‘Tell people I am not a terrorist’

Initially I travelled to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories hoping to gain a deeper understanding of my faith. In the end, witnessing the Palestinian people carry out their faith with openness and resilience brought a true insight into how God works.

Irish Government Gives Up On Penal Reform

Placing the State’s current programme of prison expansion alongside a historical understanding of penal reform or a more contemporary understanding of penal moderation, it becomes clear that the Irish Government has thrown in the towel on penal reform as it is commonly understood, despite its adoption of advocates’ rhetoric.

Nature Restoration, Now

In the right circumstances biodiversity and the natural environment has an incredible capacity to restore itself. In many cases we know what we need to do…

Taxation ineffective for decreasing land value

If land that has been identified for the RZLT was instead purchased by local authorities using the CPO mechanism and used to build public housing, it would be a step in the right direction.

Burning Rubber

The shift to electric cars is an essential element of our climate mitigation strategy. But to repeat a cliché that is fundamentally true: electric cars are not a plan to save the world; they are a plan to save the car industry.

We need to thread carefully

Instead of levelling the playing field, fast fashion is actually increasing inequality.

Cycling for Change During Bike Week

Changing the pace at which you move through a city, and removing the metal barrier which separates you from your surroundings, makes you a more engaged resident and citizen. You come to intimately know your surroundings, such as the parts of your commute that are more dangerous, where the best views are, and which areas have more green space. You spot the areas where the infrastructure is good enough to allow kids to walk and cycle to school. You also see where new homes are being built and others are boarded up. The life of an area becomes is more connected to you, than it is from when observed from behind the wheel of a car.

Land Hoarding and Speculation Must End

This issue is not only affecting the property market for potential buyers. Land hoarding and speculation also affects the delivery of social housing. Higher land values consume a significant part of the budget of AHBs – who deliver much of our social and affordable housing – and directly impact the final cost of the houses and apartments. This has an obvious immediate impact on how many units they can deliver. It is also an issue when calculating the financial outlay for affordable and cost-rental housing, which in turn affects the price of sale or rent of a unit and the overall long-term sustainability of a scheme.

Going Nuclear is Not the Answer

The fact that we have to take everything about SMR technology on trust is important because for almost a century, the unfulfilled promise of the nuclear energy industry has left a trail of destruction in its wake. While carbon-neutral from a certain perspective, any claim that nuclear energy has been good for the environment can only be financially motivated. Apart from the obvious catastrophic impact of the Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters, in the ten years from 2006-2016, Greenpeace found 166 “near misses” at nuclear power plants in the USA alone.

Overcrowding diminishes prisoners’ dignity

Research has shown repeatedly that more prison spaces does not solve overcrowding. Today’s commitment of an additional 620 beds is based on the development of around 400 new cells which is the final nail in the coffin of any ambition for “one prisoner, one cell”. Even the conservative proposal of a cap at 4,000 prisoners is not considered by the Department. We are staring into a future of double-ups, triple-ups and rampant overcrowding.