Noeline Blackwell, director of Flac, said the organisation’s telephone  information line was something of a “social thermometer for issues affecting people in Ireland”. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

‘Binding laws’ urged to replace bank codes of conduct on dealing with people in serious debt

Tánaiste Joan Burton at the annual pre-budget meeting with NGOs at Dublin Castle yesterday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Tánaiste challenged over child poverty, homelessness and jobseekers rates

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly proposed rent regulation in February, but we have yet to see any plan.  Photograph: Dave Meehan

Rents have spiralled while current rent caps are so low as to be untenable

The Child and Family Agency Tusla said it  had initiated measures to address the concerns.

Hiqa found a failure to notify suspected abuse cases to gardaí in a timely manner

Cheeverstown House, Dublin.

Inspectors find serious shortcomings at Dublin centre for intellectual disabilities

Notices requiring immediate action on unsafe practices at the HSE-run Cregg House centre for people with intellectual disabilities in Co Sligo have not been acted on, the State’s health watchdog has said. Image: Google Streetview.

HSE-run facility for people with intellectual disabilities had ‘insufficient’ governance

 African migrants become upset  as Italian police attempt to remove them at the Franco-Italian border between Menton and Ventimiglia during June 2015. Photograph: Sebastien Nogier/EPA

Fine Gael TD John Deasy says ‘unwise’ to act without clearer picture of African migration

The final report was brought to Cabinet this morning by Minister for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin but has yet to be approved by Government. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Report says asylum seekers should be allowed work after nine months in system

Minister for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: “I want it implement in full. I don’t see any reason for long departmental discussions about which parts should or can be implemented.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government report predicts savings of over €195m if recommendations are implemented

“We cry. We are not happy like this. In school I keep thinking about this,” wrote one child. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

‘I want my mum to cook for me always, and I want a puppy’ writes one child in working group report

A couple takes part in the annual Gay Pride Parade in Dublin. Photograph: Getty

Organisers say 2015 parade twice as big in wake of same-sex marriage referendum

Thousands celebrate Gay Pride just weeks after Ireland voted for same-sex marriage

Educate Together chief executive Paul Rowe

Body says the enrolment policy exemption for older schools ‘could be discriminatory’

Mike Allen, director of advocacy with Focus Ireland, said some families had reported being turned away by local authorities when they presented as homeless. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Group says families with children presenting to rough sleeper services for the first time

RTÉ plans to make Angelus slot accessible to ‘all faiths and none’

Dubliner Ibrahim Halawa:  awaiting trial in Egypt  along with 420 others since August 2013

Irish Human Rights Commission was split over whether to call for teenager’s release

Cuts imposed during the financial crisis disproportionately hurt the “disadvantaged and marginalised” and must be phased out, a United Nations committee has said.

Panel concerned at increase in numbers at-risk of or living in consistent poverty

Emily Logan of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has called on the Government to heed the calls of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) and start to “phase out” austerity measures.  Photograph: Dave Meehan.

Emily Logan says response to crisis disproportionately focused on spending cuts

On women’s sexual and reproductive health, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights said it was concerned at Ireland’s “highly restrictive legislation on abortion”. File photograph: Getty Images

Economic, social and cultural rights panel also calls for referendum on position of women in society

A rally in support of the Greek people was held on Dublin’s  Parliaent Street today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Former rugby player calls on the Government to do more at Dublin rally

Tánaiste Joan Burton: “You cannot solve big issues with small politics. And inequality is one of those issues – if not the issue.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Joan Burton describes treatment of Clerys employees as act of ‘predator capitalism’

Across the EU there were 184,815 first-time requests for asylum in the first three months of this year. File photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

625 people apply from January to March compared to 455 last October-December

Four options on increasing the weekly allowance paid to asylum seekers have been considered by the working group. Photograph: The Irish Times

Working group review of allowance paid to adults currently at €19.10 and €9.60 per child

Dublin City Council’s Dick Brady cancelled the plans for 200 houses six months ago as the focus went on rough sleeping after the death of Jonathan Corrie. However, pressure has since mounted on the organisation to provide solutions for the family homelessness crisis. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Move comes six months after similar plan was cancelled due to political opposition

