• Homily Notes for Climate Protests

    ClimateStrike web jcfjAs our approach to the climate emergency is informed by Laudato Si', our Social Theologian Kevin Hargaden has created Homily Notes to be used in church to accompany the day's readings, or by lay persons as a reflection for prayer.

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  • Why I'm Striking for Climate Action

    climate web jcfjOn Friday, September 20th, there will be a Global Climate Strike, a protest led by school students who are calling on everyone to make their voice heard and demand action on the climate emergency. Ciara Murphy is joining them.

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  • Retrofit Government Priorities

    web retrofit jcfjHundreds of homeowners have been left high and dry by the SEAI retrofit scheme. Kevin Hargaden asks if the Government is really as invested in climate breakdown mitigation as it should be?

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  • IPCC Report is More Than Cost Benefit Analysis

    jcfj web climate changeThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on land use was published today [8 August 2019]. It paints a stark but familiar picture of the impact human activities are having on the environment. The report, which draws on contributions from over 100 leading scientists from 52 countries across the world, highlights the need for action now, says Dr Ciara Murphy.

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About the Centre

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice works to combat injustice and marginalisation in Irish society, through social analysis, education and advocacy.

The Centre highlights complex social issues, informs opinion and advocates for governmental policy change to create a fair and equitable society for all.

Analysis on our Key Issues

People in prison are amongst the most marginalised and vulnerable in our society. The majority have left school early, experience literacy and learning difficulties and have a history of unemployment... Click here to view all of our material on Penal Policy

Environmental protection has emerged as a key element of social justice debates in recent decades... Click here to view all of our material on Environmental Justice

The right to a safe and secure place to live is one of the most basic human rights, it is fundamental to enable people to live a dignified life... Click here to view all of our material on Housing Policy

In our political discourse, every question of human flourishing seems to be reduced to bottom-line thinking. This focus on riches impoverishes our shared discourse and has serious negative consequences for society Click here to view material on Economic Justice

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice focuses on a number of other issues... Explore all here

Our Journal


Exploring Social Justice

Why Care - Social Justice Awareness for Younger People

Criticism Directed at Asylum Process at Launch of 'Search for Refuge'

searching for refuge jcfjAt the launch of ‘The Search for Refuge’, the May 2016 issue of Working Notes (the Journal of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice), Judge McMahon expressed frustration at the failure to meaningfully improve living conditions and supports for asylum applicants in Ireland. During 2015, the average processing time doubled for first instance cases, and by the end of the year, the number of pending cases had trebled. To read more, ‘Search for Refuge’ can be accessed at www.workingnotes.ie

Posted in International and Immigration News

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Jesuit Organisations Highlight Key Social Issues for New European Parliament

RefugeeApplicationsCentreIMMEDIATE RELEASE, 17h40 Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has today published a special issue of its journal, Working Notes, to coincide with the elections for a new European Parliament. Articles dealing with a range of specific topics also draw attention to an underlying unease and uncertainty regarding the future of the European Union, and a growing concern that the social dimension of the European project has come to be largely overshadowed by economic considerations.

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Working Notes Issue 74: Issues for the New European Parliament?

Working Notes Issue 74: Issues for the New European Parliament?

This issue of Working Notes is devoted to consideration of some key issues facing the European Union, in the context of the election of a new European Parliament in May 2014 and the coming into office of a new European Commission in October 2014.

In different ways, the articles in this issue point to an underlying unease and uncertainty concerning the future of the European Union, and a sense that this future is unlikely to be as envisaged or assumed during the years when EU expansion and deepening of integration were proceeding rapidly. As the contributors show, the policies of the five years of the new Parliament’s lifetime will be shaped by the necessity to continue the slow and complex process of dealing with the underlying problems that came to the surface as a result of the financial crisis, including the design flaws in the euro, the on-going debt problems of many Member States, and the banking crisis. Compounding the difficulty of addressing these issues is the fact that there has been a decline in public trust and confidence in ‘the European project’ – in parallel with a general decline in trust in politics and politicians at national level – and this is likely to find expression in a marked increase in the number of members of the European Parliament who are ‘sceptical’ of the current model of integration.

Posted in International and Immigration News

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End indefinite ‘sentence’ in direct provision, says Jesuit Refugee Service


End indefinite ‘sentence’ in direct provision, says Jesuit Refugee Service

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has today called on the Irish Government to urgently reform the current asylum system, which is leaving thousands of asylum seekers living in limbo for prolonged periods in direct provision accommodation.

Speaking on the publication of the most recent issue of the journal, Working Notes, which includes an article on direct provision, and coinciding with a National Day of Action to End Direct Provision, Eugene Quinn, Director of JRS Ireland, said:

“Over a quarter of asylum seekers have been waiting at least five years since they first applied for asylum in Ireland. Their lives have been put on hold; they have not committed a crime, but many endure what they feel is an indefinite sentence in direct provision.”

