Sinn Fein will come out “100% in support of a children’s rights referendum”, says Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Children, Caoimhghín O’Caoláin TD, in the final edition (launched today) of the Children’s Rights Alliance’s special series of podcast interviews with members of the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children. Recorded in May, during the debacle surrounding deaths of children in HSE care, Deputy O’Caoláin speaks of his own personal, commitment to the strengthening of children’s rights in the Constitution, and that of his party, which unanimously adopted, as party policy, total support for a children’s rights referendum.
Deputy O’Caoláin says: “We have an awful lot of work to do in the time ahead. The Joint Committee cannot park its commitment on the basis of three concluded reports or the whole exercise will be valueless.” Mrs Jillian van Turnhout, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, adds: “Deputy Caoimhghín O’Caoláin speaks movingly about the experiences in his life, including his role as a parent that drives him to seek a positive outcome to the work of the Joint Committee. He also speaks of the ways in which victims of institutional child abuse have confirmed to him the need to strengthen children’s rights in the Constitution. I call on all TDs and senators to follow suit and to lobby the Government to now set a date for a referendum.”
In late May, the Government defeated the Labour/Sinn Féin motion in the Dáil to establish the necessary Constitutional Amendment Bill that would set a date, this year, for the holding of a referendum to enshrine and enhance the protection of children’s constitutional rights. The final report of the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children was published on 16 February. Crucially, it included all-party agreement on a proposed wording for a constitutional amendment to strengthen children’s rights. The Alliance is on record as stating that the third and final report of the Joint Committee brings Ireland closer to securing constitutional change that will make a real and positive difference to all children in Ireland.
Deputy O’Caoláin is the fourth and final guest speaker in the Alliance’s special series of podcast interviews with members of the Joint Committee, which can be found at www.childrensrights.ie. Previous podcast interviews featured, in order of appearance, Mary O’Rourke TD, Chair of the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children; Senator Alex White, Labour Spokesperson on Children; and Deputy Alan Shatter, Fine Gael Frontbench Spokesperson on Children.
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Notes to Editor:
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