Republic of Ireland
Ireland known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, located on the eastern part of the island, whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's over 4.8 million inhabitants. The sovereign state shares its only land border with a part of the United Kingdom, it is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Irish Sea to the east. It is a parliamentary republic; the legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, an elected President who serves as the ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state.
It was declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955, it joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but during the 1980s and 1990s the British and Irish governments worked with the Northern Ireland parties towards a resolution to "the Troubles". Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the Irish government and Northern Ireland Executive have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Agreement. Ireland ranks among the top twenty-five wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth.
The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index, it performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD; the Irish government has followed a policy of military neutrality through non-alignment since prior to World War II and the country is not a member of NATO, although it is a member of Partnership for Peace. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was "styled and known as the Irish Free State".
The Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that "the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland". Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, "It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland." The 1948 Act does not name the state as "Republic of Ireland", because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name "Eire" and, from 1949, "Republic of Ireland", for the state; as well as "Ireland", "Éire" or "the Republic of Ireland", the state is referred to as "the Republic", "Southern Ireland" or "the South". In an Irish republican context it is referred to as "the Free State" or "the 26 Counties". From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated to the United States.
This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in constant population decline up to the 1960s. From 1874, under Charles Stewart Parnell from 1880, the Irish Parliamentary Party gained prominence; this was firstly through widespread agrarian agitation via the Irish Land League, that won land reforms for tenants in the form of the Irish Land Acts, secondly through its attempts to achieve Home Rule, via two unsuccessful bills which would have granted Ireland limited national autonomy. These led to "grass-roots" control of national affairs, under the Local Government Act 1898, in the hands of landlord-dominated grand juries of the Protestant Ascendancy. Home Rule seemed certain when the Parliament Act 1911 abolished the veto of the House of Lords, John Redmond secured the Third Home Rule Act in 1914. However, the Unionist movement had been growing since 1886 among Irish Protestants after the introduction of the first home rule bill, fearing discrimination and loss of economic and social privileges if Irish Catholics achieved real political power
The Irish Independent is Ireland's largest-selling daily newspaper, published by Independent News & Media. It includes glossy magazines. While most of the paper's content in English, it publishes a weekly supplement in Irish called Seachtain; the Irish Independent's sister publication is the Sunday Independent. Since May 2012, the Irish Independent has been controlled by billionaire Denis O'Brien since he acquired 29.9% of the paper's parent company. In January 2008, at the same time as completing the purchase Today FM, O'Brien increased his INM shareholding to become that company's second-biggest shareholder behind Tony O'Reilly, whom he ousted just over four years later. Traditionally a broadsheet newspaper, it introduced an additional compact size in 2004 and in December 2012 it was announced that the newspaper would become compact only; the Irish Independent was formed in 1905 as the direct successor to the Daily Irish Independent, an 1890s pro-Parnellite newspaper, was launched by William Martin Murphy, a controversial Irish nationalist businessman, staunch anti-Parnellite and fellow townsman of Parnell's most venomous opponent, Bantry's Timothy Michael Healy.
During the 1913 Lockout of workers, in which Murphy was the leading figure among the employers, the Irish Independent vigorously sided with its owner's interests, publishing news reports and opinion pieces hostile to the strikers, expressing confidence in the unions' defeat and launching personal attacks on the leader of the strikers, James Larkin. The Irish Independent described the 1916 Easter Rising as "insane and criminal" and famously called for the shooting of its leaders. In December 1919, during the Irish War of Independence, a group of twenty IRA men destroyed the printing works of the paper, angered at its criticism of the Irish Republican Army's attacks on members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and British government officials. In 1924, the traditional nationalist newspaper, the Freeman's Journal, merged with the Irish Independent; until October 1986 the paper's masthead over the editorial contained the words "incorporating the Freeman's Journal". For most of its history, the Irish Independent was seen as a nationalist, anti-Communist, which gave its political allegiance to the Pro-Treaty party Cumann na nGaedheal and its successor party, Fine Gael.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Irish Independent's coverage was pro-Franco. In 1961 the Harp became a symbol to the Irish Independent appeared in black but was changed to green in 1972. In the 1970s, it was taken over by former Heinz chairman Tony O'Reilly. Under his leadership, it became a more populist, market liberal newspaper—populist on social issues, but economically right-wing. By the mid-nineties its allegiance to Fine Gael had ended. In the 1997 general election, it endorsed Fianna Fáil under a front-page editorial, entitled "It's Payback Time". While it suggested its headline referred to the fact that the election offered a chance to "pay back" politicians for their failings, its opponents suggested that the "payback" referred to its chance to get revenge for the refusal of the Rainbow Coalition to award the company a mobile phone licence. In late 2004, Independent Newspapers moved from their traditional home in Middle Abbey Street to a new office, "Independent House" in Talbot Street, with the printing facilities relocated to the Citywest business park near Tallaght.
