Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton:  has pledged to establish an independent commission on low pay  to advise the Government on minimum wage levels  if elected Labour leader. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Campaign groups say cost of housing, transport and other essentials means many on low wages are struggling

Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan said the events of last October have had a serious impact on the two Roma children involved and their families. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Ombudsman finds ethnic profiling played key role in removal of child

Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald and Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan  at the Department of Justice, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Authorities have work to do in rebuilding trust with vulnerable communities

Parents Loreda and Iancu with their two children Regina and Iancu junior (2), who was taken into care last October.

Ombudsman finds physical traits were not a basis to believe children were abducted

National theatre struggling with falling audiences and funding

Under the travel scheme, pass-holders can travel free on State-funded transport such as Irish Rail and Bus Éireann, as well as services offered by up to 90 private operators across the State

Operators say €77m programme, which benefits 780,000, is not covering their costs

Up until late last year, residential centres for more than 9,000 adults and children with disabilities had not been subject to independent inspections or care regulations. Photograph: Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Hiqa report is among first into care standards for minors with disabilities

Psychiatry artefacts at Grangegorman Community Museum: while the closure of outdated asylums   is to be welcomed, we need to be able to look after patients released to the community. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Society will pay heavy price if we don’t invest in community-based mental health services

Mental Health Commission  chief executive Patricia Gilheaney and chairman  John Saunders at the publication of the commission’s 2013 Annual Report. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

State watchdog warns staff shortages mean progress in some areas has ground to a halt

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