Labour Party Statement: Motion of no confidence in government

On the morning of November 22nd John Gormley announced that the Green Party believed 'it is time to fix a date for a general election in the second half of January 2011'. On the same evening the Taoiseach announced that there would be a general election early in the New Year once the budget had been enacted.

Since then there have been attempts by both parties to renege on this commitment and there are suggestions now that the election to elect a new government may be delayed until the end of March or even April.

Kevin O’Rourke gets it just right

I'm not one for really long quotes on this blog, but O'Rourke's post today deserves to be clipped and remembered. The comments are not worth reading. O'Rourke quietly, but angrily, gets it just right: capital walks away scot free.

"[T]he real cleavage in Europe is between European taxpayers and bank creditors (with the ECB being a third interested party, as another body which could help to fill the holes which have emerged in the European banking system).

Bray Social Welfare Offices closed due to weather

Bray social welfare claimants expecting to 'sign-on' today were  met by closed doors at the local Social Welfare Office. A sign posted on the door stated that due to adverse weather conditions the offices were shut. By Christina Finn

What rights have men on abortion?

The decision by the European Court of Human Rights to declare Ireland in violation of Article 8 in the European Convention of Human Rights with regards to abortion legislation has thrust this contentious issue to the forefront of debate yet again. Following a previous article on women and abortion, several Politico readers asked about mens rights in the abortion debate. Christina Finn investigates. 

Gates of Leinster House breached by Sinn Fein protestors

Around fifty people stormed the gates of Leinster House as part of a Sinn Fein protest this lunch time. Minor scuffles broke out between protesters and Gardai as the group forced its way through the gates at government buildings. Gardai quickly called in reinforcements. By Christina Finn. Additional reportage by Malachy Browne

[Video and photo gallery from the protest below]. 

Three women a day purchase abortion medicines online

Women in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland don't have the same 'right to choose' an abortion that women in the UK take for granted, reminds the Abortion Support Network (ASN).

Abortion in Ireland is illegal unless it meets with the conditions set down by the Supreme Court in the "X" case, where there was a substantial risk to the life and health of the mother.

Mass human migration underlines importance of Climate Justice - Mary Robinson

"Ireland has great potential and can become a great leader in Climate Justice," former President Mary Robinson said at a debate in Trinity College Dubiln today. The debate explored ways to build greater awareness amongst political leaders and the broader public about the inter-connectedness of climate change with issues of development and social justice.

Government negotiates student fees but ignores alternative solutions

Plans to double the student registration fee are now "off the agenda". Instead, a smaller increase in fees of between €500 and €800 will be introduced, bringing total charges to just under €2,000. Fianna Fáil and Green Party ministers are negotiating the precise charge that will be introduced in the forthcoming budget.

Fine Gael to replace HSE with Dutch model

The Fine Gael plan to dismantle the Health Service Executive (HSE) has been defended by Fine Gael health spokesman James Reilly, Leo Varadkar and Richard Bruton. By Christina Finn

The controversial plan will result in almost 30,000 redundancies and has been criticised by trade union SIPTU.

Fine Gael insists that a health system based on the Dutch model would work in Ireland. The HSE would be replaced with a universal health insurance system and would "prioritise the protection of frontline services and put the patient first," said Mr Reilly.