SWAN Ireland 1st Annual Conference!


Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the conference taking place?

Focus Ireland Training Centre, George’s Hill Apartments,
The corner of Halston Street and Little Britain Street,
Dublin 7,

(10 minute walk from O’Connell Street)

(This venue is wheelchair accessible)

When is the conference taking place?

Friday, 1 November 2013 from 10:30 to 17:00

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

There is very limited on street pay and display parking near the event. Public transport and walking are the best options to get to the venue.

WALKING: From the Spire on O’ Connell street walk down Henry street (one of the main shopping streets in Dublin). Henry street turns into Mary street. Continue on to Mary Street. At the end of Mary street turn right on to Capel street. Walk for approximately three minutes and turn left on to Little Britain Street. Walk straight (about two minutes) until you reach a small square with a park on your right hand side. On the left corner of the square is George’s Hill Apartments. Walk into the apartment complex and you will see a church on your left hand side. The conference is in this building.

If you are taking a regional train into Dubln, Connolly station is a five minute walk from O’Connell street (walk down Talbot street and you will arrive straight at the Spire)

If you arrive to Dublin at Heuston train station, take the red line Luas to the Middle Abbey street stop and walk three minutes to the Spire.

For train timetables check: www.iarnrodeireann.ie

For bus timetable check: www.buseireann.ie

For local bus timetables check: www.dublinbus.ie

Speaker Biography’s

Dr Margaret Kennedy PhD
Margaret is a specialist on ‘disability and abuse’, having pioneered resources and training in this difficult area of child protection over 20 years. She has written extensively on this subject and gained awards for her work. She has lectured across the world and presented in the EU and in the Oireachtas. She was instrumental in bringing to light ‘The McCoy Report’ into abuse of learning disabled people in the Brothers of Charity , Galway.  See the programme ‘would you believe’ ‘The Spirit & the Letter’ www.rte.ie/tv/wouldyoubelieve/thespiritandtheletter.html
– She also founded a support group for Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors in the UK ‘MACSAS’ ‘Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors’. Now living in Ireland Margaret is passionately concerned about disability equality and the erosion of disability rights and equality under ‘austerity’ politics. She is a disabled feminist Christian, intent on uncovering injustice in all its forms, especially when it involves marginalised groups.
Dr. Paul-Michael Garrett
Paul is the author of four single-authored books critically examining social work/social policy relating to children and families: Remaking Social Work with Children and Families (Routledge, 2003); Social Work with Irish Children and Families in Britain (Policy Press, 2004); ‘Transforming’ Children’s Services? (Open University/McGraw Hill, 2009); Social Work and Social Theory (Policy Press, 2013). His work has also appeared in academic journals across a range of disciplines and he has presented papers at a number of international conferences. He is a member of the editorial boards of Critical Social Policy (where he edits the book reviews), the European Journal of Social Work and is a consulting editor for the US-based Journal of Progressive Human Services.
Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley
Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley is a lecturer in the Department of History, NUI Galway. Her research centres on the history of childhood and child welfare in Ireland. Her forthcoming book, The Cruelty Man: Child Welfare, the NSPCC and the State in Ireland, 1889-1956 will be published by MUP in November 2013.
More to be added soon.

Ticket Price

To register for the conference please go to: http://swanireland.eventbrite.ie/ and register online. Please print your ticket and bring it with you on the day of the conference. PAYMENT TO BE MADE ON THE DAY.

Ticket prices are as follows:

€5 – Unwaged/Student/Service User/Carer.

€10 – Waged/Academic.

€15 – Solidarity Price. Will go towards funding those who cannot afford a ticket.

If you would like to attend the conference but cannot afford a ticket please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you. As this conference is meant to be inclusive and is about building alliances between those working in social services and those using public services, we do not want people being excluded for financial reasons.

I have a question that is not covered in the FAQ’s

If you have a query about the conference that is not answered here please feel free to email us at: socialworkactionnetworkireland@gmail.com or ring 00353-86-8454011.

For more information about the Social Work Action Network Ireland:

Blog: http://socialworkactionnetworkireland.wordpress.com/

Email: socialworkactionnetworkireland@gmail.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/swan.ireland.3?fref=ts 

Fight continues against attacks on Hungary’s homeless population


The Hungarian Parliament voted for criminalizing homelessness 

By criminalizing street homelessness, the Hungarian government is once again violating fundamental rights and defies the judgement of the Hungarian Constitutional Court. 

On September 30, 2013 hundreds were protesting in Budapest against the modification of the 2012 Petty Offences Act which would allows local governments to create homeless-free zones, i.e. areas where living in public space is considered an offence. According to a late-minute modification by the Minister of Interior, world heritage sites are automatically prohibition zones, but municipalities have the right to designate additional areas as well. As a result of the law, which was adopted by majority the vote of the governing parties, downtown Budapest will be off limits to homeless people who are forced to live on the street. 

The prohibition zones can be introduced by local governments. In Budapest, City Council determines these zones, but local districts can also make recommendations and they have to be consulted by City Council about zones in their areas. The law also criminally penalizes constructions in public spaces without permission, which seriously affects the thousands of shack-dwellers in Hungary today. The building of shacks is considered an offence punishable by jail regardless of the zones. 

On Monday, hundreds of people attended the public protest against the law organized by The City is for All in front of the Parliament. Miklós Fekete-Nagy, a homeless activist said that the law makes him an exile in his home country along with tens of thousands of fellow homeless people. Zsolt Csizi, a man living in a shack that he built talked said that his home was essential to maintain some privacy and an independent household, something which is totally impossible in overcrowded and sub-standard homeless shelters. 

Anna Bende, activist and street social worker stressed that despite allegations by government politicians, official statistics show that there are not enough places for homeless people in the shelter system. In Budapest only, there are at least 4,000 people living in public spaces. She warned that the law is likely to have very dangerous consequences. Once it is passed people living on the streets will be forced into hiding and social workers will not be able to find them, which is especially worrisome with the approaching winter. 

The City is for All condemns the law, as it provides no real solutions for homelessness, but simply seeks to cover up the social crisis in Hungary today. The group has long been campaigning for sustainable and long-term solutions for the housing crisis such as the development of the social housing sector, the introduction of more substantial and equitable housing benefits, and the utilization of empty units and buildings. 

Photos about the protest 

More information:

European Parliament hearing about the criminalization of poverty

Hungary is about to criminalize homelessness once again

A brief history of the criminalization of homelessness in Hungary 

Note to editors: The City is for All is a group of homeless people and their allies who fight for the rights of homeless people and to end homelessness. More information:www.avarosmindenkie.blog.hu 

Contact: Tessza Udvarhelyi +36 20 381 8996avarosmindenkie@gmail.com


SWAN will continue with express international solidarity with this and other similar initiatives across the globe, fighting against social injustice, both in Hungary, and elsewhere.