30 Mar

Making Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Meaningful in Ireland – Conference on the 29th of March

ESC Rights Initiative Conference
Making Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Meaningful
Oak Room, Mansion House, Dawson St., Dublin 2

The Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Initiative (ESCRI) is a coalition of over 60 civil society organisations including ATD Ireland that support strengthening the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in the Irish Constitution.

With the other members of the ESC Rights initiative, ATD  was very proud to organise  “Making Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Meaningful”  an event that brought together a range of stakeholders to discuss how enforceable ESC Rights such as housing and health would impact on individuals and groups in Ireland, drawing on experiences from other States where ESC Rights have been given legal protection.

Documents for the conference are available here. Some of these documents have been prepared by ATD Ireland!
Pictures of the conference can be see here.
Videos of the conference can be seen here.
Discover more of the “Human Rights” work by ATD Ireland here!

Keynote address: Jamie Burton – Public Lawyer, Doughty Street Chambers


  • Dr. Helen Johnston – National Economic and Social Council
  • Professor Colin Harvey – Queen’s University
  • Professor Gerry Whyte – Trinity College Dublin
  • Siobhan Curran – Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre
  • Eoin Carroll – Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice
  • Dr Austin O’Carroll
  • Debbie Mulhall – Dolphin House Community Development Association and founding member of Rialto Rights in Action
  • Dr Mary Murphy – Maynooth University and Member of IHREC
  • Eilis Barry – FLAC
  • Dr Pádraic Kenna – NUI Galway
  • Michael Farrell

To register to attend please go to  https://escriconf.eventbrite.com

For further information contact  the initiative by mail
escrightsinitiative@gmail.com for further details.

11 Mar

When Voices Unite: Breaking the Silence to Leave No One Behind

“Whether he sings his love, pain, dreams or memory, the Human, between the lines, first sings for his thirst for dignity…  Whether in the Guatemala’s aldéas, as in Haïti’s dulls, or in African, Asian and European slums, everywhere I could hear families living in extreme poverty, singing for their dignity”

Joseph Wresinski, 1987

To celebrate the dignity of people living in poverty, to mark the 30th anniversary of the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty , a series of concerts will be organised by ATD Ireland. This project entitled “When Voices Unite: Breaking the Silence to Leave No One Behind” is supported by a small grant from Impact Joe Lucey Fund and by the French Senate (thanks to Senator Hélène Conway-Mouret)

Our first concert will take place on Tuesday 11th April 2017!

It will be a great occasion to meet and sing together! Download the invitation!

Register your attendance!

After  this first concert, singers and choirs in Ireland will gradualy join a global singing session, that will be held from the 15th and 17th October 2017. This event will be broadcasted by radios from all over the world. Together, people from all backgrounds will sing to speak out and unite their voices against poverty and social exclusion. Hundreds of choirs all over the world will sing a repertoire of popular songs.

The main objectives of this project are:

  • To invite choirs and citizens around the country to sing on the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
  • To invite children and teachers in schools all around Ireland to sing the same song all over Ireland at 11.17am on Tuesday the 17 October 2017.
  • To prepare with the support of a few Irish Choirs (the Island of Ireland Peace Choirs, the High Hopes Choir and the SpeakUp SingOut Teenage Choir,…) a very special singing session which will take place on the UN End Poverty Day, Tuesday 17th October 2017 in the evening in Dublin. This session will involve community members of deprived areas of Dublin.
  • With the support of Rachel Dempsey (Global Harmonies), to create a small ATD choir open to everyone, that would gather both Irish and non-Irish foreign volunteers, including a large majority of people experimenting poverty. This choir would be able to join the singing session, organised on the 17th October 2017, and sing there a few songs.
  • To liaise with the French community-driven choirs in Ireland and to create specific bonds between the ATD choir and some French community choirs. This choice of working on strengthening links with the French community is related to the fact the UN Day first began in France in 1987.
  • To strengthen the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 agenda and to raise awareness on the central challenge of this agenda: To Leave No One Behind.

If you are interested to volunteer with ATD and support this project, contact Laoise: laoise@atdireland.ie


08 Mar

3 videos, 75 pictures… 50 European citizens together to give strength to voices from the margins

Video presented at the European ‘Our Voices’ meeting by ATD Ireland (video transcript)

From Thursday 2nd of March to Monday 6th of March, 50 European citizens coming from Poland, Ireland and Spain met in the International Centre of ATD in France for a major meeting of the “OUR VOICES” project. The project is supported by the European Programme “Europe for Citizens”.
This meeting came almost as the final stage in a 18 month-long project that has seen participants from the 3 countries meeting on a regular basis to discuss social issues in Europe and more specifically topics related to health, work and employment, and relationship between beneficiaries and professionals in institutions.

Before this large meeting smaller delegations met each other outside their own countries, with 3 meetings happening respectively in Ireland (March 2016), Spain (June 2016) and Poland (November 2016).

This gathering lasted for 5 days, during which each delegation presented the outcome of their work to the other participants and discussed it together before introducing their conclusions to a group of guests from different European institutions on the Saturday. This part of the meeting was facilitated by one of the project partner Equipo Andecha.
Creative workshops and cooking workshops also allowed people to express themselves on which Europe they wish to live in and what they envision needs to be done in order to achieve it. The aim of this meeting was for people from different European countries to meet and share their knowledge and concerns with each other and guests from EU institutions.
It was a very special opportunity for people coming from different background to meet and to build together a message about the solidarity and the respect of human dignity which is so needed at the heart of the European Project.
The learnings of the “Our Voices” will be presented at the European Parliament and at the Council of Europe on the 14th and 15th of June 2017.
Discover now “The voice should be heard!” – The SAOL sisters involved in the “Our Voices” project in Dublin sing and rap about the lack of attention tot he voice of the poor as well as the strange motto that adorns the dublin City crest. The video is introduced by Veronica Dyas.

