Cyclists  along the North Quays in Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Middle-aged and younger men account for most cycling fatalities in recent years

About 2 per cent of the population cycle to work or school each day.

Most fatalities involve middle-aged men cycling in built-up areas

Celebrations in the courtyard at Dublin Castle in May after results of the Referendum on Marriage Equality were announced. Public perceptions of Ireland as a leader on human rights issues rose in the wake of the referendum. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sharp divisions remain over attitudes towards minorities such as asylum seekers

Adoption rights campaigner David Kinsella: ‘We all should have a right to our identity.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

David Kinsella, like many adoptees, was refused access to his birth mother’s identity

Gordon Jeyes, chief executive of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Photograph: Alan Betson

Child and Family Agency defends plan to revise allowances for over-18s in State care

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr James Reilly and Michelle Shannon, director of the  Department of Children and Youth Affairs, at Government Buildings. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for Children James Reilly says planned legislation is ‘major breakthrough’

Costs arise mostly from accommodation and legal fees in direct provision system. Photograph: The Irish Times

Campaigners argue that costs illustrate a pressing need to change an unwieldy system

Last year, the HSE was forced to spend a record €336 million on agency staff and overtime to fill vacancies.

Need to hire driven by low pay, geography and specific skill shortages, says memo

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said the problems reported at nursing homes were ‘unacceptable’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Health says issues are ‘not new’ and have been going on for decades

Jimmy Kelly of Unite says many employers see labour as “nothing more than a commodity, to be picked up and discarded as convenient”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Growing economy may not solve problem of precarious work, says labour professor

Sacred Heart Hospital is second publicly-run home to face criticism this week

The Government’s working group report once again offers policymakers an ambitious blueprint. Photograph: Getty Images

Ambitious proposals needed to complement sustained investment and political resolve

Dr James Reilly and other  Cabinet members arriving  at Lissadell House on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Paid parental leave should be extended from six months to a full year

Mental Health Commission’s report follows concerns over deaths and governance issues in the Carlow/Kilkenny and South Tipperary. Photograph: Getty Images

Mental Health Commission report finds suicide risk assessment insufficient

A Hiqa report has found that St Patrick’s Community Hospital in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, was in breach of 12 of the 18 standards it was inspected against. Photograph: Brian Shaw

Hiqa report finds St Patrick’s Community Hospital is in breach of care standards

At present a constitutional right to privacy exists on the part of birth parents. Photograph: Getty Images

Cabinet to discuss draft legislation which will apply to all past and future adoptions

Robert Watt, Secretary General at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: “It’s a falsehood to suggest that we can have the best services in the world without paying for them.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

A person on average wages in Denmark pays up to 13 times the rate in Ireland, says expert

A Central Statistics Office survey on wellbeing shows more than three-quarters of the  population of the Republic ranked their overall satisfaction with life as “high” or “very high”.  File photograph: Getty Images

CSO study shows three out of four rank satisfaction with life as high

 Volunteers clean up  outside St Catherines Church,  Thomas Street, Dublin. While many voluntary groups reported a decline in numbers during the economic boom,   latest figures suggest a large proportion of the population (28 per cent) is contributing to the community. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

CSO report indicates value of people giving their time for free is €2 billion annually

It is estimated there are between 20,000 and 25,000 undocumented people living in Ireland, including children. Photograph: Eric Luke

Proposal to give thousands of migrants right to live here being considered by Government

The Arklow/Rathnew Motorway the M11 looking north which was officially opened by Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Brendan Howlin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Arklow/Rathnew motorway to reduce journey time by between 10 and 20 minutes

A sex worker said she felt compelled to have intercourse with a garda because she feared further prosecution. Photograph: Frank Miller

Woman said she felt compelled to have sex with officer as she feared further prosecution

€1 million spent on legal fees in case of girl detained in English psychiatric unit

The HSE has pledged to develop services to ensure that no Irish citizen should need to be sent overseas for a care placement. Photograph: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP/Getty Images

Woman (20) detained for 20 months in psychiatric unit in England returns home

Demonstrators in Dublin  supporting the ‘undocumented’ in Ireland. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Officials review programme aimed at regularising the status of up to 20,000 residents

‘We’d like to pay taxes properly and want to progress. It’s wasted potential.’ File photograph: Getty Images

Amanthi (18): ‘We’d like to pay taxes properly and want to progress. It’s wasted potential’

In the High Court, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan noted the legal costs involved would have provided for an appropriate place for the 18-year-old in Ireland. Photograph: Chris Maddaloni/Collins

Young Irish people are being detained abroad because of a lack of services here

Elizabeth Cloherty, a care assistant, has no complaints about pay or the hours she gets. She is concerned, however, about what the future holds. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Elizabeth Cloherty and others in a like situation have no contract and little sense of security

