Learners say unequal access to public transport, on-site facilities, and inclusivity and mental health supports are causing regional disparities in their experiences.
By Dr Olive McCarthy and Allen Meagher (pictured below)
Women’s Aid has today welcomed the conviction of Josef Puska for the murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, on January 12, last year.
It said the “deep social resonance” of Ashling’s murder should spur us on “in all aspects of Irish society, to do the work required to achieve equality and safety for all, to make Ireland a country that truly has zero tolerance for domestic, sexual and gender-based violence – now and for our future generations.”
David Doran worked until recently as an employment specialist with County Kildare Leader Partnership. He provided a new kind of support service for people living with mental illness who wish to gain employment.
A total of €3.5 million in government funding has been granted to help maintain the existing level of drugs and inclusion health services provided by community and voluntary organisations.
“We’re building very good practices”, says Cavan Cultural Champion. The project has already spread from Monaghan to Cavan. It is backed by two local
development companies and Tusla.
A new bursary fund of €200,000 was launched today to support community workers seeking to pursue endorsed postgraduate community work qualifications.
“I was abused verbally and physically by my landlord in Galway. He threatened to cut my head off and send me ‘on a slow boat back to the Congo’,” said Wally Nkikita from The Galway African Diaspora, urging others to tell their stories of racism and discrimination.
“We are sleep-walking into the collapse of a huge and essential range of services if we don’t address the shortfalls in funding which thousands of not-for-profits are experiencing,” warns Senan Turnbull, who has a lifetime’s experience in the Community and Voluntary Sector.
– 150+ students -76 jam sessions -40 online jams -11 songs written -6 bands formed -3 exchange trips – Goals exceeded
3,200 emails sent to TDs and Senators as staff and clients of disability services are “gravely worried” about the crisis facing vital services
A new partnership launched today between remote working hubs and universities will allow students to live and study in their own communities.
The first ‘Learning in the Hubs’ initiative was announced at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) Athlone, and will see the university working with 11 Connected Hubs facilities in the Midlands.
This week is International Men’s Health Week, and the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI), in collaboration with nearly 100 partner organisations, has issued a challenge to men across the island of Ireland to become an ‘Action Man’ and to follow ten tips to improve their health and wellbeing.
A new report on school attendance among the Travelling community has revealed a slight increase in the number of pupils attending, and completing post-primary education.
Core social welfare rates must increase by €25 in Budget 2024, and the Government must commit to benchmarking social welfare rates to average weekly earnings if it is to have any impact on reducing poverty.
Society on the whole tends to view older people as non-sexual beings. Inaccurate as that may be, it is nothing new. However, it can have a particularly detrimental effect on the healthcare needs of those in the LGBT+ community.
Since 2018, a course for health and social care professionals has been helping to make healthcare settings more welcoming.
Fórsa trade union, which represents Community Employment (CE) workers across the country, have concluded a ballot on new pay proposals, and a new mechanism for pay negotiations for CE workers.
The proposals were issued by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) following discussions last month with the Department of Social Protection, which funds the schemes.
South Munster Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) has reported an increase in requests for assistance following the lifting of the eviction ban on March 31.
MABS, which provides free advice to anyone who wants help in managing their money and taking control of debt, has experienced a significant increase in referrals from over 65s in particular.
Readers wondering should they study for a masters in youth and community work at Maynooth University can hear what it’s like this coming Monday, April 24th, when current students take part in a questions and answers session.
Traveller men of various ages, employment statuses and circumstances spoke to researchers in Donegal about their experiences on accommodation, education, employment and sudden bereavement, and how these experiences affected their mental health.
“I can’t go to any bar. They hear my accent, look at my appearance and they think I’m violent, it’s that negative stereotype,” – Martin Mongan, Donegal Travellers Project
A major study of Travellers’ lives in Dublin published in mid-February pointed to racism and discrimination for directly leading to many Traveller suicides. Research among a smaller group, focused specifically on Traveller men’s mental health, came to the same conclusion. This study was launched in December in Donegal and it marked the first time that Travellers themselves conducted all the research.
Facilitated by David Friel, the first Traveller in the North West to be educated to Masters level, the research paints a picture of the daily lives of 12 Traveller men living in Donegal.
“For every member of staff freshly recruited, another experienced staff member is walking out the door. The situation is both unacceptable and unsustainable,” says Trade union Fórsa, complaining about unequal pay and conditions.
Last Thursday (Jan 26) the trade union moved towards “indefinite strike action” involving hundreds of its members working in community and voluntary sector health services across the country. It is not immediate, however, nor is every county certain to be impacted.