A show of hands on a vote at  the Right2Water campaign policy conference organised by  trade unions in Dublin on Saturday, June 13th. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Policy Principles for a Progressive Irish Government’ discussed by 300 activists

Workers protest outside Clerys on O’Connell Street in Dublin. Photograph: Kitty Holland/The Irish Times

Staff protest outside landmark Dublin retailer after loss of 460 jobs

Ibrahim Halawa, the Irish teenager who has been imprisoned for almost two years in Egypt. The IHREC decided against making a statement on Mr Halawa’s case following correspondence with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Human rights commission decided against addressing case after Government email

Minister of State  Seán Sherlock has been leading the Irish delegation at the Geneva-based UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR). Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Committee in Geneva tells Government delegation a referendum is essential

Thousands gather to demand legislation on abortion after the death of Savita Halappanavar at Merrion Square, Dublin at the weekend in 2012. Photographer: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Report says death of Savita Halappanavar a consequence of Ireland’s ‘restrictive abortion law’

Minister for State for Foreign Affairs Seán Sherlock. Mr Sherlock  is leading the Government delegation to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Government delegation told it has obligations under international covenant

Emily Logan, chief of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, who told the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, on Monday that   the  choices made by the Government since 2008 had resulted in increased poverty for adults and children, high youth unemployment and a significant increase in food poverty. Photograph: The Irish Times

Logan says choices made in Ireland led to higher poverty and high youth unemployment

“I do feel now that if I got abuse the majority of people on the street would be on my side,” says Seamus White, pictured with his fiancé John O’Sullivan. Photograph: Alan betson/The Irish Times

‘Changed atmosphere’ for public displays of affection as a result of marriage equality vote

 A horse-drawn carriage leading an anti-austerity march in Dublin. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has said that budgetary choices made by Government have led to greater deprivation and difficulty for the most vulnerable groups. File  photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission makes claims in UN submission

Models wearing award-winning Shuttleknit clothes at the Traveller Pride Awards. (From left) Doreen Donaghue, of Jobstown, Co Dublin, Mary Cassidy, of Jobstown, Co Dublin, Kathleen McCarthy, of Jobstown, Co Dublin, Kathleen Carthy, of Killinarden, Co Dublin, and Rebecca Byrne, of Dundalk, Co Louth. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says he is ‘determined’ 2015 will be the year of Traveller equality

The O’Connor Family at home in Tallaght (from Left) Scott (10), Sophie (15), Stacey (8) and their father, Daniel O’Connor. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Life assurance company refuses to pay out, citing non-disclosure of ‘material facts’

Roughan McNamara, campaigns and advocacy manager with Focus Ireland, said: “We are starting to see people in mortgage arrears coming to our services looking for advice. The majority at this stage are looking to know what their options are, though some are already homeless.” File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Increase indicates crisis of homelessness for ex-homeowners, says Focus Ireland manager

Brian Doyle in the hotel room he and his family have been living in since last October. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Brian and Sandra Doyle and their children have been living in a hotel since October

Allan Thomas at his home in Kilmessan, Co Meath: ‘I feel like I’m making my family homeless. I don’t understand why this [scheme] didn’t work. Educated people told me this would work.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Father-of-three Allan Thomas was assured by his bank, EBS, that the mortgage-to-rent scheme would help him save his home in Co Mea(...)

Housing agency data shows just 96 mortgage-to-rent cases completed out of 2,865

Since 2009 almost 480,000 people have left Ireland, of who 228,000 were Irish nationals.

