Deposit retention 'single biggest issue' for tenants

Third level students are highly vulnerable to unfair tratment from landlords, particularly during their first year. The USI has called for a deposit protection scheme to be introduced to protect them. By Bernard O'Rourke.

The Union of Students of Ireland (USI) has called on the government to introduce a deposit protection scheme for third level students living in rented accommodation.

A survey carried out by the USI in April revealed that 40% of students lost their deposit while over 60% had €200 or more “unfairly” taken off their deposit.

The State's missing children

Recent steps by the government toward greater levels of child protection have focused on children who have suffered from abuse – in particular at the hands of institutions such as the Catholic Church. Often overlooked or forgotten is the issue of children going missing form state care. By Bernard O'Rourke.

Unaccompanied children who come to Ireland seeking asylum without a parent or guardian are at risk of being overlooked by the state. More than 500 of these children have gone missing from State care since 2000.

Opposition to housing charge echoes previous campaigns

Plans by the Socialist Party and the Workers Solidarity Movement to resist the introduction of the new household charge are reminiscent of previous campaigns, in particular the Federation of Dublin Anti-Water Charge Campaigns during the early 1990s, which successfully campaigned against a household water charge in Dublin. By Bernard O'Rourke.

The Socialist Party has called on householders to refuse to pay the new annual household charge announced by the government this week.

Somalia famine caused by political failure

The UN has officially declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia today.

Governments around the world have collectively failed to act to prevent the famine in Somalia, Oxfam Ireland Chief Executive Jim Clarken has said.

“The crisis has been building for several months but the response from international donors and regional governments has been mostly slow and inadequate and the aid response is still $800m short of what is needed,” he added.

New rules needed for appointments to public bodies

Public bodies have become central to the Irish system of government, but this is not reflected in the way the boards of these bodies are appointed. A new report by TASC claims that a new system must be put in place to ensure the best people fill these roles, and to combat the current system of political appointments. By Bernard O’Rourke.

Independent think-tank TASC today issued a report calling for new rules to govern appointments to the boards of public bodies, of which there are currently over 600.

Continuing controversy over Roscommon promises

The Emergency Department at Roscommon County Hospital closed this morning amid continuing controversy.

Yesterday, the Sunday Business Post reported that the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, had told a rally in Roscommon on February 8 that "We are committed to maintaining the services at Roscommon County Hospital." 

New protection for domestic workers' rights

A new Convention on rights for domestic workers has been adopted by the International Labour Organisation. Domestic workers are one of the least protected groups in Ireland, and it is hoped that this measure will vastly improve their working conditions. By Bernard O'Rourke.