Older & Bolder Stands in Solidarity with Alliance and calls for YES VOTE

Published date: 
8 Nov 2012

Older & Bolder, which champions the rights of all older people, is today standing in solidarity with the Children's Rights Alliance in calling for a strong YES vote in the Children’s Referendum on Saturday 10 November.  Both organisations seek to highlight the challenges facing children and older people in living their lives with the dignity and rights that they deserve.  Niamh Walker, a grandmother and advocate for Older & Bolder, and Megan Smith a young person from Foróige, speak personally about why they are advocating for a YES vote.  This is a timely intervention with it being the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.  
Speaking at a joint press conference in Dublin’s Wood Quay venue, Older & Bolder’s Director, Patricia Conboy, said: “Older & Bolder welcomes the opportunity to stand together with the Alliance to urge each and every generation to come out and vote on Saturday.  This is the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, which seeks to highlight the ways in which we are all dependent on one another.  Older people play an integral role in the lives of children, particularly as loving grandparents.  The way we treat our children reflects our values as a society, and voting YES on Saturday will positively influence our vision of an age-friendly Ireland that values and respects the dignity of people of all ages.  Vote YES on Saturday 10 November.”
Paul Gilligan, Chair of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said: “The Children’s Referendum is our opportunity to loudly declare that children matter, and that people of all ages share a common vision of how children should be treated in this country.  Too often, interest groups are pitted against each other, but older people and children have much in common, particularly in securing quality public services, care, income, environment, education and participation. We are delighted to be joined by Older & Bolder today, and send out a loud message for a strong YES vote next Saturday.”

Niamh Walker said: “While my five small grandchildren are much loved and well looked after, I know there are many children who are not.  For me, this referendum is a chance to do something positive for those children in difficult situations.  I want their voices to be at the heart of decisions about their care.  That’s why I’ll be voting YES on Saturday 10 November 2012.”
Megan Smith said: “This amendment to the Constitution is an excellent opportunity  to change how our society views and treat children.  Having the vote on a Saturday shows how important it is that we, as a country, finally update our Constitution to reflect our own beliefs.  This referendum will give children the opportunity to be heard and, above all else, be safe and cared for.  Most young people won't be affected by this change but, for those who are, this change in the Constitution could mean the chance of having the family and security that no child should have to be without.  It is time to recognise the children of Ireland."
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:

  • This is a joint press conference in Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council Civic Offices, on Thursday 8 November at 1pm.
  • Speakers will include: Patricia Conboy, Older and Bolder Director; Niamh Walker, Older and Bolder advocate and grandmothe; Megan Smith, Foróige;  Paul Gilligan, Chairperson, Children’s Rights Alliance
  • For more information about the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity Between Generations, please go to: http://europa.eu/ey2012/ey2012.jsp?langId=en
  • Foróige is the leading youth organisation in Ireland, working with approximately 64,000 young people aged 10-18 every year through volunteer-led clubs, staff-led youth projects, mentoring and support programmes and youth cafés. Foróige works with all young people through their general services and also works with vulnerable young people who require additional support through a full range of targeted services.
  • For more information about Older & Bolder, please Diarmaid O’Sullivan (01) 878 3623, diarmaid.osullivan@olderandbolder.ie; website: www.olderandbolder.ie. Older & Bolder is an alliance of NGOs that champions the rights of all older people, and seeks to combat ageism, acting as a catalyst for: Supporting older people, through our member organisations, as active participants in shaping an Ireland that promotes the welfare and quality of life of all citizens; Positively influencing and shaping beliefs and values, attitudes and opinion regarding ageing and older people; Valuing the role of older people in the community and understanding the diversity of older people, including those with a disability and promoting an age-friendly society where decisions are informed by the expressed needs and preferences of older people and evidence-based research. 
  • For more information about the Children’s Rights Alliance go to: www.childrensrights.ie.  The Children’s Rights Alliance is a coalition of over 100 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to secure the rights and needs of children in Ireland, by campaigning for the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  It aims to improve the lives of all children under 18, through securing the necessary changes in Ireland’s laws, policies and services.
Children's Rights Alliance