About 300 older people protested outside Leinster House on Thursday over the effects of changes to how pension contributions were calculated in 2012. Photograph: Michelle Devane/PA Wire.

Changes in 2012 ‘discriminating against’ 40,000 who took time out of workforce

 Emily Logan said the poverty experienced by more than half the 5,000 Roma living in the State was ‘relentless’.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Emily Logan says half the 5,000 Roma living in the State ‘struggle to survive day to day’

  Rado Rostas and his niece Liza at home in north inner city Dublin, where eight people share two beds and the heating does not work: “Roma In Ireland: A National Needs Assessment” examines the Roma experience in Ireland. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Some Roma children kept out of school over ‘constant fear’ they will be taken into care

Joan McLoughlin from Naas, Co Kildare, worked in the then Department of Local Government (now Housing) from 1964 until 1972. She left due to the marriage bar and is “fuming” over her pension entitlement. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘It is totally wrong and unfair. I raised three kids, did a good job and this is the thanks I get’

Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon: Foster mother brought initial complaint to him after she had fought in vain to advocate for the services that Molly needed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Report finds actions of HSE and Tusla had ‘negative effect’ on teenager with Down syndrome

According to the investigation report, both Tusla and the HSE accept the recommendations and will engage with their respective Government departments. Photograph: Alan Betson

Cases of 500 children with disabilities in care being reviewed by Ombudsman

Tomas Synacek and Lucie Venglovska at their accomodation on South Circular Road, Dublin. “Apollo House was a new start for us,” says  Tomas. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Czech couple now have hope for the future and jobs including a space-technology internship

Residents of Georgian Court direct provision centre protest over the accommodation’s planned closure, outside the Department of Justice

Other centres for asylum seekers in the capital are nearly or totally full

Families and children from Dolphin House protest at the loss of a site  off the South Circular Road.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

‘Builders are coming in over the bit of green we have left. It’s not safe to let the children out’

Since 1978, more than 6 million babies have been born through IVF across the world and over 2 per cent of European births are now through IVF. Photograph: iStock

Expert predicts number of women freezing their eggs to have babies later in life will rise

Charities regulator John Farrell. He says “charity” has become important much-needed work done by ordinary people.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Farrelly says much of narrative about charities is ‘unfair’, and they operate ‘in the gaps’

Alvin Silangan, who lost most of a finger and broke another while working on a trawler on December 15th. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Health and Safety Authority is examining trawler incident that left man with severed finger

Some of those who attended the Capuchin Day Centre on Friday morning leaving with a food hamper.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw.

Capuchin day centre sees double number of children presenting for food

Rather than provide 51 apartments for about €800,000 each in Ballsbridge, Chartered Land bought a block of 53 apartments at Shelbourne Plaza in Ringsend, and sold them on to the council for €24.5m. Photograph: Getty Images

Chartered Land bought Ringsend apartments to avoid social housing at exclusive site

Court records show Paul Howard and Una McClean have initiated a number of High Court proceedings in recent years as lay litigants, including a case against Ulster Bank and a case against two solicitors

Tenants alleged landlords sought rent increase of over twice the permissible 4%

Verena Lauer, one of three tenants who lodged disputes at the RTB challenging a rent increase for the apartment they shared in Mountjoy Square, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Landlord alleged to have changed locks and cut off electricity to apartment

Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar told the Dáil on November 29th that 200 additional beds would be in place by December 18th. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

However, Dublin figures indicate the 200 beds will be surpassed by Christmas

 Dolores O Brien and her five children have moved into their new home  in the Chanel Manor development in Coolock, Dublin. Photograph: Maxwell Photography

Eoghan Murphy opens 16 homes in separate development by Respond! in Coolock

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar  and Yoey McCarthy, service manager Dublin Simon Community, at  the new homeless facility at Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin.   Photograph: Tom Honan

Eoghan Murphy visits Fitzwilliam Street shelter which faced years of opposition

Further conditions of the settlement were that the staff involved attend a course of equality training and that the four men not speak publicly about the case.   Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Comments follow settlement in case of four Travellers refused service in Maynooth bar

Children at the Christmas event in Darndale Community Centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘When they’re with other homeless kids they can feel normal,’ says Darndale mother

Minister for health Simon Harris and Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health Jim Daly at the launch of the National Youth Mental Health Task Force Report. Photograph: Maxwell photography

Suicide reduction strategy already being rolled out county-by-county, says Jim Daly

Children with their artwork at  “My Christmas World”, a Focus Ireland workshop with children from Bram Stoker Homeless Hub in Clontarf. Photograph: Tom Honan

At a family hub in Dublin, children talk about ‘squashy’ conditions and their Christmas plans

 Gardaí continue their investigations at the scene of a  shooting in Parlickstown Gardens, Co Dublin. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Dublin shooting described as ‘the lowest of the low’

Richie McCarthy, Siptu shop steward, said about 50  drivers have voiced “serious concerns” about their confidence to operate the new lines. Photograph:  Eric Luke

Cross City lines are far more complex, with more hazards and busy junctions

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: “time for the State to get out of the business of controlling reproduction”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister’s vexed remarks come as committee reviewing amendment set to make proposals

Fagin’s law: adults in the Australian state of Victoria face up to 10 years in prison for luring children into burglary and other criminal activity. Photograph: E+/Getty

Government’s special rapporteur recommends higher age of criminal responsibility

Focus Ireland says it prevented 240 families from becoming homeless in the first 10 months of 2017. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Housing charity report looks at best ways to prevent families from losing homes

People  rally against female genital mutilation at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany last month. Photograph: EPA

Conference on tackling violence against women held in Dublin

Council and Alone pledges to tackle cold and damp in Jamestown Court amount to nothing

Members of the High Hope’s Choir gathered in Windmill Lane studio. Pictured are members of the choir including Shay Healy, Don Baker and Glenn Baker. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Christy Dignam and Shay Healy among those contributing to Christmas fundraiser

In a letter published in Monday’s Irish Times, the 16 signatories from both sides of the Border, say with Brexit negotiations at “a critical moment... fundamental questions about human rights and equality are at stake”. Photograph: AFP/ Paul Faith/Getty Images

Activists and experts urge parties involved in negotiations to maintain 'core principles of rights and equality' set out in the Be(...)

The Solidarity strategy would entail councils developing their own 100% public, mixed-tenure housing on their own land. Photograph: Getty Images

Housing crisis: Mortgage repayments to the council would be between €478 and €797

Minister of State for the National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne has appointed a working group to look at “alternative approaches to the possession of drugs for personal use”. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

HSE will recommend location for supervised injection centre in Dublin in ‘mid-December’

Norah Gibbons, chairwoman of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency: it could be hugely beneficial for children to meet their birth parents and “get an explanation” as to why they were in care. Photograph: Alan Betson

Conference told it is time to look at supports as well as ‘clean break’ adoptions

Hiqa will make a further unannounced inspection at Áras Attracta before deciding whether to close

Hiqa has given home for adults with intellectual disability final warning before closure

A homeless person taking shelter at the Four Courts in Dublin on Wednesday. A Lithuanian national in his 30s died at the Four Courts on Monday night. Photograph: Collins

Irish man in his late 50s one of two rough-sleepers in Dublin who died this week

Midlands Simon, which runs a six-bed homeless  shelter in Athlone (pictured), has already cut staffing and says it will likely have to close the facility unless it gets a “reasonable increase in funding”, according to its chief executive, Tony Riordain. File photograph: Google Street View

Homelessness among single adults up 44% in Midlands in the year since October 2016

A Garda spokeswoman said Dublin Fire Brigade and gardaí from Donnybrook were called to the scene on Tuesday.

Man in his 50s had been known to outreach workers for a number of years

In Dublin city, where there are 120.6 hectares of local authority-owned land, some 12,017 homes could be built, according to housing policy analyst Mel Reynolds. Photograph: Getty Images

Data show authorities own enough land to triple Government’s Rebuilding Ireland targets

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, in whose area 10 members of one Traveller family died in a fire on an unauthorised site in October 2015, had the largest draw-down, spending €1.95 million on Traveller accommodation since January 2016 – just over the €1.92 it was allocated. It was the only local authority to overspend on Traveller accommodation. Photograph: Getty Images

Some counties have drawn down no funds for Traveller accommodation over past two years

A rough sleeper outside the GPO in   Dublin City Centre. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Two thirds of those found sleeping rough were in Dublin city centre

President Michael D Higgins delivers the keynote address at the Social Justice Ireland Policy Conference in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Michael D Higgins calls for establishment of an ‘enterprise agency’ for housing

Protesters outside the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin during a demonstration calling for the end to the direct provision system. Photograph: Tom Honan.

