Older people are not responsible for the dogs’ dinners that are Ireland’s emergency departments. Successive governments and health managers are to blame. Photograph: Thinkstock

The new report from the Emergency Department Task Force can be summed up in two words: blatant ageism. It seems that older people are to blame for all(...)

Men who are violent towards women are ordinary people – husbands, grandfathers, fathers, sons, nephews, uncles, brothers, – who think they have a right to control women. Photograph: Thinkstock

Launching a new report on domestic violence, Sharon O’Halloran, the chief executive officer of SafeIreland, said “the legal system at every level is f(...)

Adults and children need to be able to say ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘I will think about it’, in the context of everyday respectful relationships. Photograph: Thinkstock

I usually agree wholeheartedly with the views of Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI), so I am baffled by its recent demand for consent education to pre(...)

Hospitals need to stop counting patients, beds and discharges, and start measuring outcomes and value for money. Photograph: iStockphoto

Acute hospitals are bursting at the seams. No one, including all previous ministers for health, has been able to eliminate the long queues for treatme(...)

Irish culture has not caused binge drinking any more than our eating culture has increased levels of obesity. The food and beverage industry is to blame. Photograph: Thinkstock

The 2014 Euro Health Consumer Index shows that Ireland is in 35th place out of 36 countries for binge drinking. Bosnia-Herzegovina is in first plac(...)

In practice, women in Ireland have little choice about how, when and where to give birth. Photograph: Thinkstock

Ireland’s maternity services are unfit for purpose. The maternity unit in Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, Co Galway is the latest to come under s(...)

The Primary School Curriculum Physical Education states that the ‘class teacher is the most appropriate teacher to teach the physical education programme’, not external PE instructors. Photograph: Thinkstock

One of the consequences of education cutbacks is that effective health promotion interventions are less likely to happen in schools. Prescribed curric(...)

Ireland’s children are not doing so well, if the recent plethora of reports is to be believed. Far from being the best little country to raise a famil(...)

Operation Transformation: television and radio shows focused on individual lifestyles will not fix the obesity problem and may even make things worse. Photograph: RTÉ

It’s January and Operation Transformation is back on RTÉ television and radio. Kathryn Thomas and the team of experts get to dress in chic outfits (...)

More money never makes up for the loneliness and homesickness that can be felt by emigrants. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The goodbyes are over. Emigrants came home for the holidays and went back to wherever in the world they now live and work. RTÉ did the usual airpor(...)