Our Lives, Our Choice

When I couldn’t have a baby, people said, “be thankful for what you’ve got”, “focus on the good things in your life”, “maybe God didn’t want you to have a baby”. The Irish public health service doesn’t offer any fertility treatment and no health insurer covers private treatment.

The health service was happy to diagnose my medical condition, it just wouldn’t treat it. Thankfully our insurance paid for the procedure that fixed my husband’s infertility but mine was something I’d just have to accept or pay for myself. Continue Reading →


You cannot put people in jail for stupidity….

So says Antoin Murphy, associate professor of economics at TCD, in last week’s Prime Time Special on the Anglo tapes. The tapes, which were leaked to the Irish Independent newspaper and published last week, detail conversations between senior bank officials at Anglo Irish Bank during its collapse in 2008.

The tapes give a small window into the mentality of the men, whose reckless lending of billions of euro to property developers and total lack of regard for regulatory issues has ended up costing the government over €30 billion so far – that’s €6,500 for every person in the country. Continue Reading →

How have women’s lives changed in a generation?

In 1970, Ireland was a very different country for women. A woman could not sit on a jury or keep her job in the public service when she got married. She could not buy contraceptives, refuse marital relations with her husband, live in a different place to him, get a barring order against him or divorce him. Just over a quarter of women had jobs outside the home and those that did could expect to earn about half as much as men. Continue Reading →

Isn’t it time to start making women’s health a priority?

I belong to a minority group. I am more likely to die of a preventable disease than my peers in other countries. My risk of death from a stroke, heart disease or cancer is one of the highest in Europe. I am considered too incompetent and untrustworthy to make a decision regarding my own reproductive health and I have no right of access to treatment for medical issues in this regard.

I am a woman living in Ireland. Continue Reading →

The childcare money pit

The budget is coming and the leaks have been drip, drip, dripping for months. However, with all the debate over child benefit, are we missing the elephant in the room? Irish childcare costs are now among the most expensive in the world and we have one of the lowest public expenditure on childcare and early education.

According to a 2010 OECD report, Irish parents spend an average of 29% of their incomes on childcare. A full-time Dublin crèche place can cost up to €1100 for just one child, with most crèches offering a discount of only 10% for a second child. As childcare bills now surpass mortgage bills as the major household cost for families, what affect is this having on working parents and, in particular, working mothers? Continue Reading →