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Angry students doorstep TDs over fees –


UCC and CIT students protesting outside Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer's constituency office in Cork city

STUDENTS are targeting backbench government TDs in an escalating protest campaign over college fees.

Almost 1,200 University College Cork (UCC) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) students marched on the offices of Fine Gael Cork South Central TD Jerry Buttimer to highlight anger at what they called “tuition fees by stealth.”

It was the first in a series of 12 protests to target specific government backbench TDs over proposed fee hikes and threatened grant cuts.

Further protests will be staged nationwide.

CIT Student Union President Danny O’Donovan said that registration fees were effectively being used as a means of re-introducing tuition fees.

Students challenged Mr Buttimer outside his Glasheen Road offices to sign a pledge to oppose fee hikes and grant cuts.

He declined to sign — but promised to raise their fears with cabinet members.

“The important thing is that we live in a democracy. We are in a difficult budgetary situation. What you said today is important. Education is the passport for us as a society to regrow, rebuild and regenerate our country. There is, however, no easy solution,” he said.

UCC Students Union welfare officer David Carey revealed he had received 300 applications in just two weeks from students hoping to get support from an EU fund, set up to help those in financial hardship.

He said some students faced a choice between paying their rent, paying for food or paying for heating.

UCC business studies student, Niamh Forde, said she has been waiting for three months for her maintenance grant.

Students expressed anger that despite promises by Labour not to increase fees before the last election, college charges are set to soar to €3,000 by 2015.

– Ralph Riegel

via Angry students doorstep TDs over fees – Latest News, Education – Independent.ie.

via Angry students doorstep TDs over fees – Latest News, Education – Independent.ie.

Ten percent of Ireland’s population cannot afford to eat properly


Up to 10 percent of the population experienced food poverty in Ireland in 2010

Almost half a million people in Ireland cannot afford to sustain a healthy diet, according to new research commissioned by the Department of Social Protection.

Up to 10 percent of the population experienced food poverty in Ireland in 2010, which represents a three percent increase from the previous year. The study ‘Constructing a Food Poverty Indicator for Ireland’ shows that families with children are three times as likely as those without to struggle with food poverty.

The research showed that some 450,000 people do not have the financial means to afford a meal with meat every second day or cook a roast dinner once a week. People in this category also missed at least one substantial meal over a two-week period due to lack of money.

Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, director of human health and nutrition at Safefood, said the effects are both short and long term.

“The immediate effects of food poverty range from difficulties in concentration and poor energy levels in children, to wellbeing issues in everyday life for adults,” she said.

“The longer-term, public health consequences for those households living in food poverty are ill-health and higher rates of diet-related chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity and certain cancers.”

Jerry Buttimer, chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, described the report as valuable advice.

“Whether in rural towns or urban cities, the experience of food poverty is very real and damaging to the health of children and adults and also impacts on their future prospects,” he said.

“By identifying those most at risk, we can begin to work towards helping those most at need in what is a key health issue.”

Despite the high numbers, food poverty was lower in Ireland than in many European countries, including Germany, Britain, and Italy

via Ten percent of Ireland’s population cannot afford to eat properly | Irish News and Politics spanning the US, Ireland and the World | IrishCentral.

via Ten percent of Ireland’s population cannot afford to eat properly | Irish News and Politics spanning the US, Ireland and the World | IrishCentral.

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