On 27 September 2005, a fortnight after the paper published its centenary edition, it was announced that editor Vinnie Doyle would step down after 24 years in the position. He was replaced by Gerry O'Regan, who had until been editor of the Irish Independent's sister paper, the Evening Herald; the newspaper's previous editor Stephen Rae was formerly editor of the Evening Herald and was appointed editor in September 2012. Fionnan Sheahan was appointed editor in January 2015. Denis O'Brien acquired a majority shareholding the newspaper parent company INM in May 2012. Since 2011, the Irish Independent has been the home of New Irish Writing, established by David Marcus in 1969 in the Irish Press and appeared in the Sunday Tribune from 1988 to 2011; the New Irish Writing Page is "the longest-running creative writing feature of its kind in any Irish or British newspaper". The Irish Independent, in co-operation with the Institute of Education, produces Exam Brief, a yearly six-part supplement dedicated to preparation for Leaving and Junior Certificate exams.
This supplement is published in February and April each year. Excluding The Sun and the Daily Mirror, most of the content of which are produced in the United Kingdom, the Independent Group owns just over 67% of Irish daily newspapers. INM-owned or owned titles have 58% of the newspaper market on Sunday. With the closure of the Evening Press, the Independent's Evening Herald is now the only Irish national evening newspaper. Another sister paper is the Sunday Independent. Other newspapers in the Independent News & Media group include the Irish Daily Star, the Sunday World and many local Irish newspapers; the Independent News and Media Group had a major share in the Sunday Tribune, a Sunday broadsheet before its closure in 2011. The Independent News & Media Group has been accused of holding an "unhealthy dominance" of the Irish newspaper market, all the more so since the demise of the Irish Press, Evening Press and Sunday Press newspapers publis
Labour Party (Ireland)
The Labour Party is a social-democratic political party in the Republic of Ireland. Founded in 1912 in Clonmel, County Tipperary, by James Larkin, James Connolly, William X. O'Brien as the political wing of the Irish Trades Union Congress, it describes itself as a "democratic socialist party" in its constitution. Labour continues to be the political arm of the Irish trade union and labour movement and seeks to represent workers interests in the Dáil and on a local level. Unlike the other main Irish political parties, Labour did not arise as a faction of the original Sinn Féin party; the party has served as a partner in coalition governments on seven occasions since its formation: six times in coalition either with Fine Gael alone or with Fine Gael and other smaller parties, once with Fianna Fáil. This gives Labour a cumulative total of nineteen years served as part of a government, the second-longest total of any party in the Republic of Ireland after Fianna Fáil; the current party leader is Brendan Howlin.
It is the fourth-largest party in Dáil Éireann, with seven seats. In November 2018, Labour announced that they were considering running candidates again in Northern Ireland, in response to a potential merger between Fianna Fáil and the Social Democratic and Labour Party, with whom Labour have long had fraternal links; the last time Labour had contested elections in the region was in 1973, shortly after the SDLP's formation. The Labour Party is a member of the Progressive Alliance, Socialist International, Party of European Socialists. James Connolly, James Larkin and William X. O'Brien established the Irish Labour Party in 1912, as the political wing of the Irish Trade Union Congress; this party was to represent the workers in the expected Dublin Parliament under the Third Home Rule Act 1914. However, after the defeat of the trade unions in the Dublin Lockout of 1913 the labour movement was weakened; the Irish Citizen Army, formed during the 1913 Lockout, was informally the military wing of the Labour Movement.
