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#opinion and insight

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 20 November, 2013

Column: This is home – a mouldy kitchen, faulty electrics, damp and children with respiratory illnesses

One desperate renter details what it’s like to live in a substandard apartment.

Column: ‘My husband was holding back tears when he told me Callum had meningitis’

On Universal Children’s Day, mother Roisin Hartley tells her story about how she came so close to losing her son to meningitis.

# opinion-and-insight - Tuesday 19 November, 2013

Column: Paying top-ups to senior staff raises serious questions about hospital operations

There’s something wrong in the system when we are topping-up hospital executives’ pay while clamping patients in hospital car parks for money, writes Catherine Murphy TD.

Column: Laughter at World Toilet Day is worth it if it highlights that sanitation is a human right

Today is World Toilet Day. Yes, people might laugh, writes Michael Doorly, but did you know more children die from diarrhoea related disease than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Column: ‘Are we really foreign agents?’ – Russia’s crackdown on civil society

For 20 years, my organisation has focused on the promotion of human rights and peace through non-violent means. So it came as a shock to us when in March this year our offices were raided by a host of authorities, writes Valentina Cherevatenko.

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 18 November, 2013

Column: What does it mean to be Irish in the 21st century?

Rather than ignoring our past, it is more important to know how to deal with it, writes Raymond Keogh, who explores the issue of Irish identity in this Decade of Commemorations.

Column: Austerity has exacerbated inequality across our society

The well-being of the most vulnerable in society has been completely disregarded in the European Central Bank policy of enforcing debt slavery on peripheral countries like Ireland, writes Rory Hearne.

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 17 November, 2013

Column: Should defendants be able to waive their right to trial by jury?

Are jury trials suitable for high-profile, white collar crime cases? It could be near impossible to impanel a jury that wouldn’t be unduly biased in such cases, writes Karl Shirran.

Column: Ecological restoration offers fresh pathways for citizens to engage with nature

Ecological restoration not only has the potential to reverse environmental damage locally and globally, but also to transform our relationship with the natural world, writes Paddy Woodworth.

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 16 November, 2013

Video column: Ireland's young and diverse population deserves to be heard

Large sections of our society are not being represented by the mainstream media – excluding valid perspectives and life experience from the national conversation, says Katie Varvos.

Aaron McKenna: Our government hides its actions by obstructing Freedom of Information

To hide public service deficiency and ensure that ‘accountability’ remains a word in the dictionary, senior public servants have been waging a long war on Freedom of Information, writes Aaron McKenna.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 15 November, 2013

Column: The Loyaltybuild breach shows it's time to take data protection seriously

In countries lucky enough not to have suffered under a police state, data protection concerns do not always alarm the ordinary citizen. We need to wake up, writes Fergal Crehan.

Column: Is social media promoting or stifling debate?

When we profess to care about a cause on social media, are we helping the discussion or just making ourselves feel better? Stephen Downes discusses whether the information age is killing genuine debate.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 14 November, 2013

Column: Will Ireland see a new political party?

While public dissatisfaction offers fertile ground for any new party it does not guarantee any new party longevity or success, writes Mark Beegan.

Column: As a new 'peace fence' goes up in Belfast, let's remember that we cannot walk alone

At a time when yet another interface barrier is going up in east Belfast, we should perhaps reflect on the words that Martin Luther King spoke 50 years ago, writes Peter Osborne.

Lisa McInerney: Why are we so offhand about what's influencing male body image?

Actors like Chris Hemsworth are praised for their dedication when they lose weight for roles, while female actors are chided for being poor role models. But the reverential obsession with actors slimming radically for jobs is harmful.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 13 November, 2013

Column: The real problem to our economic crisis? The eurozone itself is deeply flawed.

Our shared currency system is not just preventing our ability to recover but is at the root of inevitable further looming crises, writes Mike Hall.

Column: Leaving it all behind – a Syrian family’s journey to safety

“I did not say a proper goodbye to my father and did not even bury him. I don’t know who did and where,” said Ahmed, whose family has been forced to move around – inside and outside Syria – for more than a year after a shell destroyed their home.

Column: What is the role of human rights and foreign policy in a changing world?

The Tanaiste will have the opportunity to discuss this country’s red line for human rights abuses – past which Ireland will not tolerate. I urge him to take it, writes Mary Lawlor.

