2017

Working Notes Issue 81 Editorial

on Tuesday, 09 January 2018. Posted in 2017, Issue 81 Young Adults in Ireland Today, Current

PdfIconEditorial

The Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures Report (2014-2020) sets out a realistic vision for the future of children and young people in Ireland. This vision is for ‘Ireland to be one of the best small countries in the world in which to grow up and raise a family, and where the rights of all children and young people are respected, protected and fulfilled; where their voices are heard and where they are supported to realise their maximum potential now and in the future’. Forming the basis of this vision is the realisation that young adulthood is precious and there is an onus on the State to ensure that today’s youth feel confident, and are supported and prepared for adulthood. Objectives central to this vision include listening to and involving young adults, providing quality services underpinned by effective transitions to youth employment, and cross-government and interagency collaboration and coordination.

A Very Unlevel Playing Field: A Reflection on Young Adults in Higher Education

on Tuesday, 09 January 2018. Posted in 2017, Issue 81 Young Adults in Ireland Today, Current

PdfIconA Very Unlevel Playing Field: A Reflection on Young Adults in Higher Education

Kevin O'Higgins SJ

Introduction
A lifetime of working with young adults has left me in no doubt that inequalities associated with the circumstances of our birth are more than likely to lead to successive waves of inequality that may accompany us throughout the remainder of our lives. This is true whether we are born into disadvantage or privilege.

Young Adults in Search of Mental Health

on Tuesday, 09 January 2018. Posted in 2017, Issue 81 Young Adults in Ireland Today, Current

PdfIconYoung Adults in Search of Mental Health

Dr. Tony Bates

Introduction
When ‘Deirdre’ arrived to see me with her mother, my first impression was of a young woman with a warm smile and not a problem in the world. She was twenty-three years old, already the mother of two. As she checked out my office, I wondered if she was happy to be here. I was concerned that coming to see me might have been more her mum’s idea than her own. In confirming the appointment, her mother had described her as ‘a bit lost’, ‘having lots of panic attacks’, and ‘stuck in a relationship that’s not doing her any good’. But none of this was apparent in those opening minutes of our meeting.

Republic of Opportunity or State of Insecurity?

on Tuesday, 09 January 2018. Posted in 2017, Issue 81 Young Adults in Ireland Today, Current

PdfIconRepublic of Opportunity or State of Insecurity?

James Doorley

Introduction

On the day of his election as An Taoiseach (June 14th 2017), Leo Varadkar T.D. spoke about creating a ‘republic of opportunity’.1 Although an admirable vision for the country, the evidence suggests that Irish society has a long way to go to make such noble ambitions a reality, particularly for unemployed young people and those struggling to find decent employment. Nearly a decade on from the economic crisis of 2008, Ireland is a different country; the scars of the economic recession are felt through unemployment, debt, cuts in income supports and the withdrawal of social services. As noted by both the National Economic and Social Council (NESC)2 and OECD3 young adults were particularly hard hit by factors such as reduced employment opportunities and insufficient quality education and training opportunities. Ten years on, some analysts argue that Ireland has recovered from the ‘lost decade’ and with this, there may be a perception that the situation for young people in Ireland has improved.4 However, many young people in Ireland still feel marginalised by the economic crisis,5 and increasingly, young people are at the frontline of a radical change in the nature of the labour market, such that in many sectors, the old model of permanent contracts and fixed hours has been replaced by precarious employment.6

 

Young Adults in a Climate Changing World

on Tuesday, 09 January 2018. Posted in 2017, Issue 81 Young Adults in Ireland Today, Current

Young Adults in a Climate Changing World

Catherine Devitt

Introduction
It’s going to impact the rest of my life; the kinds of decisions I can make, the kind of world can live in. It’s going to augment other social problems which we already have. Our lives are not going to look like our parents’ lives, because of climate change.1

The young adults of today will mature in a world different to that of their parents’. In the decades ahead, climate change and widespread environmental degradation present the biggest threats to human health, progress and wellbeing, regional peace and security, sustainablelivelihoods, and to the overall health and diversity of our planetary ecosystems.2 This article considers the future challenges that will be faced by today’s young adults in a climate changing world, and more broadly, outlines some of the considerations, particularly for education, that need to be addressed to help prepare young adults for a climate changing world.

