One of the main reasons so few of 2,096 homes offered by banks for social housing have become homes to those on housing waiting lists is the length of time the process takes

Bank also has 1,200 properties surrendered by mortgage holders under incentive scheme

A copy of the Amnesty International Report 2017/18. Photograph: Reuters

Human rights group says ‘hate-filled rhetoric’ having ‘terrifying consequences’ globally

Pharmacy regulator says women must be warned of risks of taking valproate

Photograph: Getty

‘Vulture funds are looking for short-term returns, not long term investment’, says homeless charity

Actor and film-maker John Connors: “A BBC presenter should be trying to bring people together, trying to mediate.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Actor says he was ‘disgusted’ by presenter Stephen Nolan’s ‘mockery’ of Irish language

Earlier this month two new members of the Caranua board resigned citing its “mistreatment” of survivors. Thomas Cronin and Dr Mary Lodato were appointed to the board by Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Collins

Two members of Caranua board resign alleging ‘mistreatment’ of survivors

Following the resignation of two of its board members, a spokeswoman for Caranua said appointments to its board were a matter  for the Minister for Education.

Agency providing services to survivors of religious institutional abuse should be closed

Ireland scores well compared to the European Union 15 countries on education, though the number of young people not in employment, education or training “is a cause for concern” at about 15%. File photograph: Getty Images

Analysis acknowledges bullish growth but stinging criticism across key indicators

Vanessa Barrett (L) with her sons MJ and Patrick, and her sister-in-law Samantha Barrett with her daughters Kaitlyn, Makenzie, Sinita and Noriah. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Galway families living on waste ground without electricity, running water or toilets

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: A spokeswoman said the Minister had committed to meet the Time4Us board and local TDs to “re-examine the situation in Galway”.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Future of Time4Us, which provides play and cooking facilities, in doubt due to regulatory requirements

Some of the attendees at the LoveBoth Project’s ‘Lives Saved’ event at Eyre Square in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

LoveBoth’s Katie Ascough makes the claim as the group begins anti-abortion roadshow

 The Christian Brothers propose to sell 7.5 acres of fields, used by Clonkeen College in Deansgrange for sports, for a reported €18 million. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Row between Christian Brothers and south Dublin school referred to Attorney General

Charlemont Street Regeneration Project: 79 social housing units were constructed. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Reclassifying voluntary housing associations as statutory bodies to hit State balance sheet

Part of the demonstration for the unrestricted right to work for asylum seekers outside the Dáil .Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Protest outside Dáil calls for unrestricted right to work for asylum seekers

More than 2,000 repossessed homes have been offered by banks to the Housing Agency for social housing under a new scheme. File photograph: iStock

Banks had offered 2,000 such properties to the Housing Agency under a new scheme

Waiting for Revenue recognition: Seamus White and John O’Sullivan’s tax certificates still record them as civil partners. Photograph: Alan Betson

Three years after Irish recognised same-sex marriage, tax agency’s computers do not

A Google Maps image showing Ryders Row, off Parnell St on the northside of Dublin city, where the man’s body was found.

Body of a man in his 50s found in a sleeping bag off Parnell Street on Friday morning

Housing Agency chairman Conor Skehan after his appearance before the Oireachtas housing committee on Wednesday. Photograph: Alan Betson

TDs tell agency chairman claims ‘objectionable’ and ‘exceptionally offensive’

Parents, staff  and student representatives of Clonkeen College, Deansgrange, held a press conference on Wednesday to protest plans by the school patron to sell off  playing fields for development. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Clonkeen College staff and students accuse trust of ‘failing to meet its duty’ in playing fields dispute

Landlord Paul Howard. Tenants say he and others broke down their front door at 10am on Sunday and put them out dressed in nightclothes and without shoes. Photograph: Padraig O’Reilly

Landlord is also accused of breaking a court injunction during Mountjoy Square incident

The ESRI has found that one-third of lone-parent families and one-quarter of families headed by a person with a disability were ‘persistently deprived’ during the years 2004 to 2015. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

ESRI says Irish rates of deprivation are 10% higher than in comparable countries

Finian McGrath first promised the convention would be ratified ‘within six months’, in May 2016, but has faced legal advice and obstacles.  Photograph: Dave Meehan

UN Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities to be ratified by early 2019

The project publishes regular reports from the courts making orders under the Child Care Act. Photograph: iStock

Child Care Law Report Project highlights difficulties in dealing with alleged sex abuse

Paul Howard:   he and his partner Una McClean own at least five properties in Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1. Photograph:  Padraig O’Reilly

Paul Howard ordered to pay former tenants for withholding deposits and ending tenancies

Photograph: iStock

Successful outcome for teen with ‘psychosis’, and no aftercare plan for 18-year-old girl

A teenage boy who is ‘too dangerous’ for care in Ireland remains without a secure placement, according to a report published on Monday. File photograph: Getty Images/Vetta

The teenager is one of 16 cases in latest work from the Child Care Law Reporting Project

Clonkeen College in Deansgrange, south Dublin:  The Edmund Rice Schools Trust, which manages 100 Christian Brothers schools across the State,  has moved to dissolve the board of management, but need the approval of Minister for Education Richard Bruton

Board of Clonkeen College facing dissolution in dispute over €18m sale of playing fields

The door to an apartment on Dublin’s Mountjoy Square, which was allegedly damaged after landlord Paul Howard allegedly smashed his way in on Sunday morning. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Tenants allege they were assaulted as a group of men removed them from an apartment

Amy Butler with her son Alex in the bathroom which is showing dampness. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mother-of-three living in damp house with son who has severe respiratory problems

 Betty Purcell: was not reappointed to IHREC and has complained  to the Public Appointments Service (PAS) about the interview process. Photograph: David Sleator

Former RTÉ producer says she has been ‘pushed out’ of equality commission

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said  it was  necessary to “work with the CSO to agree a definition of ‘vacant dwelling’.”  Photograph: Getty Images

Local authorities found average actual vacancy rate about 3% of that indicated by CSO

Irish Centre for Social Gerontology  at NUI Galway findings suggest raising the State pension age is beneficial for the healthy with rewarding jobs, but “punitive” for those in ill-health or in physically demanding jobs.

NUIG team find people want choice about working beyond State retirement age of 66

Down Syndrome Ireland called for  an end to “exploiting children and adults with Down syndrome to promote campaign views”.

‘People with Down syndrome listen to the news and read media articles, including social media content’

Government policy appeared to be to bring in “solutions” that were “the most profitable” for the private sector, including “highly profitable” student accommodation and “shared living” developments, said Lorcan Sirr, a  DIT lecturer in housing policy. File photograph: Getty Images

Policy appears to be ‘solutions’ that are most profitable for private sector, conference told

The decrease in family homelessness last month was ‘seasonal’ and will likely be reversed next month, homelessness charities have warned. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Simon Communities says figures fell as people stayed with family over Christmas

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/

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

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