• Real Love Challenges Vested Interests

    peter mcverry 1Pope Francis, in everything he says and does, takes the side of the poor and marginalised over and against the wealthy and powerful. He challenges the global structures which deny many their basic human rights and maintain people in their poverty and suffering, while enriching the few, says Peter McVerry SJ. 

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  • Will Francis Comment on Neoliberalism?

    pope moneyPope Francis’ visit to Ireland is a cause of excitement to many and dismay to others. Beneath the flurry of events associated with the World Meeting of Families and the simmering controversy around protests, his visit is an opportunity to reflect on one of the major emphases of his papacy, says Kevin Hargaden.

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  • Prisoner Amnesty for Papal Visit

    pope prisonersEoin Carroll's article in the Irish Times looks back to the arrival of John Paul II in 1979, when 76 prisoners were granted early release, and questions why there is no mention of an amnesty to coincide with the visit of Pope Francis.

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  • Safe Spaces For Young People in Prison

    youth day 2018The theme of International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth, something that resonates strongly with the work in prison and penal reform that the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice is involved in. The centre has long been an advocate for changes in the prison system for young adults, whom we view as a discrete demographic group, worthy of particular consideration.

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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

Working Notes: Health Matters

Working Notes: Health Matters In a context of intense focus on the economic and financial difficulties facing the country, the Irish health system remains one of the few issues capable of taking centre stage in media and public discussion. We now find ourselves faced with not just the kind of health service crises that have characterised the past two decades but with new problems arising from the fact that the recession itself will have a major ‘health impact’.

On the one hand, poverty and financial worries, anxiety about the future, and the stresses associated with joblessness are all likely to take a serious toll on people’s health. On the other, the need to address the deficit in the public finances will mean it will be harder and harder to sustain, let alone improve, health service provision.



This, then, hardly seems an opportune time to advocate radical reform of the health system. Yet the now oft-quoted comment of White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’, is a reminder that economic and social upheaval can bring an openness to critically assess existing policies and practices and to explore alternative approaches that previously might have been dismissed as unworkable or politically unacceptable.

Two of the contributors to this issue of Working Notes, Sara Burke and Fergus O’Ferrall, suggest that the economic and social crisis could provide the impetus to institute far-reaching change in the financing and delivery of health care in Ireland. They emphasise the need to seize the opportunity to finally move away from the current inequitable and inefficient two-tier structure and put in place a system of universal health care with equal access for all based on need, not income. Another of our contributors, Gerry O’Hanlon SJ, is also clear that change is  required  and says, ‘Our two-tier system in Ireland is a scandal: it offends against justice and the socially inclusive practice of Jesus Christ, and it requires radical reform.’... read more


To download this issue in PDF format, click here


Universal Health Insurance: What is it and would it be effective in Ireland? Some Christian Perspectives on Health and Sickness
Irish Health Services: Money, Inequality and Politics Alcohol: A Key Public Health Issue


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