Friday 10 June 2011
Tribute by Children’s Rights Alliance to a ‘True Children’s Champion’ – Brian Lenihan TD
By Senator Jillian van Turnhout
“It is with great sadness that the Children’s Rights Alliance has heard of the passing of Brian Lenihan TD. The Alliance would like to pass on our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.
“The Alliance would like to pay tribute to Brian Lenihan for his work as Minister for Children from 2002 to 2007. He was a ‘true children’s champion’. Brian Lenihan, the first Minister for Children to secure a seat at Cabinet, was instrumental in securing significant advances for children during his tenure. He transformed the role of Minister for Children to one with teeth. During his five years in post, he was responsible for the creation of the Office of the Minister for Children, the appointment of Ireland’s first Ombudsman for Children, the commencement of the National Longitudinal Survey, rigorous and serious engagement with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child process, and reforms in the areas of youth justice and early years education, to name but a few.
“But, most of all, the Alliance will remember Brian Lenihan for his work to strengthen children’s rights in the Constitution. There is no doubt that it was his personal commitment to, and passion for, the issue that initiated Government work in this area and kept alive the momentum to hold a referendum on children’s rights. Such was his dedication that he continued to work towards the successful passage of a referendum on children’s rights on leaving his post as Minister for Children when, as Minister for Finance, he ear-marked €3m for the holding of a referendum.
“Brian Lenihan was a true friend of the Alliance, and we will always be grateful for his passion, intellect and dedication to children’s rights issues. As a Minister, he openly engaged with NGOs collaboratively and respectfully.
“The Alliance will carry on the fight to strengthen children’s rights in the Constitution and will do so knowing that Brian Lenihan gave us a helping hand that was above and beyond the call of duty.”
Senator Jillian van Turnhout
For more information, contact:
Children's Rights Alliance
4 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland