By Tanya Ward, Chief Executive
Children’s Rights Alliance Congratulates Geoffrey Shannon
on Important Award
“The Children’s Rights Alliance warmly congratulates our Founding Patron, Prof. Geoffrey Shannon, on receiving a well-deserved award by the Dublin Solicitors’ Bar Association for an outstanding contribution to legal scholarship and legal practice over his highly-distinguished career.
It is most fitting that Prof. Shannon’s work has been recognised by his peers in this way. Geoffrey has worked tirelessly on children’s rights and child protection over many years in Ireland. This award could not be more deserved.
Over the last decade, as the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Geoffrey’s reports to the Oireachtas have been an annual marker highlighting the deficits in law where children need better protection. His reports spotlight new children’s rights issues and call for important reforms to the child protection and welfare system.
Spurred on by his recommendations, important legislation has been passed, most notably the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 and the Sexual Offences Act 2017. The referendum on children’s rights that passed in 2012 was greatly enriched by Geoffrey’s input, ensuring that children’s best interests were better recognised in the Irish Constitution.
More recently, Prof. Shannon conducted an independent audit for An Garda Siochána of Section 12 of the Child Care Act 1991. The Section 12 power is the principal means by which the Gardaí intervene to remove a child from the care of their family where there is an immediate and serious risk to their health or welfare. This landmark report was the widest child protection audit of a police service ever undertaken. Critically, the Audit pointed to failings in communication between the Gardaí and Tusla, and called for a properly resourced out-of-hours social work service.
There is no doubt that Prof. Shannon is one of Ireland’s true children’s champions. The Children’s Rights Alliance is delighted that its Founding Patron has received this important award in recognition of his tireless efforts for children.”
For further information, please contact Emma McKinley
01 662 9400 / 087 655 9067