The aim of the Bill introduced in the Dáil this week by Socialist Party TD Clare Daly is to legislate for the 1992 Supreme Court judgment in Attorney General v X, which ruled that abortion is legal in Ireland when the life of the woman is at risk, including the risk of suicide.
The run-up to the visit of Elizabeth Windsor to Ireland has seen the Gardaí requesting personal data from people who both live and work on the way she'll wend through Dublin's streets; announce restrictions on movement through those streets; and the City Council bring a postering ban into force (the postering ban doesn't apply to commercial advertising on billboards, obviously). Meanwhile Apple have been criticised for collecting data on iPhone users' movements, and the EU wants your credit card number.
Cuts to welfare, threats to wage-setting agreements for low-paid work, and rollbacks in public services are all having a severe impact on women in Ireland and across Europe. Not only that, but in classic ‘shock doctrine’ style, the economic crisis is being used to sideline and silence the fight for female equality.
This week saw calls in the Dáil chamber for a referendum on the bank bailout and the IMF-EU deal. The motion, tabled by the Technical Group, was debated on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. As is procedure, the government tabled an amendment to the motion (effectively a counter-motion) in the name of the Minister for Finance. On Wednesday evening this amendment was voted on with the government winning the vote by 119 votes to 27, thereby defeating the Technical Group motion.
When Constance Markievicz became the first woman elected to parliament it was hailed as a great victory for Irish women. While the women themselves were jubilant the irony was not lost on them as the feminist paper the Irish Citizen remarked, "Under the new dispensation the majority sex in Ireland has secured one representative. This is the measure of our boasted sex equality."
Fast forward 90 years or so and one would expect to find a vastly different scenario in Dáil Eireann.
Yesterday marked not only the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day but the launch of a global campaign to mobilise support for an International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention for decent work and rights for domestic workers. By Alison Spillane
Launching the campaign, Siobhán O'Donoghue, director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), said the new government should lead the international campaign and establish best-practice instead of waiting for other countries to make the first move.
Among the many myths of the crisis is the one that depicts the public sector as bloated and wasteful. These claims have little basis in fact. But, as Alison Spillane explains, the advocates of austerity have their tails up and are in no mood to allow mere facts to get in the way of a convenient argument.
Yesterday, the staff at the Sunday Tribune collected their last pay cheques. The newspaper, which went into receivership at the beginning of the month, failed to find a buyer – its 43 staff will receive redundancy notices next Monday, 28 February.
Known for its quality writing and keen analysis, the Tribune's voice will be missed in a market that is becoming increasingly less diverse.