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Fairer application of residency policy would reduce risk of migrants becoming destitute

Fairer application of habitual residency policy would reduce risk of migrants becoming destitute, says Jesuit Refugee Service on International Day of Solidarity with Migrants
Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice

NEWS RELEASE Saturday, 18 December 2010

Today (18 December 2010), International Day of Solidarity with Migrants, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Ireland calls for greater solidarity with migrants at risk of destitution on the streets of Irish cities and towns. The plight of Irish emigrants who are experiencing similar difficulties in other countries throughout the world should not be forgotten.

At the heart of Irish policy is the requirement for migrants to be ‘habitually resident’ continuously for two years before they can access social welfare payments. JRS is calling for this policy to be relaxed in the cases where migrants are homeless or destitute.

Eugene Quinn, Director of JRS Ireland, following the launch of a special issue of Working Notes, journal of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, said ‘Employment statistics for the last year highlight that non-Irish nationals have experienced the highest rates of unemployment. An increasing number of migrants having lost their sole means of income are at risk of poverty and homelessness. For a variety of complex and personal reasons many migrants will not return home even in the face of destitution. A fairer application of the habitual residency requirement would assist in ensuring at risk migrants will not becoming destitute.’

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Working Notes: JRS, 30 Years of Serving Refugees

Working Notes: JRS, 30 Years of Serving RefugeesWho are the ‘vulnerable’ in Ireland today? There has been a lot of talk about ‘protecting the vulnerable’ in the lead up to the recent Budget. So many vested interests, politicians, trade unions and others now appropriate the word it begins to lose its sense of meaning. Yet within our society there are clearly people who are vulnerable, whose needs are not represented, whose concerns are urgent and whose voices are not heard.

The burden of adjustment for Ireland’s economic catastrophe is falling disproportionately on those who live on the margins of Irish society. Budget Day involved a media frenzy calculating the impact of changes on a cross section of Irish society. But, for those who are really vulnerable, often their voices are not heard and the impact is not calculated. The myriad of recent expenditure cuts will ultimately result in curtailment or closure of necessary services. Often the ‘quiet’ voices opposing these service cuts, including children at risk, people who are homeless and destitute migrants to name but a few, remain unheard. Bypassed by the Celtic Tiger they are the real ‘vulnerable’. Now unjustly they pay the cost for the ‘exuberance’ of reckless property speculators, pampered politicians, incompetent regulators and unrepentant bankers.

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Europe – Is the fundamental game ‘my country versus the other 26’?

News Release

Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice

‘As national sovereignty becomes an economic fiction…it retains its political prestige. Lisbon changes nothing in this respect’, writes Frank Turner SJ, in today’s publication: ‘Perspectives on Europe’, the September issue of Working Notes, the journal of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. 

There is a certain dishonesty built into the whole debate as member states claim maximal benefits from the EU while minimising their commitments to anything that they, individually, find uncongenial. ‘Such an attitude is difficult to acknowledge publicly’, adds Turner.

Turner, who is Director of the Jesuit European Office in Brussels, continues in the article: ‘What is hidden from the public is not the presence of some supposed stipulation of the Treaty that would insidiously erode national sovereignty, but the nationalist solipsism that wants things both ways’. This can lead to an attitude of my country versus the other 26. 

Turner views the lack of ambition in the Treaty to address economic individualism and exclusive national sovereignty, as ‘massive obstacles’ to an EU that seeks social justice.


‘The solidarity valued at the heart of European integration, within and beyond the Union, will have to take on new and urgent meaning in the light of present-day problems’, Says Cathy Molloy, Social Theology Officer of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice.

Molloy, who also contributes to this issue of Working Notes, writes, ‘There are apparent contradictions in wealthy countries allocating money for aid to developing countries without seriously addressing their own part in causing the need for that aid.’

She cites Climate Change and Trafficking in Persons as examples of ‘issues of global importance which cannot be adequately addressed by individual nations’. ‘The enlarged EU, with all its settling down processes, represents a major step-change in the attempt to bring about improved social and economic conditions for the member states, while looking also to the responsibility of the EU to developing countries’.


For further information or for interviews contact:
Eoin Carroll, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Tel: 01 855 6814; Mobile: 087 225 0793; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Frank Turner is a Jesuit of the British Province. Based in Brussels, he is Director of OCIPE, the Jesuit European Office. The title of his article is, ‘Towards the Lisbon Treaty: The View From Europe’, published in ‘Perspectives on Europe’, September Issue of Working Notes, the journal of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice.

Cathy Molloy is Social Theology Officer with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice.

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice is an agency of the Irish Jesuit Province. The Centre undertakes social analysis and theological reflection in relation to issues of social justice, including housing and homelessness, penal policy, asylum and migration, health policy and international development.

Also contributing to this issue of Working Notes

Brendan Mac Partlin SJ discusses the European Social Model and how it has fared as the Union has developed.
Edmond Grace SJ writes about the problems of bureaucracy in modern politics and Government.
James Corkery SJ presents an account of the thinking on Europe of Pope Benedict XVI.

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Working Notes: Perspectives on Europe

Working Notes: Perspectives on EuropeWith the Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty just weeks away the build-up has been gathering momentum. Various civil society groups including those comprising some of our best known arts and sports celebrities, farmers, lawyers, ‘women for Europe’ have publicised their support for a Yes vote. Whatever the outcome of the vote on October 2nd, it seems reasonable to suppose that we know more than we did last time. Voting Yes or No cannot be reasonably based on the claimed ignorance of the content of the Treaty. This edition of Working Notes presents various perspectives on Europe, – not solely on the Treaty – with emphasis on some of the less publicised underlying values.

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Working Notes Issue 54

The cover of this issue of Working Notes features a colour photograph of a scene from Moore Street in Dublin just a few weeks ago. This street, like many other parts of Dublin, is now populated by many nationalities – immigrants who have come to live in this country. Ireland has become more colourful as a result of immigration and many people, both migrants and Irish, are enriched personally, socially and culturally as a result.This issue focuses issues related to immigration...


This issue's articles include: ( click here to download this issue in PDF format)

Issue 54 Editorial

Dublin MarketsIreland’s Asylum System – Still a Shambles?
by Peter O’Mahony

By far the largest categories of immigrants to Ireland in recent years have been migrant workers from other parts of the European Union. However, Ireland’s response to the far smaller numbers of people seeking international protection by coming here asking for asylum – that is, asking to be recognised as refugees – merits close examination.

Asking the Right Questions: Christians, Muslims, Citizens in Ireland
by Gerry O’Hanlon SJ

The 2002 Census of Population recorded that there were 19,147 Muslims in Ireland, of whom 17,979 were ‘normally resident’ in the country. Over 5,000 gave their nationality as Irish.2 When the full results of the 2006 Census become available it is likely they will show the Muslim population of Ireland to be between 25,000 and 30,000.

Trafficking and the Irish Sex Industry
by Cathy Molloy

Trafficking is a virtually non-quantifiable aspect of the migration issue. By its nature it is secretive, exploitative, and thrives on a culture of oppression and fear in which human beings are literally treated as commodities to be moved, bought and sold, used or dumped at the whim of those whose aim is to profit at their expense. Trafficking in human beings includes also the moving of people – men and women and children – for cheap labour and is rightly called the ‘slavery’ of our time.

Integration: A Challenge in Principle, in Policy and in Practice
by Eugene Quinn
The economic boom of the Celtic Tiger years has transformed Ireland from a country of origin into a country of destination. Sustained and stellar economic growth from the early 1990s not only persuaded thousands of Irish nationals to return but attracted non Irish national migrant workers in large numbers. They were responding to the recruitment efforts of Irish employers who, faced with the significant skill and labour shortages that were a consequence of the boom, began to look overseas to fill vacancies.

Click here to download this issue in PDF format

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December 2005 Working Notes

AP18_Karen_refugee_in_Kwiku.jpgThe December 2005 Issue of Working Notes (Issue 51) is now available online. You can read all of the articles here.

Editorial by Eugene Quinn

The Jesuit Refugee Service was set up twenty-five years ago by Father Pedro Arrupe, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, at a time when the people fleeing Vietnam in boats were high profile on our TV screens. Now the JRS works in over thirty countries on five continents. Former JRS-Europe Director, Fr John Dardis SJ, who is current head of the Jesuits in Ireland, reflects on the Irish situation and the international challenge.  

To Detain or Not to Detain by Eugene Quinn and Renaud De Villaine

In January 2004, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, heavily criticised the policies of the European Union towards refugees and migrants. In a speech to the Members of the European Parliament, he spoke of ‘offshore barriers’ and of ‘refused entry because of restrictive interpretations’ of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. He said that asylum seekers are ‘detained for excessive periods in unsatisfactory conditions’.

Deportation by Joan Roddy DMJ
Today, for many of us, the mention of return, removal, or deportation, conjures up thoughts of dawn raids on people's homes and rushed midnight air flights. Swift enforced departures, with little or no forewarning, are accompanied by hasty packing, frequently under Garda surveillance, with no chance to communicate this unexpected turn-of-events to friends, neighbours, church or school, much less say good-bye.

The Christian understanding of solidarity is one of the fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching and is often the basis on which action towards, and with, people in situations of need is promoted. Solidarity, in this understanding, goes beyond a 'feeling of vague compassion, or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near or far' and calls for 'a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual because we are all really responsible for all.

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 Jesuit procedures for safeguarding children