Equal representation demands a reconfiguration of constituencies, say academics

The representation of women in the Dáil has hit crisis levels, two leading academics told the Equality Authority conference yesterday. By Christina Finn

"There is no doubt Ireland will fall to the hundredth place in the world in the representation of women in government if the presence of women in government does not increase," said Susan McKay CEO of the National Women's Council of Ireland (pictured).

ICTU, ESRI issue caution at 2014 deficit target

There is a lack of understanding about the connection between taxation and the provision of public services according to The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) General Secretary David Begg. "People do not associate them at all," he said at the Equality Authority conference in Dublin. "There is a complete disconnect."

No EU state will escape equality legislation says Commissioner

Belinda Pyke, European Commission Director for Equality between Men and Women (pictured), denied that the power or size of France would deter the EU from its objective of protecting equality. By Christina Finn

Following the European commission's statement yesterday that it would temporarily suspend a human rights complaint against France for its expulsions of Roma people, Ms Pyke said it was "fair to say" that the EU Commission would act as guardians of the legislation that protect those from inequality regardless of the size of any member state.

Protection of vulnerable the focus of pre-budget campaign

The Time to Make a Commitment campaign was launched in Dublin yesterday by a coalition of leading charities, trade unions, community and voluntary groups.

The campaign, organised by the Poor Can't Pay coalition, calls for the government to protect people on the lowest incomes from further cuts in the budget. Members of the campaign include The National Women's Council of Ireland, Age Action Ireland and St Vincent de Paul (SVP).

Wicklow Regional Hospital closure imminent

The Health Service Executive has confirmed that it is to close the residential section of Wicklow District Hospital. Local councillors were notified of the imminent closure at a meeting today. By Christina Finn

HSE spokeswoman, Marian Meaney said the decision to close the unit had been prompted by infrastructural issues that had arisen in the recent Health Information and Equality Authority (HIQA) report. In particular, fire safety was identified as an issue too serious to ignore, Ms Meaney said.

Protest draws attention to Ireland's wealthy elite

An estimated 300 people marched in Dublin today to call for a 'wealth' tax to be targeted at the richest one per cent of people. The See How the 1% Live demonstration passed through some of the wealthiest parts of Dublin. The protest was organised by the 1% Network, a coalition of socialist groups including Eirígí, Irish Socialist Network, Seomra Spraoi and the Workers Solidarity Movement. By Christina Finn.