In this blog, Dublin MEP Emer Costello talks about the new €3.5 billion anti-poverty fund which could help many Irish charities.
Sadly, food poverty remains a huge problem throughout the European Union today. The EU statistical agency, Eurostat, defines ‘extreme material deprivation’ as people who do not have three basic meals per week. According to Eurostat there are over 40 million people in Europe suffering from 'extreme material deprivation' including over 300,000 in Ireland. With the current economic crisis facing Europe, these numbers are only increasing.
Yesterday members of the Labour Party gathered in Arbour Hill for our annual Connolly Commemoration.
Speaking at the event the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore told the assembled group that James Connolly ‘knew that there was no easy or pain free way route to freedom and he was determined to see it through’.
“Connolly’s sacrifice and the sacrifice of his comrades made possible our political freedom. The sacrifices of the Irish people over the last five years are making possible our economic recovery and the future economic well-being of our people.”
On Saturday 11th May, Labour Intercultural held an event on the Impact of Ethnic Minorities in Irish politics. This event came about when Remba Osengo, a member of the Labour Party in DunLaoghaire approached the group to organise a conference where ethnic minority community leaders could engage with the party and it's public representatives.
Speaking at the event Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton noted the changes in her own constituency, Dublin West, over the past twenty years. She emphasised how Ireland has only a small fraction of time to adapt to a multi-ethnic population compared to countries such as Britain giving the examples of the UK and Germany where the process happened 'over a 50-60 year period'.
Speaking ahead of Europe Day, the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore spoke of Ireland’s 40 years membership of the European Union saying that despite recent setbacks ‘our experience has been hugely positive’.
“We have developed our economy, modernised our society and widened our horizons. The experience has seen Ireland grow and mature, leaving behind the sense of isolation that undermined our early decades of statehood. The economy is more diverse, more open to trade and exports and better equipped to overcome the difficulties we now face.”
The Tánaiste also spoke of how we have benefited from the solidarity of our EU partners and contributed to the solidarity to the Union.
Leaders’ Questions today taken by the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore saw debate on a number of issues, private health insurances, the updated Stability programme and legislating for the X case. You can watch the entire debate back from the video.
Last night Labour Party members gathered in Collins Barracks for the unveiling of the recently conserved Starry Plough flag. Among the guests attending the Labour’s Centenary event was President Michael D Higgins and Minister Joe Costello. The event was also organised to mark May Day.
The flag flew over the Imperial Hotel, now Cleary’s, during the 1916 Rising and its conservation was funding by the Labour Party as part of our Centenary celebrations in conjunction with the National Museum of Ireland.
Rachel Phelan, who carried out the conservation, spoke to the audience about the work and research that went into it, Seamus Lynam, acting director of the National Museum also spoke as did President Higgins and Minister Costello.
"For 21 years, the law in Ireland, as laid down by the Supreme Court, has been that it is legal to end a pregnancy when there is a risk to the life of the mother. But because successive Governments have failed to legislate in line with the Supreme Court judgement, there has been a pall of uncertainty over this whole issue... What we are doing is legislating for X. We are doing no more and no less. We are doing so because it is our duty as legislators to vindicate the rights of tens of thousands of women, and their families." the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said this morning.