homophobia workshop due to be delivered by the ShoutOut organisation on Tuesday morning.   Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Head of school says some parents had not wanted their sons at ShoutOut forum

A spokeswoman for the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, which co-ordinates homeless services across the four local authorities in Dublin, confirmed it could not guarantee emergency accommodation to families. File photograph: Reuters

Families ‘falling under the radar’ of homelessness statistics, says Focus Ireland

“I’ve told the kids the heating is broken in the house and we’ll move back in soon. I’m trying to protect them, but normality is gone for them.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Case study, single mother: ‘If I roll over, no one else is going to fight for my children’

Pupils arriving at Coláiste Eoin in Stillorgan, Co. Dublin, on Wednesday morning. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Coláiste Eoin in Dublin says sessions will be held ‘at a future date’

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly answered questions in the Dáil on new social housing builds. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Minister says 7,400 ‘new social housing units will be provided’ this year

Ms Y, the asylum seeker who  unsuccessfully sought an abortion after arriving in Ireland, is planning legal action against a number of bodies, including the Heath Service Executive. Photograph: Getty Images

Asylum seeker who was refused abortion in Ireland to take personal injuries actions

Praveen Halappanavar husband of Savita Halappanavar who died following a miscarriage in The Galway University Hospital. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Hospital’s clinical chairman says ‘significant progress’ had been made

  Head of advocacy with Focus Ireland Mike Allen says what is needed now is a “persistent response not a panic response”.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Jonathan Corrie’s needs were complex given his addiction and mental health

Minister for Environment Alan Kelly will chair the meeting to “brainstorm” on alleviating homelessness in the short, medium and long term. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Emergency cold weather beds for Dublin’s homeless as temperatures drop

Jonathan Corrie, who was found dead in Dublin on Monday

Dublin City FM interview with 43-year-old emerges

Jonathan Corrie, who died in a Dublin city-centre doorway, was a “quiet, well-mannered young man”, according to those who knew him as a teenager in Kilkenny

Focus Ireland had made a number of “assertive efforts” to engage with him

Neil Porter holds a photograph of his late wife Maura, flanked by his daughter Davina and his son Brendan.  Photograph: Trevor McBride

Maura Porter died after waiting 50 minutes for Letterkenny ambulance 62km away

Ventsislava Lyubenova with her son, Angel, and husband Ivaylo Siromashki outside the apartment in Blanchardstown. All their possessions are still inside. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Premises repossessed by Dublin County Sheriff acting for EBS Building Society

Minister of State Paudie Coffey and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly at the launch of the Social Housing Strategy 2020. Photograph: Eric Luke

Those in acute need of housing won’t see much benefit from this strategy

Minister of State Paudie Coffey and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly at the launch of the Social Housing Strategy 2020. Photograph: Eric Luke

Focus Ireland calls for short-term help for homeless, and Threshold expresses concern about the timeframe involved

Substandard: a kitchen in a Dublin property

Thousands of properties brought up to standard following environmental health inspections

According to a senior advisory group to the Taoiseach, many families will in future “have little chance of buying their own home” and will have to turn to social housing or rental properties. Photograph: Frank Miller

NESC says policy should promote either home ownership or long-term rental

  Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly:  local authority estates to be “mixed tenure”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Multibillion-euro plan will result in provision of 90,000 dwellings over next six years

“At night we keep the milk under the car to keep it cold”: Shane and Ciara Dwyer. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Rented accommodation was lost after landlord put rent up by 50 per cent

Teresa O’Flanagan taking part in a anti-water charge protest march at Jobstown, Co. Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Demonstration called to show locals are not the ‘thugs’ portrayed by media - Murphy

This is a 20 per cent increase on the 139 people found sleeping on the streets in the 2013 winter count, and 180 per cent increase since November 2009.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘Winter rough sleeper’ survey finds over 160 people on Dublin streets

Council tenants will be pursued for any unpaid water bills by their local authority housing managers, under legislation being drawn up by Government. Above, People before Profit Kim O’Donnell, Brid Smith, Paul Shields and Andrew Keegan. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Memo to housing managers sets out responsibility to collect water bill arrears

Minister for Environment Alan Kelly has indicated he favours increasing housing supply rather than rent controls. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Reports say rent controls could lead to tens of thousands of rented properties exiting system

Students from St Margaret’s NS with Ryan Tubridy, at the launch of the Society of St Vincent de Paul annual appeal, in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

St Vincent de Paul launched its annual appeal for support on Wednesday

Mark Burke (37) of Dún Laoghaire has been identified as the man whose body parts were found at a recycling plant.

Death of Dún Laoghaire man being treated as suspicious as appeals for help sought

More than half (62 per cent) of these children are with their families in hotel or B&B emergency accommodation, often sharing one room. Photograph: Thinkstock

Focus Ireland says ‘child welfare crisis’ requires urgent Government intervention

Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Brendan lived in emergency accommodation for 10 months with his mother and younger brother. Two months ago they moved into an apar(...)

Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Billy lived in private emergency accommodation for seven months with his parents and younger brother and sister. He is now in supp(...)

Conor lives with his father in an apartment, after eight years moving between homeless facilities with his family

Lucy has been living in a hotel with her parents, younger sister and infant brother for six months

Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sinéad, her mother and her four siblings have been in emergency accommodation for 10 months

Last month 1,101 people – 421 adults and 680 children – were living in emergency accommodation in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

700 children will spend tonight in hostels, hotels or other emergency accommodation in the capital

Minister for the Enviroment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly says the Government is committed to tackling the homelessness problem. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Government reacts to growing pressure on homeless services in the capital

Imelda Fottrell with her son Cillian, Catherine O’Leary, and Ciara Doyle with her daughter, Freya. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Jack and Jill foundation seeks homecare packages for terminally ill children

The number of people becoming homeless continues to increase, as does the number who are remaining homeless for more than six months.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Steady increase in homelessness remains, recent figures indicate

Mr Martin said it was important to stress that ’by their very nature’ section 19 investigations were ’preliminary’,  adding that people had not expected Mr Ryan’s investigations to ’take that long’. File photograph:  Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader says referral made after ‘substantial interaction’ with official

Ms Y was arrested in Liverpool five weeks before her baby was born by Caesarean section. She was held by Merseyside police for more than 11 hours.

Scope of HSE report expanded to include trip made five weeks before Caesarean section

A man in his 40s who had been sleeping rough, in Clondalkin, Dublin died in recent days. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Call comes after homeless man in his 40s died in Clondalkin, Dublin

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton: welfare entitlement of income disregard will remain at €90 a week,  she  will tell the Dáil as it  debates the second stage of the Social Welfare Bill. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Policy reversal to benefit 28,000 of poorest households with children

 Sarah Benson, chief executive of   Ruhama, said that of the 219 women who presented for casework support last year, 83 had been trafficked here.  Photograph: Maura Hickey.

Prostitution is not about choice, says charity, as it reports 18% rise in women seeking support

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett of the Right2water campaign. The Government is “continuing to allow Irish Water to act in an outrageous manner, allowing them to attempt to secure the personal details of tens of thousands of households’ information”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Wicklow County Council seeking legal advice while other authorities say they will comply

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