# opinion-and-insight - Tuesday 12 November, 2013

Column: People in the Philippines are desperate, stunned and hopeless

As a Filipino, I know we’re a resilient nation – but this time the devastation is so great that people are truly desperate. This sort of disaster is simply unprecedented, writes Dr Natasha Reyes.

Column: Why I ran the New York City marathon

For marathoners, New York City is one of the most spectacular routes in the world. The finishing line is a sight that never ceases to amaze or bring a torrent of emotion to the surface, writes Jackie Cahill.

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 11 November, 2013

Column: An oil spill in America provoked outrage, but other victims are more easily ignored

People in the oil-producing areas of the Niger Delta have suffered thousands of oil spills – which have ruined livelihoods, public health and the environment. Why are they not being listened to? Because oil companies control information about the spills.

Column: Collaboration, though not easy, is essential for charities to make a difference

It’s very rare that a social justice ‘win’ can be claimed by any one group – but when civil society organisations come together to fight for a cause, the results are inspiring, writes Anna Visser on National Giving Week.

Column: People using mental health services should be active participants in their own care

We need recovery-oriented services for mental health which involves the input not just of doctors, but of the individual and the community, writes Dr Shari McDaid.

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 10 November, 2013

Column: Why is so much importance attached to engagement rings?

Amid all the life decisions, excitement about the future, and plans for a wedding, there’s one very small detail to which far too many people attach an incredible amount of significance: the engagement ring.

Column: Webcam child sex tourism – a sordid off-shoot of the social media revolution

Law enforcement has not caught up with advances in technology that are giving sexual predators access to vulnerable children, writes Hans Guyt.

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 9 November, 2013

Column: Ongoing alcohol misuse in Ireland is ruining individuals and families

Over half of all Irish drinkers have a harmful pattern of drinking; don’t be fooled into thinking alcohol misuse is ‘normal’ or has no affect on your personal relationships, writes Tony Moore.

Column: Why I’m still afraid to come out to my friends and family

I’m 28 and in a committed, loving relationship but none of my friends or family know that – because I’ve never told them I’m gay. For all the talk of social acceptability, I still fear of losing the people I love.

Aaron McKenna: Marriage is nothing more than a contract – bring on the prenups

There should be no reason that society prevents people from entering into an agreement that allows them to protect their respective assets, writes Aaron McKenna.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 8 November, 2013

Column: Israel throws the spotlight on Gaza by refusing to facilitate passage for EU delegates

A refusal to admit EU delegates to Gaza brings fresh opportunity for scrutinising policies, actions and facts on the ground that adversely affect the people living there, writes Gary Spedding.

Column: Design in an age of austerity – why we need to stimulate the creative economy

Despite Ireland having produced world-class designers though the years, ‘design’ as a concept is often undervalued and misunderstood. It’s time for that to change, writes Professor Alex Milton.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 7 November, 2013

Column: Why is lung disease so prevalent in Ireland?

Ireland has one of the highest death rates from lung disease in Western Europe – only Belgium, Moldova, Hungary and Kyrgyzstan have higher mortality levels. Dr Edward McKone examines why.

Column: Why are so many people dismayed by honesty, and so few by pretence?

After I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I was shocked by how many friends challenged my need to be open and honest about it, writes Patricia Tsouros.

Column: We won’t give up the fight for international debt justice

We are paying off debts that are not our own – but through consistent, popular resistance, our society can be free of this crisis, writes Nessa Ní Chasaide.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 6 November, 2013

Column: What has psychology got to do with the internet?

The internet provides an exceptional setting for social interactions that has a significant effect on people’s way of thinking, writes psychologist Yair Amichai-Hamburger.

Column: Past concerns over Ireland's abortion laws foreshadowed today's reality

Arguments against the eighth amendment of the Constitution in 1983 raised concerns about Ireland’s approach to abortion which have sadly been realised, writes historian Dr Ciara Meehan.

# opinion-and-insight - Tuesday 5 November, 2013

Column: Let's see a vigorous, successful campaign for marriage equality

Ireland’s mainstream parties should now work together to guarantee equal rights and equal opportunities to all Irish citizens, regardless of sexuality, writes Mark Beegan.

Column: We hope to ease the enormous pressure placed on mortgage holders

A new initiative spearheaded by the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation aims to help these borrowers and others who are reluctant to engage with the banks, writes Dr Constantin Gurdgiev.

Column: The NSA spying scandal is coming at an awkward time for the US...

US spying worldwide threatens to undermine several US IT companies – like Google, Facebook, and Linkedin – as well as major US-led trade pacts, writes John O’Donnell.