Analysis & Comment

The Central Bank issued its quarterly Residential Mortgage Arrears & Repossession Statistics report for Q4 2018.  While the number of mortgages in arrears has again decreased, the rise in sales to non-bank entities of both performing and non-performing loans continues to put homeowners at risk.

Access to justice is a basic human right, however in order to achieve equality of access, there must be a balance of power on both sides.  In a legal context, the balance of power almost always rests with those who can afford counsel.  Redressing this balance requires the availability of free and low-cost legal services to those who need the advice of a qualified solicitor or barrister but who cannot afford the costs associated with it.    

Providing good mental health services is a necessary investment in the future wellbeing of the country.  Research and development in all areas of mental health are needed to ensure a quality service is delivered.

Has the fall in long-term unemployment numbers plateaued? If so, a more targeted approach may be required to get us back to the low levels of the 2000s.

Support for people to remain in their own homes is a key and appropriate policy objective and coincides with the wishes of most older people. A key component of this is a statutory basis for home care packages.

The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 came into force today, March 4th 2019. This piece of legislation has as its objectives the provision 'for a requirement that employers provide employees with certain terms of employment within a certain period after commencing employment; to impose sanction for certain offences; to further provide for a minimum payment due to the employees in certain circumstances; to prohibit contracts specifying zero as the contract hours in certain circumstances and to provide for the introduction of banded contract hours; to further provide for prohibition of penalisation and for those purposes to amend certain other pieces of employment law'.

Under-employment seems to have stopped falling. Yet at over 100,000 people it remains high and this spare economic capacity might, at a practical level, mean that thousands are struggling financially. It also suggests that we are further from full employment than government would like us to believe and these under-employed people could, along with some other categories, conceivably swell real unemployment numbers by almost 170%.

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the publication of ‘A Better World: Ireland’s Policy for International Development’, which outlines the Government’s commitment to reaching the UN target of allocating 0.7% of our GNI to official development assistance by 2030.  The reiteration of the commitment to Ireland’s ODA target is welcome, and Government is to be commended for setting a date by which it will meet this target.   

The release announcing the latest social housing output data last week would indicate that Rebuilding Ireland is exceeding its targets in the provision of social housing to those on low incomes.  Unfortunately, the reality is that 45% of local authorities failed to meet their build targets and reliance on the private rented market to provide answers continues.


We are facing into local elections in May 2019. Sustainable local development should be a key policy issue on the local government agenda.

Recent publications

Watch the videos from our 2019 Global Justice Day Seminar here. Professor Charles Clark of St John's University in New York and Catherine Kavanagh of University College Cork launched our Sustainable Progress Index 2019, and Coalition 2030 Coordinator Jennifer Thompson responded.


Ireland ranks 11th out of 15 comparable EU countries in this year’s Sustainable Progress Index. ‘Measuring Progress: The Sustainable Progress Index 2019’ ranks 15 comparable EU countries based on their delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The index compares 15 EU countries across all UN SDGs, assesses their performance on each individual SDG and creates a ranking table for performance overall.


Social Justice Ireland’s
annual Socio-Economic Review is entitled Social Justice Matters. This book is about charting a course to a better Ireland. At the foundation of that is the model of development we follow.

In order to improve the wellbeing of everyone in society, at all stages of the life cycle, it is vital that our policies address the causes of problems rather than their symptoms only.  It is through this lens that Social Justice Ireland examines the ten policy areas in the National Social Monitor. 

Recent podcasts/videos

Watch the videos from our 2019 Global Justice Day Seminar here. Professor Charles Clark of St John's University in New York and Catherine Kavanagh of University College Cork launched our Sustainable Progress Index 2019, and Coalition 2030 Coordinator Jennifer Thompson responded.

Every year, Social Justice Ireland is the first organisation to produce a comprehensive analysis of the national budget. Our document is published less than 24 hours after the Minister for Finance stands up in Leinster House to give his speech. Click here to read our 24-page analysis, or to watch a video of our Budget Response launch seminar at Buswells Hotel from the morning after the Budget.

Watch Social Justice Ireland's Budget Choices Seminar, which was streamed live from Buswells Hotel on Tuesday June 5th.

Dr. Seán Healy, Colette Bennett and Eamon Murphy talk through our budgetary proposals for 2019, including our analysis of the various crises and infrastructural deficits faced by Ireland, and our revenue-raising measures that can help tackle them.

Social Justice Ireland marks UN World Day of Social Justice each year with a seminar looking at Ireland's progress to date in meeting our responsibilities under the Global Goals. You can view video footage of the seminar here.