A rally in support of Dunnes Stores workers earlier this year. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

How State can ensure economic flexibility for employers and job security for workers

Keith Doran outside his former workplace, Clerys, on O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Keith Doran got a call from HR manager to say there was no need to come in the next day

Sinéad Pembroke works in Trinity College Dublin’s School of Nursing and Midwifery: “I can’t think about buying a house or starting a family”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Short-term contracts and casual work increasingly common in workplace

Sinead Pembroke, who works at TCD’s School of Nursing and Midwifery. “I can’t think about buying a house or starting a family. I don’t have the security or the finance. It’s the source of a lot of anxiety. Many others in the same boat are constantly thinking about applying for the next job.”Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Sinead Pembroke is one of a rising number of academics reliant on precarious work

The use of contractors in the IT, pharmaceutical, health and engineering sectors has been promoted by both employers and recruitment firms. File photograph: PA Photo

Growing use of self-employed workers in IT, pharmaceutical, health and engineering

Latest projections indicate the family income supplement will be paid to more than 50,000 families in respect of more than 100,000 children this year. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Critics say rapid rise in family income supplement tops up low pay by employers

Stephen McLeod,  archaeologist:  His work comes in dribs and drabs of contracts ranging from a few weeks to a few months. Photograph Tony Corey

Muireann Dalton, retail worker with Dunnes Stores

The proportion of full-time workers who are on temporary contracts has doubled in the past decade or so, up from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. Illustration: John Holcroft/Ikon/Getty

Workers are spending longer at work, are changing jobs more often, and are more likely to be on internships or temporary contracts(...)

Tánaiste Joan Burton said she would like to see an increase in child benefit in the next budget.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

40,000 may no longer have to pay universal social charge under tax changes

Mosney reception centre for asylum seekers, in Co Meath. Photograph: Frank Miller

Proposals come as latest figures show 250 people sought asylum in the State last month

Tánaiste Joan Burton:   “Broadly, we’re agreeable to taking part in the arrangements and to take numbers that are appropriate to our size, population and resources.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

EU plans to share 40,000 migrants on voluntary basis over next two years

Lorcán Miller’s coffin is carried into Rathmichael Parish Church in Shankill, Co Dublin, for his funeral.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Postcard sent from Berkeley only arrived on Tuesday

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Dr Shekhar Saxena from the World Health Organisationat the launch of the “Connecting for Life” suicide prevention strategy at Farmleigh House in Dublin. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds Photography.

Plan includes classes on dealing with stress for students but no extra funding for services

Consensus between civil servants and campaign groups means there will be few areas of contention when the proposal is discussed by the Cabinet next week. Photograph: The Irish Times

Recommendation that application for asylum be dealt with not later than six months

Laiq and his wife Amtul with their sons Waleed (16) Nabeed (12) and Sarmad (5). The family live and sleep in one room in the Eglinton direct provision centre in Salthill. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

A fast-track measure within six months is the one thing that would change their world

The Health Information and Quality Authority found significant delays at Tusla in assessing the needs of children and families where there were reports of suspected abuse or neglect. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Health watchdog finds inconsistencies in safety and quality of services for children

Conor Neill (6) with his class in the Doodle Den in St Michael’s Infants School in Limerick. Photograph: Brian Gavin/Press 22

Impact Journalism Day: Addressing education and inequality one afternoon at a time

The Department of Social Protection says thousands of lone parents who increase their number of part-time working hours to 19 will be better off under the changes due next month. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Government insists reforms will end poverty traps and improve access to employment

Karen Kiernan of One Family: “This reform process is forcing lone parents who are already working part-time to give up their jobs because they no longer meet the eligibility criteria and because work does not pay, meaning even greater poverty.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Government insists reforms will end poverty trap and improve access to education

Michelle McFarland and her daughter Ashleigh. She is one of about 4,000 lone parents who stand to lose out under welfare changes. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Coalition says welfare changes will tackle poverty, but some will end up losing out

Senior HSE managers have expressed concern  over the cost implications of an EU directive that allows patients to obtain care abroad and recoup the costs from the State. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Health body fears cost implications of reimbursement scheme for treatment abroad

‘Connecting for life’, a new youth suicide prevention strategy, is to focus on helping secondary school students to deal with stress.

Republic ranks fourth highest in EU for young people taking their own lives

A homeless man begs on Dublin’s Grafton Street. Sir Anthony Atkinson, author of Inequality: What can be done?, says the gap between rich and poor can be narrowed with policies which aren’t radical or revolutionary. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Sir Anthony Atkinson says what must be done to narrow gap between rich and poor

56 high-profile high achievers, from Bill Clinton to Bono, contribute to this deluxe coffee-table anthology; it makes for both ins(...)