The ICA took part in the 1916 Rising. Councillor Richard O'Carroll, a Labour Party member of Dublin Corporation, was the only elected representative to be killed during the Easter Rising. O'Carroll was shot and died several days on 5 May 1916; the ICA was revived during Peadar O'Donnell's Republican Congress but after the 1935 split in the Congress most ICA members joined the Labour Party. The British Labour Party had organised in Ireland, but in 1913 the Labour NEC agreed that the Irish Labour Party would have organising rights over the entirety of Ireland. A group of trade unionists in Belfast objected and the Belfast Labour Party, which became the nucleus of the Northern Ireland Labour Party, remained outside the new Irish party. In Larkin's absence, William O'Brien became the dominant figure in the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union and wielded considerable influence in the Labour Party. O'Brien dominated the Irish Trade Union Congress; the Labour Party, led by Thomas Johnson from 1917, as successor to such organisations as D. D. Sheehan's Irish Land and Labour Association, declined to contest the 1918 general election, in order to allow the election to take the form of a plebiscite on Ireland's constitutional status.
It refrained from contesting the 1921 elections. As a result, the party was left outside Dáil Éireann during the vital years of the independence struggle, though Johnson sat in the First Dáil; the Anglo-Irish Treaty divided the Labour Party. Some members sided with the Irregulars in the Irish Civil War that followed. O'Brien and Johnson encouraged its members to support the Treaty. In the 1922 general election the party won 17 seats. However, there were a number of a loss in support for the party. In the 1923 general election the Labour Party only won 14 seats. From 1922 until Fianna Fáil TDs took their seats in 1927, the Labour Party was the major opposition party in the Dáil. Labour attacked the lack of social reform by the Cumann na nGaedheal government. Larkin returned to Ireland in 1923, he hoped to resume the leadership role he had left, but O'Brien resisted him. Larkin sided with the more radical elements of the party, in September that year he established the Irish Worker League. In 1932, the Labour Party supported Éamon de Valera's first Fianna Fáil government, which had proposed a programme of social reform with which the party was in sympathy.
It appeared for a time during the 1940s that the Labour Party would replace Fine Gael as the main opposition party. In the 1943 general election the party won 17 seats, its best result since 1927; the party was conservative compared to similar European parties, its leaders from 1932 to 1977 were members of the Knights of Saint Columbanus. The Larkin-O'Brien feud still continued, worsened over time. In the 1940s the hatred caused the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. O'Brien left with six TDs in 1944, founding the National Labour Party, whose leader was James Everett. O'Brien withdrew ITGWU from the Irish Trade Unions Congress and set up his own congress; the split damaged the Labour movement in the 1944 general election. It was only after Larkin's death in 1947. After the 1948 general election National Labour had five TDs – Everett, Dan Spri
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law. In some countries, it is synonymous with a vote on a ballot question; some definitions of'plebiscite' suggest that it is a type of vote to change the constitution or government of a country. However, some other countries define it differently. For example, Australia defines'referendum' as a vote to change the constitution, and'plebiscite' as a vote that does not affect the constitution. In Ireland, the vote to adopt its constitution was called a "plebiscite", but a subsequent vote to amend the constitution is called a'referendum', so is a poll of the electorate on a non-constitutional bill; the word referendum is a general word used for both legislative referrals and initiatives.'Referendum' is the gerundive form of the Latin verb refero "to carry back". As a gerundive is an adjective, not a noun, it cannot be used alone in Latin and must be contained within a context attached to a noun such as Propositum quod referendum est populo, "A proposal which must be carried back to the people".
The addition of the verb sum to a gerundive, denotes the idea of necessity or compulsion, that which "must" be done, rather than that, "fit for" doing. Its use as a noun in English is thus not a grammatical usage of a foreign word, but is rather a freshly coined English noun, which therefore follows English grammatical usage, not Latin grammatical usage; this determines the form of the plural in English, which according to English grammar should be "referendums". The use of "referenda" as a plural form in English is thus insupportable according to the rules of both Latin and English grammar alike; the use of "referenda" as a plural form is posited hypothetically as either a gerund or a gerundive by the Oxford English Dictionary, which rules out such usage in both cases as follows: Referendums is logically preferable as a plural form meaning'ballots on one issue'. The Latin plural gerundive'referenda', meaning'things to be referred' connotes a plurality of issues, it is related to the political agenda, "those matters which must be driven forward", from ago, to drive.
