PRESS-COVERAGE

"Coalition is hiding behind troika, says Ombudsman" Sept 25 2013

"I know the Government does tend to hide behind the troika and say they are forcing us to do this. Yes, the troika is forcing Ireland to hugely cut back on its public spending, but the choices are political choices," she said. Speaking at a seminar on human rights organised by the Equality and Rights Alliance in Dublin yesterday, Ms O'Reilly said she had witnessed a dramatic shift during her decade-long stint as ombudsman.

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"Reilly says job she was tasked with like working in 'Narnia" Sept 24 2013

Emily O'Reilly said that she was asked to appoint an equality and human rights commission under legislation that is like "Narnia" - it does not exist.

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"O’Reilly voices ire at record on rights" Sept 25 2013

Ms O’Reilly, who leaves her post next month after 10 years as the watchdog over public bodies to become European ombudsman, said she could not even raise the subject of human rights with ministers and officials. Comparing the subject with the effort it took to get children to eat vegetables, she said she had to cut it up into small pieces, cover it with sugar or ketchup, and present it to them without making it obvious what was on the plate. "Just don’t tell them what we are doing is human rights," she said

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"Ombudsman: Government needs to stop hiding behind the Troika" Sept 24 2013

Emily O'Reilly said her office has also been used by the coalition to hide behind cutbacks. She departs the job later this week for her new position of European Ombudsman. In one of her last public engagements - to the Equality and Rights Alliance - she criticised the Government's actions.

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ERA RELEASES

"Increased Budget for Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Welcomed" Dec 19 2013

Rachel Mullen, Coordinator for the Equality and Rights Alliance, pointed out that “while this increased funding is an important step in the right direction, the budget of the new body remains €1.5 million less than the combined budgets of its predecessor bodies (Equality Authority and Irish Human Rights Commission) prior to the disproportionate cutbacks in their budgets in 2009”.

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"Discriminating Section 37 Must be Deleted from Employment Equality Act" November 7 2013

Rachel Mullen, Coordinator of the Equality and Rights Alliance, noted: “any exemption in equality legislation which results in discrimination against another group protected under equality legislation is unacceptable".

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"Strengthened economic, social and cultural rights the way to fight rising discrimination with austerity" Sept 24 2013

Economic, social and cultural rights must be a core focus of the proposed Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) if it is to truly challenge the rising levels of discrimination and human rights violations being experienced with austerity. That was the clear message from representatives of over 60 civil society groups, gathered at an Equality and Rights Alliance (ERA) seminar to discuss the future work of the proposed new Commission.

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"Discrimination widespread during recession while state equality and human rights response is languishing" Sept 24 2013

The report, produced by Equality & Rights Alliance (ERA), shows that between 2008 and 2011, cases coming before the Equality Tribunal fell by 33% (down from 996 to 671 cases), cases supported by the Equality Authority plummeted by nearly 66% (from 68 to 23 cases), and the Irish Human Rights Commission granted legal assistance in just three cases in 2011. The issue will be discussed at an ERA seminar, to be opened today by new European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, who will give her views on protecting rights in a time of austerity.

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'Alliance welcomes European analysis that cuts are strangling equality & human rights in Ireland' Feb 19 2013

Equality & Rights Alliance (ERA) said that it welcomed the endorsement by the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) for the alliance’s long standing analysis that severe cuts to Ireland’s equality and human rights bodies had strangled their effectiveness for four years and were now threatening the viability of their proposed merger.

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