Letters, Texts & Emails Tuesday 1 December 2009

Topics: Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation Report, the upcoming budget, public sector union talks

Panellists: Colm O'Gorman (Amnesty International), Mary Raftery (author of Suffer the Little Children) and Father Peter McVerry

Poor emergency planning exacerbated flood damage

"I have never seen anything like it before," said Michelle Moran, a young resident of Cork. Just seven days ago, the ground floor of Moran's house on the Western Road was under approximately a metre of water. Since then, the waters have receded but for many throughout the country the situation remains extremely serious. This past week saw Ireland's worst weather in decades devastate large parts of the country, particularly in the south and west.

Church guilty of "cover up" in Dublin archdiocese

Archbishops and bishops were guilty of a "catalogue of secrecy, cover up and inaction" relating to the sexual abuse of children by priests in the Dublin archdiocese between 1975 and 2004, according to the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation report published today. The report says there is "no doubt" that Church authorities were involved in a cover up and that "little or no concern [was shown] for the welfare of the abused."

A cold Christmas

300 people will spend the festive season on the street, many others cannot afford Christmas and the Government has failed to make any real dent in housing waiting lists, writes Maev-Ann Wren

Some 200 people will be sleeping rough on Dublin streets this Christmas and a further 100 will be out in the cold across the country, according to the Simon Communities of Ireland. This year organisations working with the homeless are particularly concerned for their health and well-being following recent forecasts of severe weather.