Managers in the community and voluntary sector are warning of a crisis in the recruitment and retention of staff, as salaries in the sector have stagnated due to lack of funding.
An overdue document was launched by Minister of State for Community Development, Joe O’Brien, with help from Ivan Cooper of The Wheel and Rachel Doyle of Community Work Ireland, on October 19.
It was overdue in so much as it could be helpful for a couple living together for years, even if they sometimes drive each other bananas, to see what they actually agree on.
The seven-page document outlines an agreed set of values and principles to be used by central and local government, as well as state bodies, for collaboration and partnership when working with groups in the community and voluntary sector.
The Department of Rural and Community Development issued a brief statement in response to a query from this publication on the issue of recruitment and retention in the community sector.
“Pay and conditions are so poor compared to Primary School Teachers or SNAs,” an early years childcare worker tell us. Katie Barr reports:
Hosting refugees from Ukraine is easier than you think, but it is more likely to be successful if you take advice first. And if you wish to be matched with a suitable person, it can happen quickly, as organisations such as Doras now provide a matching service.
The increase in domestic violence during lockdowns and the murder this year of a woman while out jogging, in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, led to a national enquiry about gaps in the level of support provided to women at risk of violence.
Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service was set up in the aftermath of a previous deadly incident in 1997 and it does remarkable and mostly unseen work supporting female and male victims.
Here, Ray Lucey speaks to manager Anne Clarke.
Recently, West Cork Women Against Violence (WCWAV) published the 80th edition of their ‘West Cork Whisper’ newsletter.
It is immensely practical, thoughtful and clearly laid out and the publication is useful to any and all working / volunteering in the domestic violence sector – no matter where in Ireland you are.
This is not only because the ‘West Cork Whisper’ is the only one of its kind published in the country, but because of the quality of the content.
‘Changing Ireland’ has followed a Kildare family over the weeks and now months as they have taken in refugees. A few others in the area have done likewise, but Matt – a dairy farmer in his early 50s – was the first to move and the first to take in refugees in his locality. He acknowledges other hosts might need cash, but said: “It would change it. That’s not why we are doing this.”
No better person than a volunteer who benefitted from a project to explain its importance. Lee MacMalighe put it plainly: “Save Our Sons and Daughters is a suicide-prevention service. But it goes much deeper than that. If you’re struggling in any way or form, they’ll...
Christina McDonald sells preloved fashion items for women. She is based in Co. Cavan and has an outlet on ‘Depop’. Here, she tells how doing a course at Technological University Dublin put her on the road to self-employment.
Since last September, people with a disability who wish to start their own business have an opportunity to do so through the Self-Employment for People with Disabilities module within the Continuing Professional Development programme at Technological University Dublin.
In responding to mental health needs, Lisheen House in Skibbereen in West Cork is a great example of what communities can achieve by themselves. However, the gaps are glaring in the country’s mental health services. As co-founder Mick Kearns tells Hannah Ní Shúilleabháin, independent community-based, volunteer-managed services cannot fill all the gaps. Rather than wait however, Lisheen House is expanding its service to two more towns.
Around 85% of Traveller families in Ireland’s southwest come under the EU’s definition of homeless. These stark statistics were discussed at a recent event on equality and discrimination organised by Sligo Traveller Support Group.
Students from Windtown, Navan, Co, Meath, who previously struggled to reach school on a daily basis in all weathers, met last Monday with community minister Joe O’Brien and officials to highlight the value of their unique urban schoolbus and to call for ongoing support.
Five of the six pupils who met the minister are now doing their Leaving Cert and all were described as “very motivated” with solid career aspirations and plans for the future.
Pavee Point has with sadness and in sympathy for her family and friends announced the passing away of Ronnie Fay, co-director of the organisation. The late Ms. Fay was also the chairperson of Community Work Ireland. Many have paid tribute this morning to her work.
Cape Clear Island is ready to host refugees this year. The Gaeltacht community on the southernmost inhabited point of Ireland has raised funds and established language connections in anticipation of welcoming a Syrian refugee family in the near future.
John Wyse (11) and his favourite horse Monty feature on the front cover of our latest edition. John was interviewed by Karen Keehan, a youth worker with Moyross Youth Academy.
In November, Holly Cairns, South West Cork Social Democrats TD, tabled a motion in the Dáil calling for maternity leave for councillors, as well as paternity and adoption leave.
During a recent visit to Co. Tipperary, we raised the issue with Cllr Mary Hanna Hourigan (Fine Gael) and Councillor Máirín McGrath (Ind).