The name and use of the'referendum' is thought to have originated in the Swiss canton of Graubünden as early as the 16th century. The term'plebiscite' has a similar meaning in modern usage, comes from the Latin plebiscita, which meant a decree of the Concilium Plebis, the popular assembly of the Roman Republic. Today, a referendum can often be referred to as a plebiscite, but in some countries the two terms are used differently to refer to votes with differing types of legal consequences. For example, Australia defines'referendum' as a vote to change the constitution, and'plebiscite' as a vote that does not affect the constitution. In contrast, Ireland has only held one plebiscite, the vote to adopt its constitution, every other vote has been called a referendum. Plebiscite has been used to denote a non-binding vote count such as the one held by Nazi Germany to'approve' in retrospect the so-called Anschluss with Austria, the question being not'Do you permit?' but rather'Do you approve?' of that which has most already occurred.
The term referendum covers a variety of different meanings. A referendum can be advisory. In some countries, different names are used for these two types of referendum. Referendums can be further classified by who initiates them: mandatory referendums prescribed by law, voluntary referendums initiated by the legislature or government, referendums initiated by citizens. A deliberative referendum is a referendum designed to improve the deliberative qualities of the campaign preceding the referendum vote, and/or of the act of voting itself. From a political-philosophical perspective, referendums are an expression of direct democracy. However, in the modern world, most referendums need to be understood within the context of representative democracy. Therefore, they tend to be used quite selectively, covering issues such as changes in voting systems, where elected officials may not have the legitimacy or inclination to implement such changes. Since the end of the 18th century, hundreds of national referendums have been organised in the world.
Italy ranked second with 72 national referendums: 67 popular referendums, 3 constitutional referendums, one institutional referendum and one advisory referendum. A referendum offers the electorate a choice of accepting or rejecting a proposal, but not always; some referendums give voters the choice among multiple choices and some use Transferable voting even. In Switzerland, for example, multiple choice referendums are common. Two multiple choice referendums were held in Sweden, in 1957 and in 1980, in which voters were offered three options. In 1977, a referendum held in Australia to determine a new national anthem was held in which voters had four choices. In 1992, New Zealand held a five-option referendum on their electoral system. In 1982, Guam had referendum that used six options, with an additional blank option for anyone wishing to vote for their own seventh option. A multiple choice referendum pose
Minister for Justice and Equality
The Minister for Justice and Equality is the senior minister at the Department of Justice and Equality in the Government of Ireland. The Minister has overall responsibility for order in Ireland; the current Minister for Justice and Equality is Charles Flanagan, TD. He is assisted by: Pat Breen, TD – Minister of State for Trade, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Finian McGrath, TD – Minister of State for Disability Issues David Stanton, TD – Minister of State for Equality and Integration From 1919 until 1923 the holder of the justice portfolio was known as the Minister for Home Affairs. In 1997, the portfolio of the then-Minister for Justice was amalgamated with that of the Minister for Equality and Law Reform to create a Minister for Justice and Law Reform, a position, retained until 2010; the minister has had the current title since 2011. The Minister's and the Department's main areas of responsibility include: Implementing government policy and proposing new policy on crime, asylum and civil law reform and the criminal justice system in general.
Implementation of government policy and proposing new policy in relation to national security Control and reform of the Garda Síochána Pardons Implementation of core elements of the Good Friday Agreement. Irish cabinets since 1919 Minister for Labour Criminal Assets Bureau Department of Justice and Equality
Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland
The Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland is an amendment to the constitution of Ireland which permits the Oireachtas to legislate for abortion. The constitution had prohibited abortion unless there was a serious risk to the life of the mother; the proposal is described as the Repeal of the Eighth Amendment, referring to the 1983 constitutional amendment which guarantees the unborn the right to life, making abortion illegal unless the pregnancy is life-threatening. The 2018 bill replaces Article 40.3.3° of the Constitution, added in 1983 and amended in 1992. The bill was introduced to the Oireachtas on 9 March 2018 by the Fine Gael minority coalition government, completed its passage through both houses on 27 March 2018, it was approved by 66.4 % of voters. It took effect once signed into law by the President on 18 September 2018; the British Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which made "unlawful procurement of a miscarriage" a crime, remained in force after Irish independence in 1922.