Cregg House was previously at the centre of controversy over poor staffing levels and lack of access to activities for residents when it was operated by the Daughters of Wisdom, a religious order.

Disabled children left in bed until 1pm due to understaffing, report into HSE centre finds

Minahil Sarfraz on Direct Provision: “I’m a girl who every day wakes up in a mobile home. Not big enough to roam. Frighterned every night not knowing the out comel. A ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.” Photograph: Maxwells

Discrimination key theme of ‘Picture Your Rights’ survey of 2,000 children in Ireland

The Ombudsman Peter Tyndall has called on the Government to immediately extend his remit to provide independent oversight of direct provision centres for asylum seekers. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘It’s entirely inappropriate. It reflects badly on us. It needs to be brought to an end’

Many survivors waited years before seeking support. Last year, most adults made contact with the Rape Crisis Network five years after the incident occurred. Photograph: Getty Images

Majority of the 53 rape survivors went on to give birth and parent their child, says network

The Minister of State for Health, Kathleen Lynch, said: “If we don’t do anything, we’re going to have serious problems.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Eleven facilities will not meet Hiqa standards unless they are rebuilt or renovated

The headline at-risk-of-poverty figures may be out by up to 80,000 people. Photograph: Getty Images

Dept of Social Protection and ESRI point out discrepancy in EU survey

Other cases documented raise questions as to what support was offered to vulnerable mothers prior to care proceedings being brought

In one case a District Court issued a care order for a child whose mother had a mental age of eight

Health authorities are to develop new guidelines on the use of powerful psychotropic medication. Photograph: Getty Images

Groups voice concern medication overused to control behaviour of vulnerable patients

Linda and her son Anthony Kletzander, who is in his early 20s and lives in a group home. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Potent pills: how drugs are being used to control behaviour of disabled

More than half of people with learning disabilities living in residential centres are being prescribed powerful antipsychotic drugs. Photograph: Getty Images

Campaigners raise concerns over scale of ‘chemical cosh’ in residential centres

 Gerard Finn, who died from Alzheimer’s disease after spending many years in a nursing home, with his daughters Sharon and Lourda, who is holding her son Fionn, in October 2006. Photograph copied by Liam Burke/Press 22.

Many of the psychotropic medicines being used are not licensed for use on older people

Up to one-in-three residents in some Irish nursing homes are being administered psychotropic medication, based on previously unreleased pharmacy records and new research. Photograph: The Irish Times

Side-effects of antipsychotic drugs in Ireland may be linked to dozens of deaths, strokes

Slapping is widely practised, though it’s been declining sharply over recent years. Photograph: Getty Images

Answer: The Coalition is fearful of wading into an issue where public opinion is divided

Council of Europe: Lack of clear corporal punishment ban violates rights of youth

While legislation which allowed parents to use force against their children was repealed almost 15 years ago, the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ still exists in common law for parents or child carers

Children’s groups say Ireland is out of kilter with Europe by permitting corporal punishment

Leila Dube from Galway marching with asylum seekers, refugees and supporters  on Universal Children’s Day last November, protesting about the system of direct provision. Photograph: Alan Betson

The State has failed repeatedly to improve conditions for asylum seekers

Hiqa reports suicidal child waited three years for response from authorities

Sister Stanislaus Kennedy: “I have thought a lot about this,” she told The Irish Times. “I am going to vote Yes in recognition of the gay community as full members of society. They should have an entitlement to marry. It is a civil right and a human right.”   Above: Sr Stan outside the Dáil in 2012 with campaigners against sex trafficking. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Well-known social activist at odds with Catholic hierarchy on referendum stance

Migrants, many fleeing Syria, arriving at Porto Empedocle in Sicily after being rescued off the Libyian coast by a Dutch freighter the Dinteldijk. Photograph: Frank Miller

Trinity professor Brian Lucey says immigrants are net contributors to society

 Paudie Coffey, Minister of State with responsibility for housing and planning. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Campaigners say radical measures needed to stop towns and cities ‘dying on their feet’

Changing demographics: A majority feel our immigration policies should be made more restrictive (53 per cent), but these numbers have also fallen. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Despite negative views, concern over impact on schools and hospitals has eased slightly

The initiative allows mortgage holders to surrender their homes to a not-for-profit housing association, which then rents it to the original owners

Mortgage-to-rent scheme was aimed at assisting up to 3,500 at risk of losing homes

 Former chief executive of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) Mike Aynsley. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Selection of O'Brien bid for Siteserv aimed at ‘securing highest possible return’

Seven units of Dublin Fire Brigade  were called to the scene. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Emergency services provide life suppport at scene

