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Libraries provide an important social outlet and educational role in Ireland, with 17.2 million visits recorded in 2016 by 754,748 members across 330 branch libraries and 31 mobile libraries.  Operated by Local Authorities, they play an important role in ensuring access to information, reading and learning material.


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.

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 how we raise taxes and how much tax we raise.

Ireland’s social contract is broken.  The legitimate expectations of citizens are not being met.  This is most obvious in areas such as housing and homelessness, a two-tier healthcare system, an ongoing failure to provide rural broadband and high levels of poverty and social exclusion, especially among children.  2017 is the first year of a new century for Ireland and now is the perfect opportunity to develop a new and radical social contract for Ireland’s second century. 

Ireland is making poor progress when ranked against the other 14 countries in the EU-15.  The new Sustainable Progress Index, published  by Social Justice Ireland to mark UN World Social Justice Day, February 20, 2017, shows the scale of the challenge facing Ireland under the headings of economy, society and environment.

Economic recovery has yet to be experienced by large numbers of people in Europe.  Many remain excluded as they continue to lose out in employment, education, healthcare, poverty and related services.  This is undermining the confidence many people had in the European project because they see the EU constantly giving priority to economic issues ahead of social challenges.

'Europe: The Excluded Suffer while Europe Stagnates’ is the tenth publication in Social Justice Ireland’s European Research Series.  The report reviews the social situation in the 28 EU member states and makes some proposals and recommendations for a more sustainable and inclusive future.  It analyses performance in areas such as poverty and inequality, employment, access to key public services and taxation.  

Social Justice Ireland was invited to present our analysis of Budget 2017 and recommendations for Budget 2018 to the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight.  We were also invited by the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills to discuss the Expert Group Report 'Investing in National Ambition: A Strategy for Funding Higher Education'.  Our opening statemements to both committees are available to download below.

One hundred years after the 1916 Rising Ireland faces major choices that will shape its future for the decades ahead.  The dominant economic approaches and policies which have been favoured in recent decades in Ireland, the EU and beyond have failed to recognise the interdependent relationships between a vibrant economy, social cohesion, good governance and sustainability that must characterise any society if it is to thrive in the long run. Yet recognition of this interdependency is critically important if we are to fulfil our obligations to future generations of Irish people and to the planet on which we depend for our existence.  

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