The good, the bad, and the state's bank guarantee scheme

The Labour Party didn't vote against the 2008 Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Bill, which legislated for the bank guarantee, because it opposed the guarantee or even its scope. By Vincent Browne.

Four years ago this month, the Dáil debated and then endorsed the bank guarantee scheme, which has cost this society at least €64 billion.

The current government is spending a large part of its time trying to persuade our EU partners to help us undo the damage the guarantee did to us.

Reilly's primary care centre controversy rumbles on

Minister for Health James Reilly’s addition of two towns in his own constituency – Balbriggan and Swords – to a list of primary care centres is still causing controversy, two weeks after this story broke. Despite rounds of questioning in the Dáil and long media outings by Minister Reilly, we are no clearer now on how they got on the list and what criteria were used to compile the list. By Sara Burke.

There is a government commitment to develop primary care centres (PCCs). There are three ways of funding those centres –

Children's rights amendment offers feeble protection from abuse and neglect

We are being asked to vote on a defective constitutional proposal that extends weak protection to our children from abuse and neglect. By Vincent Browne.

There is a straightforward question to be asked about the proposed constitutional amendment concerning children. It is: why does it not include the oft-quoted and approved aspiration of the 1916 Proclamation: “cherishing all the children of the nation equally”?

Gilmore has sold out more than just Shortall

When it's eventually all over, of what exactly will Labour's leading lights be proud? By Vincent Browne.

Eamon Gilmore's excruciation during his interview on 27 September with Richard Crowley of RTÉ betrayed a realisation that his failure to stand by Róisín Shortall was not just an act of personal disloyalty, but of disloyalty to what Labour supposedly stands for, and of disloyalty to the constituency which the party supposedly represents.

Gilmore unable "to publicly articulate another context" on Shorthall resignation

In a leaked email to Labour Party colleagues, Party Chairman and Galway East TD Colm Keaveney said "there is another context to the [Roisin Shorthall] story that [Eamon Gilmore] has not been able to publicly articulate, given the media atmosphere at this time". Keaveney wrote that this context "needs to be discussed with the party's members" and that he is "working with the Party Leader on convening a meeting of the Central Council for early November".

The human and economic costs of deportation

Today sees the launch of a campaign by Anti-Deportation Ireland against the system of direct provision and the practice of deportation. Anti-Deportation Ireland (ADI) is a national network of activists, asylum seekers, refugees, community workers, trade unionists, and academics who have come together to campaign against forced deportation in Ireland, and for the abolition of the direct provision system.

The choices around cutting child benefit

If we see universal child benefit being systematically dismantled in the next Budget, while we retain tax breaks that massively benefit people with the highest incomes, then the fundamental values underpinning Ireland's budgetary policy need to be questioned. By Nat O'Connor.

Constitutional amendment on children's rights deficient in many ways

Forty-six years ago (in 1966) three High Court judges adjudicated in a case where a child, born to unmarried parents, was adopted. Subsequently the natural parents married each other and made an application to have their child returned to them, after it was found that the adoption order concerning their child had been invalid.

By this time the child was aged 17 months and had bonded securely with his/her adopted parents and, aside from that, concerns were raised about the capacity of the natural mother to parent the child adequately.

Are Syrian lives less worthy?

While trying to understand what is happening in our modern history and how the world is handling revolutions and fights for liberty, I find myself in front of a big question mark and no common sense, wisdom or intellect can help me understand. Didn't our ancestors fight for human rights, to reach for a life in peace and freedom with equal rights for all? By Sumou Al Nassea, Syrian activist.