The 1983 Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which declares "the right to life of the unborn... equal right to life of the mother", was instigated by the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign for fear that the 1861 prohibition might be weakened by liberal legislators or activist judges. The 1992 "X case" ruled that abortion is permitted where pregnancy threatens a woman's life, including by risk of suicide. No regulatory framework within the limited scope of the X case judgment was passed until the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013, impelled by the 2010 A, B and C v Ireland case in the European Court of Human Rights and the 2012 death of Savita Halappanavar after miscarriage; the 2013 act makes "destruction of unborn human life" a crime. In the three years 2014–2016 a total of 77 legal abortions were performed under the 2013 act. Illegal surgical abortions in Ireland have been unknown since the UK's Abortion Act 1967 allowed Irish women to travel to Great Britain for a legal abortion; the 13th and 14th amendments to the constitution, passed in 1992 after the X case, guarantee the right to information about foreign abortions and to travel abroad for an abortion.
The number of women at UK abortion clinics giving Irish addresses peaked at 6,673 in 2001 and was 3,265 in 2016. The decline is due to unregulated use of abortion pills illegally delivered from online pharmacies. While left-wing parties and feminists opposed the 1983 amendment and have advocated its repeal, this was not supported by the two largest parties for most of the interim, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. In the 2010s while both parties' leadership opposed broad liberalisation, some accepted the argument for abortion in cases like fatal foetal abnormalities and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, which are not permitted by the 1983 amendment; these became the focus of campaigning after the 2013 act. The Abortion Rights Campaign, a pro-choice alliance formed in 2012, holds an annual "March for Choice" in Dublin. Pro-life groups have countered with a "Rally for Life". In the run up to the 2016 general election, a number of parties committed to a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment and a group of feminist law academics published model legislation to show what a post-Eighth Amendment abortion law could look like.
A Fine Gael-led government under Taoiseach Enda Kenny took office after the 2016 election with a programme which promised a randomly selected Citizens' Assembly to report on possible changes to the Eighth Amendment, which would be considered by an Oireachtas committee, to whose report the government would respond in debates in both houses of the Oireachtas. Leo Varadkar replaced Enda Kenny as Taoiseach on 14 June 2017 and promised to hold a referendum on abortion in 2018; the Citizens' Assembly, chaired by Supreme Court judge Mary Laffoy, discussed the issue from November 2016 to April 2017 with invited experts and stakeholders, voted to recommend repealing the existing text and replacing it with an explicit mandate for the Oireachtas to legislate on abortion. It made recommendations for the consequent legislation, which were more liberal than media commentators had expected; the assembly's report was considered from September to December 2017 by a special Oireachtas committee of 21 members, which discussed the issue with invited experts.
However, it said that because of difficulties legislating for rape and incest, abortion should be legal up to 12 weeks' gestation without restriction. In January 2018, Minister for Health Simon Harris opened the Dáil debate on the committee's report by listing the numbers from each county who travelled to Great Britain for an abortion in 2016. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin declared that he had changed his view on the issue and gave his support for Repeal of the Eighth Amendment and for the Committee's recommendations. Further action was called into question by a July 2016 High Court ruling that a foetus was a child within the meaning of Article 42A of the Constitution, which guarantees children's rights; the Supreme Court agreed to expedite the government's appeal of the decision, on 7 March 2018 overturned the High Court judgment, ruling that a foetus was not a child and had no rights other than the right to life mentioned in Article 40.3.3. The Amendment proposes to replace the text of Article 40.3.3º, which reads: Note: The first clause was added by the Eighth Amendment approved by referendum in 1983.
Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government
The Department of Housing and Local Government is a department of the Government of Ireland. It is led by the Minister for Housing and Local Government, assisted by two Ministers of State; the official headquarters and ministerial offices of the department are in The Custom House, Dublin 1. The departmental team consists of the following: Minister for Housing and Local Government: Eoghan Murphy, TD Minister for Housing and Urban Development: Damien English, TD Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform: John Paul Phelan, TD Secretary General of the Department: John McCarthy The official headquarters and ministerial offices of the department are in The Custom House, Dublin 1, it was created as the Department of Local Government at the first meeting of Dáil Éireann in 1919. Over the years its name has changed several times. There have been some changes in its functions; the mission of the department is to pursue sustainable development. In pursuing this mission its mandate is to: achieve a high quality environment with effective environmental protection.
The department is responsible for, among other matters: housing the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland local authorities and related services the supervision of elections including the general election and presidential elections, electronic voting arrangements Met Éireann, the weather forecasting service. Department of Housing and Local Government