The ‘Our Voices’ European meeting in pictures:

Day 0:

Day 1:

Day 2:


Day 3:

Day 4:


Day 5:

03 Mar

ATD will be an active member of the new Irish #Coalition2030!

Working Together to Transform the World

On 1st March 2017, ATD Ireland was proud to take part in the official launch of Coalition2030 in the Mansion House in Dublin.

The event was attended by leading civil society and political figures, with Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Denis Naughten TD,  Martin Fraser, Secretary General in the Department of the Taoiseach, Leader of the Green Party Eamon Ryan TD and Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Seán Crowe TD. Other speakers at the launch included Dóchas CEO Suzanne Keatinge, Sean Healy, Social Justice Ireland, Olive Towey, Concern Worldwide, Oisin Coghlan, Friends of the Earth and Brian Campfield, President of ICTU.

Dóchas CEO, Suzanne Keatinge, with Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment launching Coalition2030.

Coalition2030 is an alliance of over 100 leading civil society groups (including ATD Ireland) working together for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The organisations involved in the Coalition work across many sectors—from children’s rights to environmental sustainability and from humanitarian relief to education—here in Ireland and in over 50 countries across the globe.

The members of Coalition2030 include: Age Action Ireland; All Together in Dignity (ATD); ChildFund Ireland; CBM Ireland; Centre for Youth Research and Development, Maynooth University; Christian Aid; Comhlámh; Community Work Ireland; Concern Worldwide; Development Perspectives; Disability Federation of Ireland; Dóchas; EcoUnesco; 80:20 Educating & Acting for a Better World; Environmental Pillar; European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN); Future Earth Ireland; Global Action Plan; Gorta Self Help Africa; Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU); Irish Development Education Association; Mercy International Association; Misean Cara; National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI); National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI); Oxfam Ireland; Presentation Sisters (PBVM); Services Industrial Professional Technical Union (SIPTU); Social Justice Ireland; Society of St. Vincent de Paul; SpunOut; The Wheel; Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI); Trocaire; UCD Centre for Sustainable Development Studies; UNICEF; Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO); and World Vision Ireland.

ATD Ireland is very proud to be one of the 20 NGOs who started the Coalition 2030 and is committed to being a very active member. With the Coalition 2030,  ATD wants to walk the talk of the Sustainable Development Goal nr 17 about the needed partnership between stakeholders. The challenge is even to go beyong connecting the civil society organisations and to work together with the authorities, the private sector, the academics and the deprived communities first concerned by the goals.

The SDGs represent a radical political, economic, environmental and social manifesto for the world up until 2030. It has the potential to be one of the most important turning points in modern history. This is not about business as usual. It is about working together to transform the world—to end hunger and poverty once and for all and to safeguard the future of our planet. It is about ensuring that no one is left behind.

Since the adoption of the SDGs on the 25th September 2015, ATD in Ireland has been very active in promoting the 2030 Agenda. For ATD, the 17 Goals of 2030 Agenda are an empowering framework for citizens living in poverty and marginalisation in Ireland and abroad. Many projects were run to raise awareness about 17 SDGs and to enable Irish citizens including those facing poverty and marginalisation to take ownership of the 17 goals. Projects such as:

Currently ATD Ireland is developing a pilot project focused on the participation of young people in implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The focus of this project is to discuss with groups of young people how we can not only ‘talk the talk’ but actually ‘walk the walk’ of the “leave no one behind” promise.
To support the main challenge of the 2030 Agenda, ending poverty in all its forms, everywhere by 2030, ATD Ireland is also joining ATD International in a #StopPoverty ‘Call to Action’. Your support to this call can be registered at www.poverty-stop.org

Will Ireland light the way?

Ireland has played a key leadership role in the development of the SDGs. The work done by Ireland’s Ambassador to the UN, David Donoghue, when Ireland co-chaired the UN negotiations on the SDGs with Kenya, cannot be overstated.

NGOs in Ireland were crucial to the development of the SDGs and now it is time that we make sure we are crucial to their implementation and success. The Coalition2030 will work together to ensure that their potential to transform our world is fulfilled.

To do this Ireland also needs strong political leadership, effective coordination and a ‘whole of Government’ approach. Coalition2030 has three key asks for the Irish Government:

1.        Coalition2030 wants an ambitious National Action Plan led by the Department of the Taoiseach—involving all government departments—to steer, implement, monitor and report on the SDGs. This plan must emphasise the interlinked nature of the Goals—making the link, for example, between agriculture and climate change, trade policy and global poverty.

2.       Coalition2030 wants an inclusive monitoring forum, one in which civil society and in particular those vulnerable groups—both in Ireland and internationally—who stand to gain or lose most from Ireland’s work on the SDGs, are fully represented.

3.       The success of the 2030 Agenda will not happen without increased financing for development. The Government must commit the resources required to achieve the SDGs, both at home and internationally. On international level, a key indicator of this commitment will be a clear and credible plan to reach the UN target to spent 0.7% of our GNI on overseas development aid (ODA).

More about the launch and the work of Coalition members: