Tag Archives: Ireland

20+ NGOs Condemn ‘Reckless’ Decision to Cut Off UNRWA Aid

“Countries must reverse these funding suspensions, uphold their duties towards the Palestinian people, and scale up humanitarian assistance for civilians in dire need in Gaza and the region.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 1-29-2024 by Common Dreams

UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza in 2009. Photo: ISM Palestine/flickr/CC

More than 20 humanitarian aid organizations on Monday condemned the decision by the United States and a growing list of nations to suspend funding for the United Nations agency that provides vital services to Palestinians suffering through a genocidal Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

Following Israeli claims—reportedly extracted from Palestinian prisoners in an interrogation regime rife with torture and abuse—that 12 of the more than 13,000 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) workers in Gaza were involved in the October 7 Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel, the United States and nine other nations cut off funding to the largest humanitarian aid organization operating in the besieged coastal enclave.

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Xenophobic Rumors About Stabbing Attack Fuel Far-Right Riots in Dublin

“We saw last night in Dublin a consequence of politicians spending years demonizing immigrants,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley. Published 11-24-2023 by Common Dreams

Dublin, on November 23, 2023. Photo: Dr. Eli David/X

Irish authorities on Friday condemned a far-right, anti-immigrant faction that rapidly spread rumors about the perpetrator of a violent knife attack in Dublin and ultimately tore through the streets of Ireland’s capital Thursday night, setting cars and buses on fire and smashing storefront windows.

The country was shocked Thursday by a mid-day stabbing attack on three young children—including a five-year-old girl who sustained serious injuries—and a woman who were reportedly on their way to a daycare facility when a man assaulted them.

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Shell Employees Urged to Revolt as Oil Giant Faces Internal Backlash for Ditching Renewables

“Shell bosses sacrifice our safety for short-term profits, even their employees see it,” said one campaigner. “No point waiting for them to grow a conscience.”

By Julia Conley. Published 9-29-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: rawpixel

Anti-fossil fuel campaigners on Friday urged employees of oil and gas giant Shell to speak out as loudly as possible about their objections to the company’s pivot away from renewable energy, after thousands of workers expressed support for an angry open letter penned by two of their colleagues.

On the company’s private platform, a letter published by Lisette de Heiden and Wouter Drinkwaard of Shell’s low-carbon division garnered 1,000 “likes” and 80,000 views earlier this month and was reported on by Reuters Wednesday.

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Nobody loved you, 2022

From devastating floods in Pakistan to Italy’s far-right PM to overturning Roe v Wade, this was a year of extremes

By Adam Ramsay  Published 12-30-2022 by openDemocracy

A flooded village in Matiari, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Photo: Asad Zaidi/UNICEF

How do you turn 365 days experienced by eight billion people – and billions more other beings – into some kind of story?

Maybe you start with some events?

In which case, 2022 was the year that Covid vaccines kicked in. Daily global deaths hit 77,000 on 7 February, and have declined fairly steadily ever since. It was the year Russia invaded Ukraine, the first war between major European powers since 1945. Continue reading

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The time for a four-day week has arrived

A new experiment from Iceland confirms what many of us have long suspected: reducing working hours improves wellbeing and productivity

By Jack Kellam.  Published 7-8-2021 by openDemocracy

Photo: Rawpixel Ltd/flickr/CC

Over the past six years, Iceland has been quietly conducting a major economic experiment. More than 2,500 public sector employees – representing over 1% of the country’s entire working population – reduced their working hours from 40 hours per week to 35 or 36 hours, with no loss of pay.

Trials of shorter working weeks are not new: in recent years a number of ‘four-day week’ experiments have taken place around the world – from Microsoft’s trial in Japan to Unilever’s experiment in New Zealand. But Iceland’s two trials, which took place between 2015 and 2021 among employees of the country’s national government and Reykjavík City Council, are unparalleled in terms of scale and scope. Progress was meticulously monitored by Icelandic researchers, which generated an unrivalled amount of evidence on the impact of shorter working hours. This week the key findings were published in a joint report published by Alda (Association for Sustainable Democracy) and Autonomy. Continue reading

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Over 1,351 Climate Strikes in 110 Countries Planned for Friday as Global Revolt Escalates

“Activism works. So act.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-21-2019

People in more than 100 countries are expected to take part in well over 1,000 strikes on Friday, May 24 to demand climate action from their governments. (Photo: @ExtinctionR/Twitter)

Two months after what was reportedly the largest international climate demonstration ever, young people around the world are expected to make history again on Friday with a second global climate strike.

Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg, who began the global movement in which students around the world have walked out of their classrooms on a weekly basis since last fall to demand climate action, reported Tuesday that at least 1,351 separate strikes are now scheduled to take place all over the world on Friday. Continue reading

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Global Climate Movement Celebrates as Ireland Set to Become First Country to Fully Divest From Fossil Fuels

“Countries the world over must now urgently follow Ireland’s lead.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-12-2018

Fossil fuel divestment activists displayed a sign outside the lower house of Ireland’s legislature. (Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland/Trócaire/350.org)

Climate activists across the globe celebrated Thursday after the lower house of the Irish legislature passed a divestment bill with support from all parties, effectively ensuring that Ireland will become the first nation in the world to fully divest public money from the fossil fuel industry.

