‘Voice of the Child Not Heard Enough’ Says O’Rourke

Published date: 
24 Apr 2010

Sunday 25 April 2010: For release on Monday 26 April


‘Voice of the Child Not Heard Enough’ Says O’Rourke

“The Voice of the Child is not heard enough” says Mary O’Rourke TD, the Chair of the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children, in the latest edition of the Children’s Rights Alliance Podcast Series, out today (26 April).  As well as her formal deliberations as Chair of the Joint Committee, she is also drawing on her own experience as a former teacher, mother and grandmother, and believes that we must listen more to children and is convinced that children’s rights need to be strengthened in the Constitution, calling on Government to commit to setting a date for a referendum.

Deputy O’Rourke believes that in the context of the family and as individuals, the voice of the child is not always heard, and particularly so in child abuse cases and in family court cases.  The podcast is an interesting insight into the workings of the Joint Committee and is essential listening for anyone interested in the forthcoming referendum on children’s rights, which had 3 million euro earmarked for its delivery in the last Budget in December 2009.

Mrs Jillian van Turnhout, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, says: “We are delighted to feature Deputy Mary O’Rourke in our Children’s Rights Podcast Series.  It is only ten minutes, but her wealth of experience shines through and her commitment to children’s rights is clear for all to see.  Deputy O’Rourke also clearly outlines the reasons why she believes that there is the need to strengthen children’s rights in the Constitution: specifically the need for the State to do more to hear the voice of the child.  Deputy O’Rourke is quite right in stating that enough reports have been written and that it is now time for action: in that vein, I would urge Government to now set a date for a referendum.”

Deputy O’Rourke is the first guest speaker in a special series of podcast interviews with members of the Joint Committee that can be found on the Alliance web site at www.childrensrights.ie; the Alliance will upload the podcast interviews with Fine Gael Spokesperson for Children, Alan Shatter TD; Labour Spokesperson for Children, Senator Alex White; and Sinn Fein Spokesperson for Children, Caoimhghín O’Caoláin TD in the following weeks.


For further information, please contact:

Carys Thomas, Communications Director

Tel: (01) 662 9400 / 087-7702845

Fax: (01) 662 9355

Email: carys@childrensrights.ie

Notes to Editor:

1.    The Children’s Rights Podcast Series is available at www.childrensrights.ie **from 1pm Sunday** or each podcast can also be downloaded from iTunes. In the Advanced menu, click Subscribe to Podcast and add the following URL http://www.childrensrights.ie/PodCasts/podcasts.xml

2.    To send comments about the Children’s Rights Podcast Series or to subscribe, go to: podcast@childrensrights.ie

Children's Rights Alliance