Hundreds join demonstration against system of accommodating asylum seekers

One parent said: “Being homeless was so overwhelming. I never felt safe. I never slept a full night. I never felt the kids were safe. I was a nervous wreck at the end of it all.”  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Focus Ireland report interviewed 25 families who had exited homelessness

Homelessness was “a time of considerable stress, intensive at first then of less intensity but prolonged and just as potentially scarring”.

Majority of families interviewed ‘deeply negatively affected by becoming homeless’

Margaret and Mary McInerney with, from left, Maikaila (3), Gary (10 months), and Ellie May (4) at their caravans  at Ballygriffin, Aglish, Co. Kilkenny. Photograph:  Dylan Vaughan.

‘The children had to dress themselves under the covers’

“The private sector is only building for the top 20 per cent of the market.” Photograph: iStock

Less than 1% of needed social housing has been built since start of 2016, says analyst

Homeless people are “quite happy to continue with the chaotic lifestyle they have”, Dublin Region Homeless Executive director Eileen Gleeson said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Long-term homelessness results from years of ‘bad behaviour’, says senior official

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: Master of the High Court Edmund Honohan asked two lay litigants to return to his court next month to tell him the Taoiseach’s response. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Edmund Honohan adjourns two cases and instructs lay litigants to contact Taoiseach about applying for mortgage-to-rent scheme

 Family hub: Christina Foster, with her daughters (from left) Ellie (10), Lucy (5) and Kayleigh (8). Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Christina Foster and her three daughters became homeless when the apartment they were renting was repossessed – now they’re in tem(...)

The Mansion House B electorial division is the most affluent in Co Dublin. Photograph: The Irish Times

The two extremes in electoral divisions have been set out on a county-by-county basis

Affluence disparities in Ireland  are most stark in large urban areas, with the greatest gap in Dublin. While Dublin 2, described as “very affluent” scores 22.5, Darndale on the northside of the capital is “very disadvantaged” and scores -21.5, a gap of 44 points on the scale. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Index published by Pobal identifies most affluent and deprived locations across the State

 Emma Tormey and Stephen Brazil from Darndale: “This place is a kip – there’s robbed cars and rubbish everywhere.” Photograph: Alan Betson

The most disadvantaged area in Dublin is just a 20-minute drive from affluent D4

The Dublin 2 district Mansion House B, which encompasses Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square is described as “very affluent”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

St Mary’s Park in Limerick city is most disadvantaged area, Pobal study indicates

Families  have condemned the judge’s report as ‘rude and aggressive’ and ‘a shambles’. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Retired judge Pat McCartan found no new inquiry into tragedy warranted

Fr Peter McVerry:  2016 had been “the most difficult and challenging year” in the 33-year history of the organisation. “Thousands of homeless children has become the norm.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Lack of investment in housing ‘very frustrating’, says homeless charity’s annual report

Urgent appeal: Sr Stan with Sean Wade, Sarah Moran and their children, Zoe, Summer and Sean, who were homeless for more than two years when they lost their home in the private rented market.

‘It breaks my heart to know some children have been born into homelessness’

ESRI analyst Prof Richard Layte said: ‘We’re still not seeing investment in community services and the early environment.’ File photograph: Frank Miller

Politicians ‘queasy’ about addressing problem as it requires subsidising low-income families

  Ella  McPhillips (10 months) with Ministers  Michael Ring and   Paschal Donohoe at the launch of the €5 million Rapid fund in Dublin.  Photograph: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

New €5 million fund to tackle disadvantage in urban areas and provincial towns

An image from the ‘RTÉ Investigates’ programme, broadcast on Thursday, showing slum-like conditions in rental properties across the State.

Landlords who rent out slum-like houses and flats described as ‘sharks and vultures’

Fianna Fáil’s Anne Rabbitte has moved a Bill to provide for 26 weeks’ paid maternity leave for councillors. Photograph: Katie Collins/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil TD says the move is necessary to attract more women into local politics

Independent councillor for Rathgar-Rathmines Ruairí McGinley said the rent increase was a “good idea”. Photograph: iStockPhoto

Criticism that move to recoup management fee costs would ‘create a two-tier rent system’

Executive director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O’Gorman. Photograph: Alan Betson

Red C Poll finds 85% of people support abortion choice if pregnancy is result of rape

 The Peter McVerry Trust said   2017 had been ‘by far the worst year of the crisis’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times   The Peter McVerry Trust said   2017 had been ‘by far the worst year of the crisis’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Campaigners say ‘zero’ progress has been made in stemming the flow of people and families becoming homeless this year

Kayley Joyce: ‘The one thing I didn’t want for my kids was to be homeless.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Kayley Joyce has been ‘in an out of homelessness’ all of her life

Pat Bergin, director,  Oberstown Children Detention Campus. Photograph: Eric Luke

Report notes majority of children experienced adversity and trauma prior to detention

Tom Humphries: the former Irish Times journalist pleaded guilty to two counts of defilement of a child and four counts of inviting a child to participate in a sexually explicit, obscene or indecent act.  Photograph: Courtpix

Judge showed ‘inappropriate empathy’ with former sports journalist

Tom Humphries: “The ‘higher’ the position the greater the breach of trust. Sentencing should reflect that,” said Mary Flaherty of Children at Risk in Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Campaigners say 2½-year jail term too lenient for high-profile journalist

Thousands gathered in Dublin in 2012 following the death of Savita Halappanavar to demand legislation on abortion. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Oireachtas committee vote on Eighth Amendment a significant setback

The ECSR committee said it had seen evidence of ‘sewage invasions, contaminated water, dampness, persistent mould’ in the dwellings

Report prepared after collective complaint finds violation of European Social Charter

 Fintan Goss, who died during Storm Opelia on Monday.

Family and acquaintances gather in Co Louth to say goodbye to Fintan Goss

Traveller activist Thomas McCann:  “Unless we address the wider societal and institutional issues, it is going to get worse for Travellers.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Conference to discuss issues of social exclusion, discrimination and unemployment

Senator Rónán Mullen: ‘If there was abortion on demand she wouldn’t have been in the hospital because she wouldn’t have been pregnant.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘If there was abortion on demand... she wouldn’t have been pregnant,’ said Senator

The survey was conducted on behalf of five trade unions – Unite, Mandate and the Communications Workers Union in the Republic, and Unison and the GMB (General, Municipal Boilermakers) in the North. Photograph: Getty Images

80% of respondents say women’s health should be priority in reform of abortion law

Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, president-elect of the International Federation of Obstetrics & Gynaecology & author of the report on the death of Savita Hallappanavar. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Professor who chaired HSE inquiry tells Oireachtas committee about legal concerns

Anthony Treacy  faces eviction from his private rented home in  Clongriffin, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Anthony Treacy (77) is among a growing number of older people caught in a housing limbo

Anne Foley: “If you have money you can buy a psychiatrist or a psychologist, or you can buy services for your child if they need them.” Photograph: Patrick Browne

Funding falls far short of international norms, says College of Psychiatrists

The 2016 census found the majority (80.2 per cent) of the 10,653 Travellers in the labour force are unemployed. Stock image: The Irish Times

Last year’s survey finds 60% of community under 25, while 80% are unemployed

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has said some 5,900 new “units” of social housing would be provided next year by local authorities and approved housing bodies, either through building or acquisition. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Murphy says 5,900 units would be provided next year, but last year Coveney indicated 5,869

Fr Seán Healy, Michelle Murphy and Eamon Murphy of  Social Justice Ireland during the publication of the think-tank’s Budget 2018 analysis on Wednesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Government’s choices ‘disturbing’ given scale of crises in healthcare and housing

Providing the poorest children in the State with an additional €3 a week would have cost about €62.4 million. This Fine Gael Government made a choice about how much the poorest children would get.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Government says it didn’t have more to give in Budget 2018, but it had €400m for tax cuts

