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Increase in cohabitation bad for children: report

People's increasing tendency to cohabit before marriage is leading to an increase of births outside marriage, and this is bad for children, new research claims. Forty four per cent of babies are now born to unmarried parents, according to a new report compiled by researchers at the University of Essex. Researchers estimate that cohabitees are likely to make up three-quarters of those parents.

30/09/08
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Catholic schools starved of funding: Church

Catholic schools in some deprived areas are being forced to rely on the central funds of the Dublin Archdiocese because of the Government's chronic underfunding of primary education, according to Fr Dan O'Connor, outgoing secretary of the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association (CPMSA).

30/09/08
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Bishops criticise Government's civil unions bill

The bishops have criticised Government plans to legislate for same-sex civil unions saying marriage is unique and deserves to have its special status supported through the tax and social welfare system.

25/09/08
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Bishops want religious advertising restrictions eased

The Irish Bishops Conference have called on the Government to relax the restrictions on religious advertising after an ad for Catholic bookstore Veritas aired on RTE was banned by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission.

25/09/08
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Hijab allowed, burqa banned under new school uniform guidelines

New policy guidelines for school uniforms will allow Muslim pupils to wear the hijab, but not the burqa, which hides the face. The guidelines were drawn up following controversy over the wearing of the hijab.

25/09/08
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New group to highlight effect of daycare on small children

A new group has been set up to campaign for the “emotional wellbeing of children” under the age of three. The group, Children’s Voice Ireland, says it has “profound concerns with regard to the effects of group care on young children under three years”.

23/09/08
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Europeans not so secular says survey

Europeans are more strongly religious than previously thought, according to a new survey by the Bertelsmann Foundation. The polls finds that an average of 74 percent of people in Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Austria, Poland and Switzerland said they were "religious." Italy (89 percent) and Poland (87 percent) topped the German NGO's "Religion Monitor" chart, with France at the lower end on 54 percent.

23/09/08
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Church education spokesmen meet Labour party chiefs

Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Chair of the Bishops’ Commission for Education and Monsignor Jim Cassin, Executive Secretary, have met with leaders of the Labour Party to discuss the issue of education. Thy met on Wednesday in Leinster House with Deputy Eamon Gilmore, the Leader of the Labour Party, and Deputy Ruairi Quinn, Spokesperson for Education and Science.

19/09/08
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Over three quarters of men believe children do better in traditional family

More than three quarters of men, 77 per cent, believe that it is better for children to be raised by a mother and father than by either a single mother or a single father. According to the survey, carried out by Behaviour and Attitudes for The Irish Times, only five per cent of men felt it was better for a child to be raised by the mother only, while just 11 per cent felt that it made no difference.

19/09/08
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Survey shows men concerned about tax individualisation, family courts

A new poll shows that 69 per cent of men are worried about the Government's tax individualisation policies. According to an Irish Times/Behaviour and Attitudes survey, 42 per cent of men are either extremely worried or very worried, while a further 27 per cent are somewhat worried. The poll also showed a plurality felt that family courts treat men unfairly.

18/09/08
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New study to examine changing family structure

The Family Support agency is to carry out a major study into the change in the structure of the Irish family. The survey will examine Irish attitudes to marriage, parenting and divorce. The project aims to capture the ?first comprehensive picture of family life in Ireland in the 21st century?.

17/09/08
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Spanish families in meltdown as three out of four marriages break down

For every ten Spanish marriages contracted in a given year, there are seven marriage breakdowns -- most of them divorces, according to new official figures. The data, compiled by Spain's Family Policy Institute, emerged after Spain's Socialist Government introduced legislation to enable couples to divorce more quickly.

16/09/08
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Politics must be open to religion, says Pope

Pope Benedict XVI urged Christians to make their voices heard in France adding that religion and people with religious convictions have a role to play in politics.

12/09/8
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Government to draft child protection legislation

The Government is to draft urgent legislation that will let the authorities collect and share information about people who pose a sexual risk to children, but who have not been prosecuted. This is likely to be instead of a children’s rights referendum.

12/09/08
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Mothers in the home should get up to £6k pa says former Tory leader

Mothers should receive financial help of up to £6,000 a year to stay at home and care for their babies and toddlers, according to a report from the Centre for Social Justice, chaired by the former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.

10/09/08
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Department of Education “sidelining” Catholic schools: claim

The Department of Education is sidelining denominational education in its secondary school building policy according to a paper sent by key Church groups to the Minister for Education, Batt O'Keefe.

09/09/08
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Fine Gael proposes children’s referendum to reinstate absolute liability

Fine Gael have accused the Government of doing a U-turn on the holding of a children's rights referendum and have made their own proposal for a referendum which tackles the limited area of child protection.

09/09/08
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Government welcomes re-election of gay rights advocate to UN role

The Government has hailed the re-election to the UN Human Rights Committee of a signatory to a radical gay rights document. In elections held last week, Professor Michael O’Flaherty, lecturer in human rights at the University of Nottingham was re-elected to the body.

09/09/08
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Children’s rights about more than protecting them from harm - President

President Mary McAleese has said that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires Ireland to do more than "merely protect children from harm or vindicate them when abused". It requires the State to ensure that, "in all matters concerning them, their best interests are a primary consideration, that their voices and views are given a chance to be coherently articulated and developed".

04/09/08
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“Divorce gene” linked to marriage breakdown: report

Scientists believe they have discovered a "divorce gene" linked to an increased risk of relationship breakdown. The gene, researchers say, helps to determine how the brain responds to a chemical that is central to the bonding process between a man and a woman.

03/09/08
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"The child...shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents."

Article 7. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.