Central Statistics Office figures show almost every other age demographic increased

Kathleen Sherlock with (from left) Stacey and Jim – who made their first Holy Communion – Annishia Mahoney and Mary Ellen Sherlock in Ennistymon, Co Clare. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Kathleen Sherlock says priest refused family entrance to church over dress-code

A dog waiting outside a polling station on Friday while his owner casts his vote. Photograph: Dave Meehan

In Jobstown, where the Tánaiste faced the wrath of anti-water charges protestors , the Yes margin was reportedly 87%

Keith told the Ombudsman for Children’s Office: “When I think of the house I’d like . . . in the sitting room there’s a doggie drinking water.” Photograph: Getty Images

Youngest son Keith traumatised by circumstance: ‘I don’t like when people bully me’

Among the 442 families homeless  in Dublin in April,  174 were headed by couples and 268 by single parents. The total number of people in these families was 1,586. Photograph:  Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Expenditure of €750,000 a month on housing families in emergency hotel lodgings

A boy begging in an alleyway off Dawson Street in Dublin. The State must address delays in the provision of social housing and ensure emergency housing “is appropriate to children’s needs”, says the Ombudsman for Children’s report. Photograph: Frank Miller

Children’s ombudsman indicates that in region of 138,000 children living in poverty

Salome Mbuga, founder of migrant women’s network Akidwa: in her 21 years in Ireland she has  “on many occasions had to challenge racism and discrimination”.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘Everyday’ abuse may not warrant criminal investigation but causes damage, conference told

Protesters against water charges gather on O’Connell bridge in March. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill/Irish Times

Right2Water protests similar to Bolivia’s ‘Water War’, says leading international expert

Gráinne Healy and Brian Sheehan from Yes Equality put up a posters. Photograph:  Paul Sharp/Sharpix

Working class areas mainly Yes with middle class areas more mixed, say canvassers

“The impact of the seven-year austerity drive on people’s standard of living has been enormous, and in all regions the effects of the crisis are impacting on the realisation of human rights,” Chief Commissioner for Human Rights Emily Logan  has said. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Burden of hardship has fallen on those least able to bear it, says human rights chief

The latest data from the property website daft.ie, published this week, found rents in Dublin’s commuter counties had increased by 14% since last year. Photograph: PA

NESC argues that properties in mortgage arrears should be used for social housing

Jack Lynam, a double amputee who has been in Beaumont Hospital for the past 15 months, pictured with his wife Frances. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Dublin City Council: Delays due to ‘volume of extensions’ – suggests sleeping in living room

“The number of children accompanying adults [in emergency hotel-type accommodation] reached record highs,” according to a report from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive. Photograph: The Irish Times

Children catered for by homeless services rockets 62% – to reach 911 bereft of home

Róisín and Mark Molloy: “We thought we were telling people, at hospital level, local and national level, things they didn’t know, and it turns out they did and they stood by and allowed further unnecessary deaths.” Photograph: Eric Luke.

Mark and Róisín Molloy say it is time for the hospital to start answering hard questions

Phelim Quinn, chief executive of HIQA speaking at the publication of the Patient Safety Investigation Report into services at Portlaoise in Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Portlaoise patient accounts speak of intimidation and lack of compassion

Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger. Ms Coppinger has called on the Labour Party and Sinn Féin to support   a bill to provide for a referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Socialist Party TD to table bill for referendum on repealing Eighth Amendment

Increase in repossession orders will put pressure on Government to find ways to help families in arrears. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Circuit Court grants 586 orders since January, compared to 95 during same period in 2014

Minister of State with special responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin is now working across three different Government departments. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin believes the National Drugs Strategy has lost ‘energy’ and ‘focus’

Targets set under Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly’s Social Housing Strategy 2020 mean that the private sector will supply three-quarters of the new social housing to be supplied in several major local authority areas. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Four Dublin authorities, Limerick, Galway and Waterford councils face targets

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly. Mr Kelly’s housing strategy will rely on the private sector to help solve the housing crisis. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister Alan Kelly’s new strategy will place tenants at the mercy of private landlords

The number of homeless adults in emergency accommodation increased by more than 300, up from 1,526 in November to 1,872 this month.

