Cllr Niamh Bhreathnach, Cllr Emer Costello, Cllr Lettie McCarthy, Deputy Joan Burton, Deputy Mary Upton, Deputy Roisin Shortall, Cllr Carrie Smyth, Cllr Caitriona Jones, Deputy Joanna Tuffy and Cllr Mary Freehill at the poster launch.
With two weeks to go until the vote on the Lisbon Reform Treaty, recent opinion polls show a disproportionate representation for women among the 'don't know' and 'no' categories.
To highlight the benefits of EU membership and to encourage women to 'Vote Yes' in the Lisbon referendum, the Labour Party message over the weekend was that 'Europe has been good to women'. You can read more about our weekend poster launch as well as how Europe has benefitted women on our Lisbon Reform Treaty blog at this link.
Today the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD launched our Lisbon poster campaign saying the turn-out on June 12th for the referendum is vital.
"The Lisbon Reform Treaty will provide for a more efficient and more democratic EU. It is in the interests of Irish voters to support it. The poster we are launching here today will form a key part of Labour's Yes campaign. The message carried on the poster - 'Yes to Europe; proud to be Irish' - is designed to project a positive message and to counter the spurious message that in some way the electorate is being asked to chose between 'Europe' and 'Ireland'.
"Europe has been good for Ireland. It has been a force for economic and social progress. It has been directly responsible for important advances in social legislation. Our membership of the Union has been fundamental to the development of Ireland as a trading economy," Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore said at the press conference held over the weekend to launch the Labour Party 'Yes to Lisbon' campaign.
Holly Kilroy, Poul Rasmussen MEP and Proinsias De Rossa MEP at the press launch of 'New safeguards for public services in Europe'.
Access to high-quality public services is a key political issue. Good schools and hospitals, clean water, safe and reliable transport and energy, for example, figure in most definitions of a good quality of life.
Now the Labour Party in Ireland with the support of the Party of European Socialists in the European Parliament is calling for action to safeguard and enhance public services throughout the European Union.
The potential for achieving these safeguards have been greatly increased by the provisions of the Lisbon Reform Treaty. You can find out more in our policy section, you can also read the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore's statement in the media centre, as well as Joe Costello's and MEP Proinsias De Rossa's.
Yesterday we held a public forum in the European Parliament in Dublin on the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Labour leader Eamon Gilmore TD addressed the forum he pointed out the Charter of Fundamental Rights is the big idea in the Lisbon Reform Treaty. Eamon outlined its contents and its origins. It dealt with traditional, civil and political rights but also included the full gamut of social, economic, administrative and cultural rights. These are dealt with in the Charter under seven headings, human dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizen rights, justice and general provisions.
Joanna Tuffy TD with the giant 'Pearl of Wisdom', at the Irish launch of European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. The European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is promoted in Ireland by the Irish Family Planning Association. (Photo by Jason Clarke Photography)
This week marks the European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (January 21st - 26th) which aims to promote better awareness of all aspects of cervical cancer and how women can prevent it by having regular smear tests.
I was delighted to be asked by the Irish Family Planning Association to support its campaign by promoting their Pearl of Wisdom badge. In Europe a woman dies from cervical cancer every 18 minutes. At home in Ireland 180 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 73 women on average die from the disease each year. Considering that cervical cancer is a preventable disease this is shocking.
Yesterday (December 11th) the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) published a report into the Government's involvement with the CIA 'extraordinary renditions' scandal.
The report states: "The Commission recommends that an effective inspection regime be put in place to ensure that no foreign aircraft which might be suspected of involvement in the illegal practice of 'extraordinary rendition' may land and refuel in Ireland. An effective inspection regime will ensure that no prisoners are transited through the State en route to a situation of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Attending Saturday's protest in solidarity with the people of Burma.
Labour Party Leader, Eamon Gilmore TD, Michael D Higgins TD and many other Labour representatives attended the two hour demonstration in support of Burmah's pro-Democracy protesters in Dublin last Saturday
Deputy Michael D Higgins, Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, said: "Almost 20 years ago I raised the brutal suppression of democratic voices in Burma. What happened on that occasion must not be allowed to be repeated and the International community must take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the protection of the lives and welfare of those currently protesting."
Deputy Michael D Higgins has already sought time in the Dáil to raise the issue and will repeat his call this when the Dáil is sitting this week.
The Labour Party Leader Deputy Pat Rabbitte speaking on Questions and Answers.
In the first Questions and Answers of the New Year, Labour Leader Pat Rabbitte joined Minister Dermot Ahern, Ian Paisley Jnr MLA, Professor Brigid Laffan and Irish Times journalist Lara Marlowe to discuss some of the latest issues to hit the headlines.
The Party Leader spoke on the range of issues up for discussion - from Northern Ireland, to the execution of Saddam Hussein and the war on Iraq. There were also some lively discussions on the forthcoming general election and the options that are being presented to the voters.
If you want to check out what he said, please click on this link to watch the show. (To view this, you will need Real Player or another suitable media player for your computer).