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Campaigner: Father Peter McVerry with his dog Tiny in the Ballymun housing estate, Dublin VIEW editor Brian Pelan talks to the veteran homelessness campaigner and Jesuit priest Fr Peter McVerry at his home in Ballymun, Dublin The sun has decided to make a rare appearance as I stroll through the vast Ballymun housing estate in Dublin. Quite a few families are sitting outside their front doors enjoying the heat as a few helmeted teenagers speed past me on their scrambler bikes. I’m on my way to visit the veteran homelessness campaigner and Jesuit priest Fr Peter McVerry who has been…

Kilcooley Women’s Centre client Sabrina Lilley who talked to the inquiry at Stormont today about her experiences claiming Universal Credit. She was accompanied by her support worker Roberta Gray from Kilcooley Women’s Centre By Una Murphy, VIEWdigital Northern Ireland welfare experts have warned of a “toxic combination” of Bedroom Tax and Universal Credit causing a sharp rise in poverty and homelessness next year. They were giving evidence to MPs from two Westminster committees at Stormont today (June 10). Women from the Kilcooley area of Bangor, Co Down also gave MPs first-hand accounts of their experiences claiming benefits, including the controversial…

Part of the Goethehof public housing complex in Vienna What can Ireland’s housing experts learn from Vienna where two-thirds of the city’s inhabitants live in public housing was the question being asked at the launch in Dublin earlier this year of the exhibition, The Vienna Model – Housing for the 21st Century. VIEW editor Brian Pelan went to Vienna to have a look at the city’s public housing programme which is presently celebrating its 100th year of existence. Public housing in Vienna grew out of squalor, war and disease. I learnt this after a trip to Dublin in April this…

Leilani Farha: the UN Special Rapporteur for Special Housing VIEW editor Brian Pelan talks to Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur for Adequate Housing, about her concerns over the Irish Government’s ‘practice of adopting laws and policies which treat housing as a commodity and undermine the enjoyment of housing as a human right’ I first came across the name of Leilani Farha after a UN Working Group sent a letter, co-signed by her, to six governments, including the Irish Government, as well as the giant equity firm Blackstone on March 22, this year. The letter outlined concerns about how policies…

Communicate Your Story Lunchtime Learning Seminar – organised by VIEWdigital – is about working with journalists to get coverage for your story. About this Event What journalists want from you and what your audiences want to read. This seminar, led by experience journalists, will give top tips on what makes news and how to get your story into the media. Learn what makes a story ‘newsworthy’ and how newsrooms work. Building relationships with journalists, pitching story ideas to journalists will be covered in this lunchtime learning event, which is ideal for you if you want to get your organisation’s work…

Charis House in Co Tyrone which overlooks Lough Fea in the foothills of the Sperrins By Una Murphy Amidst the sadness of cancer there’s a joy that pervades in a house by a lake in Co Tyrone. Looking through a window at the sun over the water my first thought was: “My dad would love it here.” Sadly, after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and an inoperable tumour, my father, Thomas Murphy, won’t have the opportunity to visit. He died in November 2017. On my visit to Charis House, staff led by Imelda McGucken, showed me around; there are treatment…

Report by Una Murphy – Images by Hannah Mitchell Photographer Kevin Cooper, left, with Belfast Telegraph political editor Suzanne Breen, the empty chair for Lyra McKee and Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International An empty chair at Belfast’s Queen’s Film Theatre and a May Day march in the city were how trade unionists and human rights activists remembered Lyra McKee, the journalist and writer shot dead in Derry last month. Patrick Corrigan “We’re leaving a seat vacant today for Lyra and will continue to support her legacy and the interests for which she worked,” Patrick Corrigan, head of…

Film producer/director Trevor Birney speaking at the NUJ event in Belfast today By VIEW editor Brian Pelan Film producer/director Trevor Birney, who was arrested in Northern Ireland over the film No Stone Unturned, which named alleged suspects in the Loughinisland massacre, has vowed that he will keep working on investigative journalism projects despite the pressure he is under. Mr Birney, who was arrested in August last year along with his colleague, journalist Barry McCaffrey, was speaking at a World Press Freedom event in the Linen Hall Library in Belfast today. The seminar, The Media and Democracy – Why Journalism Matters!,…

The second Hillsborough Festival of Literature and Ideas takes place on Friday April 26 to Sunday April 28, 2019, with a diverse line-up encompassing poetry, prose, music, workshops and talks. Founded by The John Hewitt Society, the festival team have worked with novelist, journalist and broadcaster Ian Sansom to curate this year’s festival programme. Author Wendy Erskine Highlights include James Runcie, creator of popular ITV drama Grantchester, acclaimed novelist Janice Galloway, founder of London restaurant Darjeeling Express and star of Netflix’s Chef’s Table Asma Khan, short stories from Wendy Erskine & June Caldwell and Wuthering Nights: An Ode To Kate Bush with musicians Alana Henderson & LARKS, the new project…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan A STARK warning was issued today at a meeting in Belfast that thousands of vulnerable people may be facing eviction and major loss of earnings when welfare reform mitigation measures cease in March next year. A number of organisations, who work in the voluntary/community sector, were present at NICVA headquarters in Duncairn Gardens, including Advice NI, Law Centre NI, Cliff Edge Coalition NI, Sandy Row Community Forum, Housing Rights, Radius Housing and the East Belfast Independent Advice Clinic Kevin Higgins, Advice NI Kevin Higgins from Advice NI said: “There will be uproar when 34,000 Bedroom…

Residents opposed to building plan on community greenspace West Belfast residents group, Friends of Glassmullin Open Green (FOGOG) are holding a protest today at 6pm at the gates of De La Salle College at Edenmore Drive. The residents are opposed to the college’s plan to build a fenced off, floodlight 3g pitch, pavilion and car park on the site of the community’s only greenspace – Glassmullin Green. Residents have been campaigning for more than five years and believe the college’s plan represents a “landgrab” against the wishes of the local community. A FOGOG spokeperson said: “De La Salle’s invitation to the…

Ann Travers, whose sister Mary was shot dead by the IRA in 1984 By Jonny McCambridge In 1984 Mary Travers, a gifted young musician from Belfast, had recently started work in her dream job as a teacher. With one of her first pay packets she treated her 14-year-old sister Ann to lunch in the city centre. Ann recalls: “People today take that for granted but it was a rare treat in the 1980s. I had chicken in a basket, which I thought was very exotic, and Mary had a scone. It was the only time I ever got to go…

Victims and pension fund campaigners Jennifer McNern, Paul Gallagher and Peter Heathwood (far right) with VIEW editor Brian Pelan at the launch in the Public Records Office in Belfast Images: Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX The latest print issue of social affairs magazine VIEW was launched earlier this week at the Public Records Office in Belfast. Among those who attended were guest editor Alan McBride, manager at the WAVE Trauma Centre; Judith Thompson, Commissioner for Victims and Survivors in Northern Ireland; playwright and theatre director Jo Egan, VIEW editor Brian Pelan, VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy, VIEWdigital deputy editor Kathryn Johnston; Ann Travers, whose…

Unquiet Graves, a new documentary about the loyalist Glenanne Gang – thought to have been responsible for more than 120 killings in an area of Mid Ulster once dubbed ‘the murder triangle’ – recently premiered in Belfast. VIEW editor Brian Pelan talks to the writer and director Sean Murray I met Sean Murray at a hotel in Belfast. He was engaged in a seemingly endless round of media interviews about his new documentary Unquiet Graves which offers an unflinching look at a loyalist death squad and state collusion. It pulls no punches. Amidst the background chatter of a busy reception…

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