Working Notes • Issue 80 Editorial

on Monday, 16 October 2017. Posted in 2017, Issue 80 Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy

PdfIconEditorial

cover issue 80

When Ireland became an independent State it inherited some appallingly bad housing conditions. This was most notoriously the case in the severely deprived areas of inner-city Dublin, but inadequate and overcrowded housing which lacked basic facilities was also prevalent in towns and villages and rural areas around the country. Over the following seven decades, significant improvements in Irish housing took place, not just because the country (eventually) became more prosperous but because public policy sought to bring this about. Grants and other subsidies provided by the State enabled an increasing number of households to become home-owners; in addition, as a result of large-scale provision by local authorities, tens of thousands of low-income households were enabled to access affordable and secure social housing. This is not to suggest that the policies pursued were always adequate – mistakes were made, most notably the failure to bring about greater social integration through housing and the frequent failure to provide essential social and community facilities in new housing developments.

Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy - Analysis of the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness

on Monday, 16 October 2017. Posted in 2017, Issue 80 Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy

PdfIconRebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy – Analysis of the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness– Analysis of the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness

Margaret Burns, P.J. Drudy, Rory Hearne and Peter McVerry SJ

Introduction
Providing affordable, quality and accessible housing for our people is a priority ... The actions of the New Partnership Government will work to end the housing shortage and homelessness. (Programme for Government, May 2016)

Against a background of deepening public concern about the increasing number of households in Ireland experiencing some form of housing distress, and in particular the marked rise in homelessness, the Programme for a Partnership Government agreed in May 2016 set out a number of specific commitments to address the country’s housing crisis, and promised that the Minister for Housing would issue an ‘Action Plan for Housing’ within 100 days of the formation of the Government.1

Save

Save

Save

Homelessness and Social Housing Policy

on Saturday, 14 October 2017. Posted in 2017, Issue 80 Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy

Homelessness and Social Housing Policy

Peter McVerry SJ, Eoin Carroll and Margaret Burns

Homelessness

The Continuing Rise in Homelessness
The most disturbing aspect of the current housing crisis is, of course, the extent to which individuals and families are experiencing homelessness.

While homelessness has been rising since at least 2013 there has been a particularly marked increase since 2015. As indicated by Table 1 below, the total number of people living in emergency accommodation more than doubled in the period January 2015 to August 2017 (rising from 3,845 to 8,270). The number of families in such accommodation more than tripled (rising from 401 in January 2015 to 1,442 in August 2017), as did the number of children (increasing from 865 to 3,048). One person in three now living in emergency accommodation in Ireland is a child. There has also been a 32 per cent increase in the number of adults on their own in emergency accommodation (up from 2,441 in January 2015 to 3,235 in August 2017).1

Save

Save

A Constitutional Right to Housing - A Tale of Political Sidestepping

on Saturday, 14 October 2017. Posted in 2017, Issue 80 Rebuilding Ireland: A Flawed Philosophy

 

A Constitutional Right to Housing: A Tale of Political Sidestepping

Jerome Connolly

Introduction
There is in the Sherlock Holmes canon a particular and often-quoted phrase which comes to mind when scrutinising the housing policies of successive Irish governments over the last two decades. The phrase refers to an incident concerning a dog guarding stables from which a racehorse had been stolen during the night. The curious aspect of this, Holmes remarked, was not that the dog barked but that it did not bark.

The repeated failure of Irish governments to actively address the question of a constitutional right to housing in this country is surely an instance of a dog that did not bark – but should have, loudly and insistently, in the face of the serious and multi-faceted housing crisis which this country has faced over many years and will continue to face for the foreseeable future.

It is not as if the question of inserting a right to housing into the Irish Constitution has been completely ignored in official reports or neglected in the work of academics and of a broad range of NGOs, including church groups; it has not.

 

The Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures Report (2014-2020) sets out a realistic vision for the future of children and young people in Ireland. This vision is for ‘Ireland to be one of the best small countries in the world in which to grow up and raise a family, and where the rights of all children and young people are respected, protected and fulfilled; where their voices are heard and where they are supported to realise their maximum potential now and in the future’. Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.