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Participation

On Tuesday, 12th November 2019, President Michael D. Higgins hosted a seminar entitled "Rethinking Economics:  The Role of the State in Fostering a Sustaiable and Inclusive Economy".

In his opening remarks, he cautioned "the prevailing neoliberal model which features markets without regulation, distorted trade and unrestricted globalisation, the priority of the price mechanism and the practice of commodification, speculative investment, and which results in unbridled consumption, yawning inequality and destructive extraction of natural resources is unsustainable from economic, environmental and social standpoints."

Minister Seán Canney TD, Minister for State in the Department of Rural and Community Development, yesterday launched the 2018 Annual Report of the Public Participation Networks (PPNs).  The PPNs are an independent network of community organisations, established in every Local Authority area, which supports meaningful democratic participation in their communities.  Social Justice Ireland were delighted to support the Department in drafting the 2018 Annual Report which provides detail on the huge body of work undertaken by each of the PPNs on behalf of almost 15,000 member organisations.

Following the official recognition of the ethnicity of Irish Travellers in 2017, the Seanad Consultation Committee sought views from a range of stakeholders to make proposals to support Travellers’ full equality post-ethnicity; and to make recommendations on the way forward.

Local government has the potential to transform our communities but that potential is not being realised.  It is time to harness this potential and deliver more power locally.

Decisions made by general and local Government affect every one of us.  Policies enacted on healthcare, housing, taxation, planning and so on all have an impact on our day to day lives.  Part of the ‘Good Governance’ pillar in Social Justice Ireland’s proposed Policy Framework for a Just Society, is the right of all people to meaningfully participate in the decisions and to have their say in shaping their communities and the world around them.  These rights are a fundamental part of living in a democracy and, as such, should be experienced by all equally.

A full analysis of the policy challenges surrounding participation and our proposed policy response is contained in Social Justice Matters: 2019 guide to a Fairer Irish Society.  The chapter is available below.


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 this section of our National Soical Monitor Autumn 2018 we look at trust in Government, accountability and participation in a deliberative democracy and propose a number of policy priorities to tackle the causes of these issues.

Public Participation Networks (PPNs), made up of groups and organisations from the Environmental, Social Inclusion, and Community & Voluntary sectors, are influencing policy at a local and national level. And who knows what’s best for their communities better than local people themselves?

The Government has failed to respond adequately to our nation’s housing crisis. There are almost 87,000 households on social housing waiting lists - over half of whom are families - and 10,000 homeless, of whom 3,600 are children. This is a national emergency. The impact of homelessness and precarious housing on our nation’s children will be felt for generations to come.

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