Supreme Court hears argument over Traveller’s right to attend local school

THE SUPREME COURT has begun hearing an appeal into whether a teenage Traveller was discriminated against after he was refused admission to his local secondary school.

Five judges of the Supreme Court heard legal arguments this morning over the case, which was taken by the boy’s mother after the Christian Brothers’ High School in Clonmel turned down his application for admission in 2010.

Mary Stokes lodged a complaint over the school’s policy of giving priority to students whose fathers were past pupils of the school which she said discriminated against her son, John. Mary Stokes argued that the policy was discriminatory and disproportionately affected Travellers as they are statistically less likely to have a father who attended secondary school.

Only 10 per cent of Traveller men of John’s father’s generation progressed to second level education, according to figures from the Irish Traveller Movement.

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The life expectancy for the Irish man is 78. For a woman? 83

A REPORT MEASURING Ireland’s progress gives mixed reports about how we are getting on as a country, with the Central Statistics Office collecting data to show that while we are improving at some things, we are lagging behind in others.

The Measuring Ireland’s Progress Report 2012, gives a mixture of good news –  like Ireland being the only country in the EU to experience a decrease in inflation from 2008 to 2012 and then bad news – like Ireland being the fifth most expensive state in the EU in 2012.

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In much of Europe, ‘asylum-seeker’ and ‘refugee’ have become dirty words

IN MUCH OF Europe, ‘asylum-seeker’ and ‘refugee’ have become dirty words. It is rare to find a politician who will express genuine concern for refugees in public; when it does happen, it’s usually on a visit to a refugee camp somewhere far from Europe’s borders.

At the national level, politicians either avoid the subject or link it to words like ‘crime’, ‘invading’ and ‘queue-jumping’.

Last week Amnesty International called on EU governments to resettle more refugees from Syria, to lighten the immense burden borne by the main host countries, particularly Lebanon and Jordan. Some of the reactions were telling of the political climate.

Some people asked why it was Europe’s problem if Muslims where killing other Muslims in Syria. Others said they did not want “terrorists” coming to their country. Some just didn’t like the idea of resettlement, saying that their countries’ financial contributions to the humanitarian crisis were sufficient.

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Parents of Dylan Gaffney Hayes release statement about €8.5m HSE settlement

THE FAMILY OF a young boy who suffered catastrophic brain injuries during birth was awarded a settlement of €8.5 million in the High Court today.

Last year, the Health Service Executive (HSE) admitted liability in the case of Dylan Gaffney Hayes.

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ECC report says European consumers face discrimination based on where they live

A NEW REPORT by the European Consumer Centre (ECC) shows that dependent on where you leave people are unable to buy certain things or are charged a higher price for goods.

Over a three year period the report highlights the current practical difficulties faced by consumers when attempting to access cross-border services in the single market.

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University shuts down college society over alleged ‘homophobic’ leaflets

A THIRD level institution has suspended a college society over complaints about alleged homophobic activities.

The National University of Ireland, Galway suspended the Legion of Mary after the distribution of controversial leaflets around the campus.

The leaflets, from the Courage Community group, promoted what it described as a Purity Matters Initiative.

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Modern Slavery. Part 2

Three women who were freed from a London home were victims of “slavery in simple terms,” and were not trafficked or physically constrained, a senior police officer said Friday.

Police now are trying to figure out “what were the invisible handcuffs that were used” to exert such control, said Commander Steve Rodhouse.

“It is not as brutally obvious as women being physically restrained inside an address and not being allowed to leave,” Rodhouse said.

“This may have appeared to be a normal family,” he said.

On Thursday, police disclosed that they had released a 69-year-old Malaysian, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old Briton from a home in south London on Oct. 25.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland of the Metropolitan Police human trafficking unit said the women were “highly traumatized” and had “no real exposure to the outside world” for the past 30 years.

A man and a woman, both 67, were arrested early Thursday on suspicion of forced labor and domestic servitude.


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