Among the key concerns are difficulties providing timely access to acute hospitals as a result of demand exceeding capacity, resulting in overcrowding, long waiting times and delayed release of ambulances. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Risk register’ reveals scale of challenges facing health service as waiting lists lengthen

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton recently said the Government is committed to maintaining core welfare rates, while taking a zero-tolerance approach towards welfare fraud

Department received 21,000 allegations of fraud last year, however few led to savings

Joint Garda/social welfare checkpoint on Mallow to Cork road. Twenty members of the force joined the national unit earlier this year and are able to use their powers of arrest. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Beefed up team carrying out road-checks, in addition to tackling airports and takeaways

Irish Refugee Council chief executive Sue Conlan said moves to improve access to third level for asylum-seeking students were a step in the right direction. Photograph: The Irish Times

Asylum-seeking students in system for five years to be granted equal third-level access

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said  she is determined  asylum-seeking students who have been in the system for five years or more should be treated in the same way as Irish students. File photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

Young students in system for more than five years to be eligible for student grants

The Child and Family Agency  is responsible for inspecting all pre-schools, play groups, crèches and day care services that cater for children aged under six

Tusla chief says gap could make it difficult to identify where children may be at risk

 Gerry O’Boyle, of Land League West, at repossessed houses in Hazel Downs Estate, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo. Photograph: Keith Heneghan

For former auctioneer Gerry O’Boyle and other Land League West members, the suffering caused by house repossessions is un(...)

Most employment lawyers say zero-hours contracts are unlikely to be used to any significant degree in Ireland

Ministers have pledged to act if review finds employees are being exploited

Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) conducted an unannounced inspection at the HSE-run St Peter’s Services in Castlepollard, Co Westmeath last December following concerns over the safety and welfare of residents. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Hiqa audit detailed unexplained bruising and lack of trained staff at St Peter’s care unit

A screengrab from secretly recorded footage in Swinford’s Áras Attracta residential care centre shows a worker putting a blanket over a resident’s head after the latter made noise looking for attention. File photograph: RTÉ

Hiqa finds major breaches after unannounced inspection at Mayo centre for people with disabilities

The State has some of the highest childcare costs in Europe. Latest figures indicate a typical dual-earner family with two young children is paying more than one-third of their income on childcare. The average cost across the EU is between a quarter and a half of the Irish average. File photograph: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Direct subsidies would improve affordability and improve services, high-level body to be told

Child and Family Agency chief executive Gordon Jeyes confirmed last weekend the agency was in discussion with the Department of Children on measures required to save up to €18 million this year. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Child and Family Agency’s board expressed concerns at critical underfunding

UPC and Eircom currently broadcast the channel and Saorview told the Oireachtas it would like to add it to its free-to-air platform.

Survey indicates almost half of viewers have never watched the channel

Minister for Children James Reilly: said he was committed to achieving the ending of the practice of detaining children in adult prisons at the earliest possible date. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Under-18s remanded in custody to be placed in Oberstown child detention school

Open about sexuality: DIT students held Stand Up 4 Love, a comedy and music night at Vicar Street, in support of a Yes vote in the marriage-equality referendum

What proportion of us are gay, lesbian or bisexual? according to The ‘Irish Times’ Family Values poll

Dr Helen Buckley, chair of the National Review Panel, spoke of three teenage women, on lengthy waiting lists for psychology services, who had taken their own lives. Photograph: Eric Luke

Review figures raise concern about long waiting lists for mental health services

Unexplained bruising and bedsores were found on residents at the facility. Library photograph: Thinkstock

Hiqa finds unexplained bruising and inadequate medical care at St Peter’s, Co Westmeath

Tusla said all children with the greatest need were effectively identified by the service but  accepted there were areas which required improvement. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Children safer once they have social worker but process in Cork takes too long, report finds

 Solicitor Brian O’Donnell has resumed his challenge to a High Court order requiring his family to vacate their Killiney mansion, Gorse Hill. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Solicitor appealing High Court ruling requiring his family to vacate Killiney mansion

 Government sources argue there is no single reason for the increase in road deaths  again last year. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Investigation shows highest rate of penalty points for traffic offences in Co Clare

A Garda issues a speeding ticket  near Ashbourne, Co Meath. Photograph: Frank Miller

Commuter belt counties more likely to have higher rates of penalty points

Lobby groups such as the AA argue a shortage of Garda checkpoints has had an impact on driver behaviour. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Analysis: why are drivers more likely to die in counties with fewer penalty points?

Extended family: grandparents now do more childcare than creches

Amid high childcare costs, 60 per cent of Ireland’s parents mind their children at home

Bridget McMahon with her grandchildren Lara Rose (6) and Aoife May (4) , at Lucan Co. Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Even though it can be non-stop keeping them occupied, Bridget says she and her husband are well able for it

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