Karen Meenan says we all need to focus more on brain health. She has interviewed over 100 guests on this and related subjects as an amateur radio host with Near FM.
– RecruitRefugees challenges stereotypes and supports refugees to get work.
The prohibition on obtaining a driving licence increases the level of stereotyping and stigmatisation.
Living here has been challenging, having to share a room in the centre where he lives and trying to do his job for Dropbox via mobile phone when the WIFI signal drops.
Life in Ireland is “really good. It is the ideal peaceful place after what I have seen and what I have covered.”
I hesitated to ask Mary Moynihan if she felt she was a Covid survivor. She had no doubt about it. 30 years after founding Smashing Times, and a year after getting long Covid, Mary talks to ‘Changing Ireland’ about radical and personal empowerment. Our Autumn cover story – a long read:
Festival aims to highlight the work of human rights defenders and the role of the arts in promoting human rights
New national family justice strategy to look at reform of family justice systems
The family court system needs urgent reform, says Mary Louise Lynch who founded a group for survivors of domestic violence, Survivors Informing Services and Institutions (SISI).
Until recently, Moyross Youth Academy (MYA) was one of Limerick’s under-the-radar success stories.
Writer and disability rights activist Sarah Fitzgerald writes about the impacts and inadequacies of disability services – and what needs to change.
Minister Rabbitte agrees: €3m to go on independent living solutions
Warning of a looming “winter of discontent” in the Community Sector, SIPTU has highlighted the plight of the community-based childcare services.
•Jobs Club / LES protests in Dublin
To foster, you don’t need to be living a perfect life. You don’t need to be married, or have a partner, or own your own house, or be an Irish citizen.
Tusla, the child and family agency, is calling on families from new communities to strongly consider fostering.
Blessings has raised a child from nine months old to 19 years of age.
The pandemic has shown us more than ever the importance of self-care, writes Nicola Browne. She asks – why are social justice organisations so slow to practice what they preach when it comes to wellbeing?
Profiteering is coming at the expense of communities whose social fabric is being torn asunder. The inner-city has become a construction site, as one community activist sees it, with cranes surrounding us as we speak.
Aontas wants a national strategy to address the pandemic’s long-term impact on “marginalised learners and the community education and FET sector”. Pictured above: Niamh O’Reilly, Aontas CEO.
IDAHOBIT stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia and it takes place on May 17th, in the midst of LGBTI+ Awareness Week (May 16-22). Events are to take place around the country.
The Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) representing Ireland’s 49 Local Development Companies (LDCs) has called on Oireachtas members “to ensure that the future of community-based Local Employment Services are protected and developed”.
Despite the pandemic, every evening schoolkids from three schools in Co. Louth meet online to practice the violin. It’s not the easiest instrument to master, but these children are now musicians who can boast of having performed in front of thousands of people.
The violins they play were funded through LEADER. It is a sign of how varied the support to communities can be nowadays through this fund.
Speakers at a recent human rights event in Cork showed they are wiser now to the inequalities from our response to Covid-19 and we’re not all in this together, not when you look at the life-chances during this pandemic of migrants, care home residents, Travellers, and others. As one speaker put it, capitalism is dictating our morality. BETH ARDILL REPORTS:
A series of short films released in January capture the beautiful stillness of Inishbofin during the sun-soaked lockdown of 2020. Mercifully, despite reopening for tourism in July of last year, Inishbofin has recorded only two isolated cases of Covid-19 in the past 12 months and the island is currently Covid-free.
Mother and son, Eileen and Ray Lucey from Mucklagh, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, feature on the front cover of the latest edition of ‘Changing Ireland’, highlighting the role of carers and those receiving care across Ireland.
Women’s Aid released a report on young people’s experience of abuse in intimate relationships here in Ireland to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25th).
SUMMARY: A special report was published last month to mark the 25th year of the national Family Resource Centre Programme. The 60-page visionary document is called ‘Our Story’ and it looks back but also forward as Family Resource Centres celebrate their grassroots successes. In 2020, all 121 centres played an important role in helping communities respond to the pandemic.
EXCERPT: “The feedback we got back from the public was great because we had to change a lot of things this year.”
Last night, on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day, ‘Changing Ireland’ met volunteers patrolling with Limerick Treaty Suicide Prevention (LTSP).
Meet the Republic of Ireland’s first airborne community medics who are saving lives by saving time. In August, for example, they received 54 callouts.
We recall Linda’s story of struggle and success on International Women’s Day. If anyone knows her, please contact us as, if it is possible, we would love to re-interview Linda for ‘Changing Ireland’.