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Irish Women Turn Out in Droves to Repeal Constitutional Ban on Abortion

“This vote can change Ireland into a more caring, compassionate place.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-25-2018

For nearly three decades, reproductive rights advocates have fought to overturn a ban on abortion in Ireland. (Photo: Abortion Rights Campaign)

Ireland expected the higher-than-usual voter turnout to continue into the evening on Friday as Irish citizens headed to ballot boxes in droves and women living abroad returned to their home country to weigh in on a measure that would repeal the Eight Amendement of the Irish Constitution, which bans abortion unless a pregnant woman’s life is at risk.

Reproductive rights advocates have created the pro-choice Together for Yes campaign to repeal the amendment, which grants equal rights to women and fetuses, and was added to the constitution in 1983. Votes will be counted beginning Saturday morning, with an announcement expected during the afternoon. Continue reading

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2015: When Global Governments Trampled Human Rights in Name of National Security

Rights ‘are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-24-2016

Protesters in London take part in a November 2015 action to protest a visit by Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/cc)

Protesters in London take part in a November 2015 action to protest a visit by Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. (Photo: Alisdare Hickson/flickr/cc)

Governments worldwide in 2015 capitalized on supposed national security threats to trample over human rights.

That’s Amnesty International’s assessment of global human rights in its latest report.

“Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International. Continue reading

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Where Have All The Children Gone?

Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place for over 1.2 million of Ireland's dead. Today the area called the Angels Plot is the resting place for more than fifty thousand infants and children. Photo By William Murphy from Dublin, Ireland [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place for over 1.2 million of Ireland’s dead. Today the area called the Angels Plot is the resting place for more than fifty thousand infants and children. Photo By William Murphy from Dublin, Ireland [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ireland is known for hills of green and fields of flowers, children laughing and running gleefully in the glory of the lush countryside. So what happens when the greatest natural resource a country has is abused, both in life and in death? In the case of Ireland, it seems turning a blind eye and calloused cheek is the preferred option.

Over a span of 35 years, the Tuam, County Galway home for unwed mothers, established by the Catholic Church of Ireland, took in the most vulnerable of Ireland’s unsupported, unwed and uncared for pregnant women. Incest, rape and other horrid circumstances often were the event that meant being sent to “the home.” But what happened next remains shrouded in mystery and coverup, as truth fights to find the light of day.

Evidence shows 796 children, from newborns to a nine-year-old, died in a home run by the Bon Secours order of nuns in Tuam between 1925 and 1961. Historian Catherine Corless, who made the discovery, says death records from the home show the children died from malnutrition and infectious diseases, such as TB and measles. There are no burial records for the children, leading to conclusions and rumors that most were dumped in unmarked graves with little or no notification to families. Only children that had been baptized were allowed to be buried in cemeteries or consecrated ground. The stillborn, premature and unbaptized children of these women at the homes were not being buried in any proper way.

The Telegraph explains it best. “The Irish government has bowed to pressure to set up an official inquiry into deaths and abuse at homes for unmarried mothers after it found 4,000 infants had been buried in unmarked graves at institutions where morality rates ran as high as 50 per cent. The inquiry was announced with anger growing over official inaction in the face of revelations that infants had been buried in a mass grave behind a convent-run mother and baby home in Tuam, County Galway where 796 children died over a 30-year period. Enda Kenny, the prime minister, said unmarried mothers were treated as an “inferior sub-species” as he declared the investigation would revealed a shameful past.”

As if that is not appalling enough, there is also evidence that those children who did manage to survive at first were then subjected to medical vaccine experiments prior to any approval for human use. Salon reports “In a related story, GSK — formerly Wellcome — revealed…on Newstalk Radio that 298 children in 10 different care homes were involved in medical trials in the ’60s and ’70s that left “80 children ill after they were accidentally administered a vaccine intended for cattle.”

Ireland has a great challenge if this is to be sorted out in a way that is sensitive – not sensationalized – in order to bring peace to the families who have lost so much. Based on the track record of the Catholic Church in rectifying past crimes within its walls, we can only pray the Church is not allowed to participate in or influence the outcome of any and all investigations into this matter.

My reflection on this stems from confusion. The position that all life is sacred and therefore must be allowed birth is acceptable, until it is considered with the view of what happens once those children enter the world when their world is not prepared to accept them. Poverty and austerity means these children are fortunate if they have sufficient food, shelter and health care to flourish their first years. Provided they do, they are then challenged to fight for education that does not begin to equal that of their well-off peers. This does not seem exclusive to Ireland; we see abuses of vulnerable children in nearly every country on the planet, including the United Sates.

What Occupy World Writes believes is that it is time for the world to recognize that the Church is not above sin by the members it allows to hide behind its stained glass windows. We believe any accusation of crime against any church or religious body should be investigated as all other crimes, without any influence or limitations set by the very accused. We also call on the government of Ireland to pursue this investigation to its full completion and hold all parties fully accountable.

I am haunted by the children who have perished at the hands of those entrusted with their care. Images of Kurdish children, Gazan youth, Syrian infants, Nigerian teenagers, all the victims of politics they will never grow up to understand. I must ask you how a blind eye and silent voice can give compassion and understanding so that an end to the carnage can be found.


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