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone: Challenge. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Zappone says coping with mandatory reporting will be a challenge, but the time is right

Jobseekers under 26, who are on reduced rates, will receive the €5 increase. Stock photograph: Frank Miller

Elderly to see slight improvements in their situation, beyond the pension increase

Entitlement to the free pre-school programme is to be expanded from September 2018 to two free years for children aged at least two years and eight months. File photograph: Getty Images

Zappone details ‘unprecedented €1.38bn’ spend allocated for Department of Children

Seán Phillips and his wife, Norma: “We told these men that this guy was threatening to kill our family, our kids,” Mr Phillips says. “We definitely think the Garda saw Crevan as ‘don’t touch’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Siobhán Phillips was seriously injured when Adrian Crevan Mackin shot dead Tony Golden

Brendan Maginnis (13) has severe cerebral palsy, uncontrolled epilepsy and scoliosis: the Irish Disability Federation has said there is a “dire lack of appropriate housing” for people with disabilities. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Family cannot find better accommodation where housing assistance payment accepted

Centre attendants at Brookfield Youth and Community Centre, Tallaght, Christy Donovan, Kieran Walsh, Gemma O’Reilly and Nicola Nagle, who have been sleeping at the centre since its sudden closure. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Five workers, given an hour’s notice of redundancy, fight to save jobs and centre

Maria Joyce - National Travellers Women’s Forum; Damien Peelo, Joint Co-Ordinator Travellers Survey; Kathleen Sherlock- Co-Ordinator of the National Travellers Forum Minceirs Whiden; Jacinta Brack - Irish Traveller Movement; Martin Collins- Pavee Point; Nancy Power- National Traveller MABS; and Jules McDonagh, Exchange House Ireland National Travellers Service at the launch of the National Traveller Survey 2017. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Survey finds acceptance of Travellers among Irish public lower than for any group

Marion Herbert, Stephanie Laffan, Lorraine Kane and Lisa Murphy-Maher. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘We have to listen over and over to how Joan Burton is a victim. We’re victims’

The total homeless population in August this year was 8,270, compared with 8,160 in July and 6,611 in August last year. Photograph: Getty Images

Decrease in child homelessness in Dublin, but increases across the rest of the State

Bríd Smith TD takes a picture of the members of the Oireachtas employees for choice gathered outside the Department of the Taoiseach. Photograph: Alan Betson

Hotels withdrawing permission for pro- and anti- meetings over ‘intimidation’

Dr Mary Murphy: “Public housing policy had shifted from the provision of housing to the provision of housing benefits . .  which represented the transfer of public money to private interests.”  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Dr Mary Murphy says State has abdicated responsibility for provision of social housing

Niamh Uí Bhriain,  spokeswoman for the Life Institute

Group calls for full Garda investigation into alleged threats by pro-choice activists

The St Margarets Traveller Housing scheme in Ballymun. File photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

One-year course teaches conflict resolution to Travellers

The annual report from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, shows there was a 9% increase in child protection referrals last year to 47,399.

Fewer than half ‘early years’ services inspected last year as 9% more cases reported

Christopher Comerford, who spent many years homeless, pictured in his apartment in  Dublin city centre.  Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

In care or homeless since 11, Christopher Comerford (34) finally has a home

Family hubs are being rolled out as an alternative to commercial hotels and B&Bs for homeless families. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Call for the use of short-term hubs to be discontinued at Committee on Housing

 At the launch of the national awards for charities were  (centre)   Deirdre Garvey of the Wheel, and (from left)  Maureen Murphy (Irish Catholic Girl Guides), Damian Leneghan (SeniorsLine), Judith Gilsenan (Debra Ireland), Diane Colgan (Enclude), Olivia Lally (Sightsavers), Josephine Glennon (Citizens Information Board), Nicola Toughey (Irish Catholic Girl Guides), Daniel Curran (Irish Red Cross)  

Several representatives attend launch of awards competition for charities

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett outside the units in St Laurence’s Park, Stillorgan:   council has been “sitting their hands while these homes lie empty while we are in the teeth of an unprecedented housing crisis”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Public representatives condemn non-use of homes as ‘outrageous and scandalous’

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