At an event this week in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, ticket holders will hear how embracing diversity has been good for the town.
What motivates you as a volunteer?
I see too many young people from my community dying. We need to change policy, practice and legislation so that it includes and is led by the marginalised.
In a world where, all too often, those who are going through periods of difficulty are ignored, Maria O’Dwyer shows how a simple bit of kindness can make a world of difference.
In Jacksonville, Florida, STEM and community spirit are championed by a perhaps unlikely figure: 16-year-old Taylor Richardson
Every year, the Aldi-sponsored Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards take place, giving young people around Ireland the chance to gain recognition and be celebrated for their hard work and commitment in the community. But who claimed the main prize at the most recent competition?
Ahead of the launch of a tendering process for delivery of job activation programmes, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection commissioned Indecon to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of Local Employment Services. Here, editor Allen Meagher dives in to the results.
Today is the CAO’s Change of Mind deadline, marking the last point at which college applicants can choose the path that will set the course for their early career.
In times of unemployment and economic difficulties, some of the brightest stars are the entrepreneurs who chance it all on an idea.
When reporter Ray Lucey met with female community health workers from the Offaly Traveller Movement, a new world was opened up to him.
Health fairs can be a great way to educate a community on how to live a healthy life, but how can you ensure that your effort is hitting the mark? Castleblayney may have the answer.
New Zealand is renowned for its beautiful natural landscapes, its blockbuster output and its sporting prowess. What it’s less well known for is its major issue with family violence. Researcher and family violence prevention practitioner Cristy Trewartha discusses here one of the approaches designed to make a difference.
As the Limerick Community Education Network celebrated its 25th birthday last year, editor Allen Meagher looked at the far-reaching impact of its classes.
As the Limerick Community Education Network marks its 25th anniversary, community workers and staff members were honoured at a celebration event.
The tech sector is vast and growing, but it has a reputation for leaving some members of society behind. Here’s why we need to play a part in changing that.
As the Centre for Independent Living unveils a new name, Allen Meagher looks at why the organisation won’t be changing much else.
We can all agree that tech knowledge is essential for the future of work, but how can communities support tech learning?
As Women’s Aid released its 2018 Femicide Watch report, the organisation called for a new approach to reducing deaths from femicide.
At a Wexford Local Development event that aimed ‘to examine the local context 100 years after women were given the right to vote,’ issues of gender equality in politics, education and daily life were raised.
If expectations in Wexford are replicated in other counties, there could be a surge in the number of women elected as local councillors.
As we enter 2019, Kirsty Tobin outlines #MeToo, the Silence Breakers, #TimesUp and Donald Trump’s election – just some of the reasons, in short, why Changing Irelandis prepared to declare 2018 the Year of the Woman.
Late last year, women’s right to vote in Ireland turned 100 years old. Here, we examine the history of Irish women’s suffrage.
As we launch Women’s Week here on Changing Ireland, editor Allen Meagher shares his thoughts on the continued fight for equality.
During the early 2000s, Moyross became known nationally for extreme poverty and high crime rates. Some organisations sought to give residents a way out of that stereotype. One of them was the Moyross Youth Academy.
The new Moyross Youth Academy has been officially opened at a launch event featuring Minister of State David Stanton and several former Moyross youth programme participants.
Amid criticism and concerns about the JobPath programme, the recently rebranded Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has touted its successes.
As frustrations with JobPath are voiced throughout the country, reporter Ben Panter shares an inside look at his own experience.
Parenting can be tough at any age, but for teenagers it can be especially challenging. Luckily, there are programmes in place that can help.
At Pobal’s annual conference, Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and Philip O’Connor of the Geary Institute addressed the concerns of attendees.
As Women’s Aid marks the 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence against Women campaign, the family of Clodagh Hawe launches a fundraising effort for the organisation.
Although we live in an ostensibly equal society, there are many areas in which men are given arguably preferential treatment. Politics is just one.
At Sola’s gathering of activists, academics and private sector actors, disability activists made sure their voices were heard loud and clear.
With poverty levels in rural Ireland demonstrably worse than in urban areas, and less visible, Cian Matthew Kearns asks what supports are available to those affected.
– Excerpts from reports by Dr Brendan O’Keeffe, Niall Crowley, Debra Mountford, Seán O’Riordan:
Gardaí have confirmed that a file has been sent to the DPP in relation to the posting of racist material online by a man from Kerry.
“Promote The Use Of Knacker Babies As Bait” was set up by four men in their 20s and 30s from Killarney, two of whom worked at the time in the tourism industry.