Number of homeless adults in emergency beds in Dublin up by over 300

Organisations involved in the BeLonG To Yes campaign in the same-sex the marriage referendum include the ISPCC, Barnardos, Foróige, Youth Work Ireland, the Migrant Rights Centre, Headstrong, Yes Equality, the Children’s Rights Alliance, Pavee Point, EPIC and the National Youth Council of Ireland, as well as BeLonG To. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Group criticises ‘exploitative, hurtful and dishonest’ use of children by No campaign

The registration of these organisations with Sipo suggests they are in receipt of individual donations exceeding €100 in value, for political purposes. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

About 20 organisations have registered with Sipo ahead of the vote

Minister writes to Dublin local reps after rejection of O’Devaney Gardens proposal

Ms Devlin is on eight different painkillers and medications and attends the emergency department “about twice a month”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Seven years on hospital waiting list, Caroline Devlin criticises 'two-tier' system

Minister for the Environment Alan  Kelly has said he disagreed with a decision by Dublin city councillors last week to reject a proposal to refurbish 64 empty flats at the O’Devaney Gardens flat complex (above) to provide temporary accommodation for up to 400 homeless families over the next five years. “That was a big project and an important project and I don’t agree with that decision,” he said.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Housing homeless families in hotel-type accommodation not sustainable, says Minister

Asked his reaction to the finding that a majority of those involved in the Right 2 Water campaign had never protested before, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said: “That wouldn’t surprise me. We haven’t had a huge amount of protest over the last number of years.” Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins

Minister disagrees many water protesters were Labour supporters at last election

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Figures show 55% increase in number of homeless families in Dublin since last June

The ISPCC’s Caroline O’Sullivan, Childline’s Margie Roe and the ISPCC’s Grainia Long launch the ISPCC Childline report. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Children feel they cannot add to their parents’ worries around the recession

Mandate general secretary John Douglas (above) wrote to Margaret Heffernan, the company’s director, saying workers allegedly dismissed since the strike must be reinstated. Photograph: Alan Betson

Union to seek legal advice for staff who allege they have been targeted since stoppage

Promotional material for Marian Kowalski, a candidate in next month’s Polish presidential election.

Scuffles reported outside Jury’s hotel but Garda spokeswoman says there were no arrests

A Co Kildare couple renting a three-bed  house in a gated community in the K-Club (above), are disputing a 22 per cent rent increase.  File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Couple tell PRTB tribunal landlord had not notified them in writing of monthly rise to €2,200

Mandate wrote to Minister of State for Jobs Ged Nash on Wednesday as reports came in “from all over the country” of Dunnes management moving to “target” workers who had participated in last week’s strike. Photograph: The Irish Times

Mandate calls on Minister to bring forward law paving way for collective bargaining

Chief executive of Oxfam Jim Clarken said Ireland had now missed three deadlines to achieve the UN target

Oxfam: Figures showing Ireland ‘lagging behind’ in commitments to most vulnerable

According to the union, Mandate, the actions of management illustrated the “disproportionate level of control and power Dunnes management exert over their workers and their incomes”.

Mandate says it has reports of management calling in workers who were on pickets

The Irish Refugee Council said important changes to the Freedom of Information Act were rushed through the Oireachtas before the Easter break without adequate time for debate.

Brendan Howlin says new legislation aims to prevent administrative delays

Pictured at the funeral of Circuit Court judge Katherine Delahunt at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook, from left, Supreme Court Justice John Mc Menamin, Court of Appeal president  Sean Ryan, Sarah O Hagan, Circuit Court judge John O’Hagan and Finbar Fox SC. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Funeral mass hears of warm and loving woman who was fond of a bit of mischief

In Henry Street picketers were joined by former Dunnes strikers Mary Manning, Liz Deasy and Sandra Griffin, who in 1984 refused to handle South African fruit in protest at the apartheid regime. Photograph: The Irish Times

Trade Unions: Strike biggest private sector industrial relations dispute in two decades

 Strikers  picketing outside Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt,  south Dublin. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Many shoppers persuaded by strikers to take their custom elsewhere

Minister for Local Government Alan Kelly and Minister for State Paudie Coffey at Lord Edward Street, Limerick, where they announced housing targets for each local authority area. Photograph: Press 22

Analysis: Whether councils can achieve aim debatable but return of provision welcome

Muireann Dalton stands outside the Dunnes Stores outlet where she works in Newtownmountkennedy in Co Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Two Dunnes Stores workers say why they will be on the pickets outside shops today

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

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