HSE deny consultant's call for pay increase

The Department of Health is refusing to back down over pay cuts, denying hospital consultants a salary rise to which they claim they are contractually entitled.

Last week, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) said its members would accept the pay cuts in the budget if they were first given the salary increase, which they said had been owed since June. The consultants claimed the rise was due under the terms of a new contract which came into force this year.

Budget 2010: hitting the poorest people and most marginalised communities

As the dust begins to settle on Budget 2010, the real impact of this budget on people’s health and well-being is beginning to emerge. How will Budget 2010 hurt some of the poorest and most marginalised in our community? The impact of the cuts on some community projects and the response of the Community Platform needs to be examined further.

Ian Plimer 'soundly thrashed' in showdown with George Monbiot

Climate change sceptic and Professor of Geology, Ian Plimer and Guardian journalist George Monbiot finally engaged in a live debate on climate change this week. The pair have long been at odds over the science behind man-made global warming; indeed, the quarrel itself warmed considerably in the months following the publication of Plimer's latest book, 'Heaven and Earth', which says that there is no evidential basis to anthropogenic warming of the atmosphere.

Copenhagen: climate countdown

The United Nations climate-change summit is a vital moment in the world’s effort to avert catastrophe. openDemocracy authors reflect on what needs to happen and how much Copenhagen can achieve. By Sue Branford, Ian Christie, Andrew Dobson, John Elkington, Øyvind Paasche, Oliver Tickellof

Can we genuinely expect the culpable Vatican to deal with child abuse?

It’s a bit much now to believe the Vatican is genuinely shocked by the revelations of abuse and cover-up.

The expectation that the Vatican will sort out the disarray in the Irish Catholic Church misses the point: the Vatican contributed substantially to the disarray and is itself hugely culpable for what happened.

(Pictured: Father Thomas Naughton who appeared today at Wicklow Circuit Court on charges of sexual assault. He was previously sentenced in 1998 to three years for abusing four young altar boys. Photo: Irish Times)

Life-saving mobile phone app to avert road crashes

A mobile phone application has been developed which could reduce road crashes worldwide. The technology, named iZUP, uses GPS tracking in smartphones to detect the speed at which the phone is moving in a vehicle. At speeds of over 5 miles per hour, calls are automatically routed to voicemail, text messages are held and only outgoing certain emergency numbers may be used.

‘Recession Racism’: a new trend in Irish society

The celtic tiger years brought a new phenomenon to Ireland; large scale immigration, and a more culturally diverse, and some would argue, tolerant society. That is until the bubble burst. A stricken economy and spiralling unemployment appear to have prompted a backlash against immigrants from many sectors of society. Racism is becoming increasingly prominent in Ireland with adverse effects for non-nationals, many of whom greatly contributed to the prosperous years. By Deirdra O'Regan.

Full text of the Supreme Court judgement on Roche case involving in vitro fertilisation treatment using frozen embryos

THE SUPREME COURT [Appeal No: 469/2006 Appeal No: 59/2007]

Murray C.J. - Denham J. - Hardiman J. - Geoghegan J. - Fennelly J.


Mary Roche (Applicant/Appellant) and Thomas Roche, Anthony Walsh,David Walsh and Sims Clinic Ltd (Defendants/Respondents) and Attorney General

Judgment delivered the 15th day of December, 2009 by Denham J.

1. The central issue in this case is whether three embryos, which have been frozen and stored in a clinic, are the "unborn" and as such protected by Article 40.3.3° of the Constitution of Ireland.

Protests, walk-outs and stifled progress – Copenhagen so far

Talks at the Copenhagen climate conference were suspended for a period today after a coalition of developing countries withdrew their co-operation. The crucial talks, which had just resumed after a weekend break, were disrupted when the African countries, supported by the G77 and BASIC bloc, staged a walk out, angered that the conference was weakening in support for the Kyoto Protocol. Although, negotiations have since resumed, today’s debacle is just another episode in a conference plagued by drama, bravado and very little real progress.

After Copenhagen

The climate-change conference at Copenhagen on 7-18 December 2009 has long been surrounded by high (if perhaps unrealistic) hopes that a successor deal to the Kyoto protocol could be reached that would reflect the world’s firm commitment to address a planetary emergency. But as it nears, the expectations have begun to dissolve in a welter of disenchantment and pessimism. Is Copenhagen, after all, bound to fail; and if it is, where does that leave the global effort to avert catastrophe?