Articles tagged with: Poverty and Inequality

Working Class Cultures: Can They Adapt?

on Wednesday, 30 July 2003. Posted in Issue 30 Working Class Cultures: Can They Adapt?, 1997

Bill Toner, SJ

November 1997


When I was growing up in the 1950s I lived in Drimnagh, an area of Dublin which was on the line between working class and lower middle class. My parents were on this line too, having both left school at or before fourteen. My father had been fortunate enough to progress into a technical and then into a clerical job, so we gradually became upwardly mobile. I got a good secondary education, in a Christian Brothers school where many of the students went on to university. But my parents were not enthusiastic about university. My mother occasionally ridiculed a neighbour who talked about her hopes that her daughter "would go on to Uni", and thought the woman to have \'airs and graces\'. My father used to cite the case of a cousin who had gone on to university and then \'had\' to emigrate. He encouraged me instead to apply for a clerical position in the company where he worked, which I did, successfully.

Cherishing Our Old People

on Thursday, 31 July 2003. Posted in Issue 36 Cherishing our Old Folk, 1999

Bill Toner, SJ

December 1999


Like many other blunt Anglo-Saxon words used to describe people, \'old\' is no longer politically correct. The literature on old age restricts itself to gentler terms and expressions, - \'Elderly\', \'Ageing\', \'Senior Citizens\', \'Older Persons\', \'Active Retired\'. The term \'Old Folk\', with its cheerier and more affectionate connotation, still survives in the names of a few community associations for the elderly. The reluctance to use the world \'old\' may well be a resistance to being \'labelled\' and pigeon-holed. Or it may contain an element of denial in a secular world that increasingly sees the seventy-odd years of life as all that we have or will have.

A Rising Tide - but no boats to lift

Written by Peter McVerry SJ on Thursday, 10 April 2003. Posted in Issue 44 Ireland: Facing up to a Multicultural Future?, 2002

Homelessness revisited


Much has been written over the years about the problem of homelessness.  The causes of homelessness have been analysed and solutions proposed.   Working Notes has included articles on the issue of homelessness in the recent past.  In this article, I do not wish to repeat what has already been written but to look at the effects of the last five years of economic prosperity on the numbers of homeless people and on their prospects of escaping from homelessness in the future.

The Leaving Cert. and Good Outcomes: Hard Work, Good Luck or What?

Written by Cathy Molloy on Sunday, 29 June 2003. Posted in Issue 43 Juvenile Crime: Are Harsher Sentences the Solution?, 2002

Cathy Molloy, a part-time worker at CFJ, considers some issues behind the annual Leaving Cert. hype.


Every year at this time the newspapers and media in general invite us to share in the immediate drama of the Leaving Cert. Even if you have no student in your house, or have not been in contact with school books for decades, you cannot be unaware of the annual wave of hysteria that seems to have to accompany the final public examinations of the nation\'s school leavers.

Turning Around the Negative Cycle in Families

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 39 The Crisis in Parenting, 2001

Paul Andrews, SJ

February 2001

What is the real problem?

When you work with families, you get used to double-takes. The reason a family gives for seeking the help of a stranger is seldom the real reason. It is always more complicated than it appears. In a crisis, there is a tendency to find a scapegoat, draw a circle round her/him and say There's the problem. It is always more complex than it looks, and the initial problem is seldom the real one.

The Crisis In Parenting

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 39 The Crisis in Parenting, 2001

Bill Toner, SJ

February 2001



In a recent survey in a Dublin suburb afflicted by drugs, 100 adolescents were asked in a questionnaire how the family could help young people to avoid getting involved with drugs?   Of these, 28 stated that parents could help by knowing where there children were and who they were with, looking after children properly, keeping of the street and limiting their freedom.  Another 23 suggested that parents could talk to children about drugs.  The authors of the survey conclude:  “Of those responding, over half (of adolescents) require a greater involvement of parents in their lives.  The perception that young teenagers want more freedom is not borne out by the results of this survey” [1]

Parenting Adolescents

on Saturday, 05 July 2003. Posted in Issue 39 The Crisis in Parenting, 2001

Marie Murray

February, 2001


Adolescence is a wonderful time.  One is on the brink of life.  Childhood is a glimpse behind, adulthood a stretch ahead and in between is the agony and the ecstasy of negotiating the transition from one stage to the other.

Adolescence is a time of hope.  The possibilities and potentialities are at their greatest. Intellectual capacity peaks.  Energy, enthusiasm and sheer joy of living surge up in the wit, the humour, the idealism, energy and purpose of the young.  Never again will the brain and the body, the spirit and the self be so utterly able.  This should be the moment of which marvellous memories are made.  Not so, today, for far too many young people.

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We tend to think that law defines what crime is. This makes sense because contemporary legal codes are concerned with marking out the territory where conduct is permissible by specifying the conduct that is outlawed. Yet the earliest bodies of law – consider for example, the Torah or Hammurabi’s Code – are at least as committed to articulating the good as proscribing the bad... Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.