Michæl McFarland Campbell

Always telling the story

Archive for the ‘Ireland’ tag

European Men’s Internet Sex Survey 2024

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I have just been sent (and have now completed) the EMIS study (European Men’s Internet Sex Survey) 2024. It is completely anonymous and provides vital information about gay men’s health in Ireland and Europe. 

EMIS, a collaborative effort involving the academic, community, and governmental entities throughout Europe, was initiated in 2010 and reiterated in 2017, generously supported by the European Union Health Programme. Its primary objective is to inform interventions concerning sexual health among men who have sex with men (MSM).

The overarching goal of EMIS is to delineate the divergent sexual health requirements among various demographics of men, alongside estimating the prevalence of distinct risk and precautionary behaviours.

As a result of EMIS, an extensive array of technical and community reports have been generated, accompanied by numerous scientific publications. Moreover, the project has established 26 indicators spanning 60 countries across four continents, integrated within the UNAIDS Key Population Atlas.

The profound impact of EMIS is evident in the transformation it has instigated within the landscape of gay health across numerous European nations.

If you live in Europe (including the United Kingdom), it would be great if you could participate. The survey is at http://www.emis-project.eu/.

There is a lot of information about the survey, please click on the number 2024 to bring you to the survey. 

Please encourage your friends or family who are gay or bisexual to complete it, too. 

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

April 12th, 2024 at 2:49 am

Registering to vote is now much easier in Ireland

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Historically, registering to vote in Ireland involved a trip to the local Garda station to get a paper form stamped. Fortunately, those days are gone, and it is much simpler now. You can register to vote, online, at any time.

Simply go to www.checktheregister.ie and complete your details to be added to the electoral register. You can check the registration and update your details if you are already registered. If you are a first-time registrant, then you complete that form instead.

The details you’ll need to provide are:

  • your PPS number
  • your date of birth
  • your Eircode

These details are needed for your local authority to confirm your details. And that is it! You’ll be ready to vote, should an election or a referendum be called!

Three reasons why your vote is important

  1. It gives you a say on important issues that affect you — from roads and recycling, to education and climate change, to housing and employment.
  2. It gives you the choice to vote for your local and national representatives, if you don’t vote, other people get to choose who represents you.
  3. Elections can be called at short notice — if you don’t register 15 days or more before an election or referendum, you may not be able to vote. It is as simple past that.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

December 15th, 2022 at 5:33 pm

Accessibility issues at Iarnród Éireann lifts

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For the last few weeks, travelling between Monasterevin and Port Laoise, I have noticed new signage at the lifts at stations on the Iarnród Éireann network. Helpfully this signage has large clear icons next to the instructions to aid understanding. The instructions are shown both as Gaeilge and in English. There is an additional line of Braille under the instructions to improve accessibility. All of this is much better than the previous signage. However, I have spotted a couple of issues with what is displayed, and have highlighted these to Iarnród Éireann.

First of all, the second and third of the large clear icons seem to be in the wrong places. The second instruction,

Brúitear an cnaipe / Press button

has a speaking telephone indicated next to it.

The third instruction,

Labhair leis an oibreoir / Speak to operator

has a Press button icon next to it.

It seems to me that no one checked the signs before they were printed. Since they are on all the updated and improved lifts on the network, it seems a significant waste of money to have allowed them to go to press without checking that they were correct.

Secondly, while it is fantastic to see Braille appearing on signage to improve accessibility for those with sight difficulties, it is disappointing to see that the Braille is up only in English. Ireland is a bilingual country. We have a national language, Irish, and a second official language, English. (Article 8, Bunreacht na hÉireann). Since 2014, there has been an Updated Irish Braille standard, approved by the Irish National Braille and Alternative Format Association. I accept that there may be accessibility issues in having Braille up in more than one language, but surely there is some way of managing this? Given we have both the Irish and the English in the latin characters on the signage, can we not have both Irish and English Braille as well?

I have raised both these issues via Twitter:

I will report back if there is any major response from Iarnród Éireann.

A sound from my past

As an aside, I have fond memories of waking up at my grandparents’ house in Cornwall to the sound of the Perkins Brailler being used by my grandfather. He used to help the RNIB by Brailling books for them. It was a very comforting sound throughout my teenage years when staying there.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

June 9th, 2022 at 1:58 pm

Ireland needs sick pay for all

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Many of my friends across Europe were shocked to hear that when I was first diagnosed with my Goodpasture Syndrome and its associated kidney failure, I received no sick pay from my employer. It took many months to get the Illness Benefit from the State as well. If it had not been for Andrew, I do not know what would have happened.

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, many other workers in Ireland have faced just that problem. With no legal right to sick pay, they are forced into a Hobson’s choice of going into work while sick, or else losing a portion of their income.

The (Irish) Labour Party has been calling for the government to introduce Sick Pay for All Workers since the start of this month and today we heard that the government are proposing a six month consultation on sick pay provisions.  This is just not good enough.  The pandemic is happening now.  At this rate, we could have a vaccine before we see progress on statutory sick leave from the government!

Ireland is one of the very few European countries where workers do not have a legal right to sick pay.

The Chief Medical Officer, Chief Clinical Officer and the CEO of the HSE have all come out saying that the Government needs to do something to make sure workers do not have to choose between not going to work because they may have COVID, or not getting paid.  So far, this Government has done nothing about it.

We in the Labour Party are not going to stand idly by as the health of our workers, and future of the country and this pandemic hangs in the balance, while the Government stumbles from fiasco to fiasco.


The Bill proposed by the Labour Party would introduce a temporary extension of force majeure leave so that parents can take paid time off to look after their kids if they are sent home from creche or school because the need to isolate or because the setting has had to close. This is another crucial step in providing the clarity and stability to working parents and their families across the country.

We need Sick Pay for All and we need it now.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

September 23rd, 2020 at 9:10 am