Labour Blog

Labour Blog

Ireland can reiterate commitment to children - O'Sullivan

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 02:12 PM

On November 10th the country will vote on the Children's Referendum and this week the corresponding legislation has been making its way through the House. A number of Labour TDs have made contributions to the debate and you can find links to the speeches below.

In her speech Minister Jan O'Sullivan pointed out that through this referendum, Ireland can at last reiterate its commitment to children, both legally and symbolically. "It is about enshrining in the Constitution a vision of children as citizens recognised as having an entitlement to inherent rights that must be vindicated. The principle that the voice of children should be heard is very important."

Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin spoke about the urgency to pass this legislation: "I passionately believe that we as legislators have an obligation to protect that precious place that is childhood. In the past we failed collectively as a society. Now is our chance to rectify that and stand united in this effort." Watch Deputy O'Riordain's speech from here.

Minister Joan Burton pointed out that this legislation is just one of a number initiatives the Government is introducing to enhance children's rights. "As Minister for Social Protection, I have committed to introducing legal measures that give children their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which include the right to have information on their birth parents. I am planning to legislate to allow for the inclusion of the name of the father on a child's birth certificate." Watch Minister Burton's speech from here.

Galway West Deputy Derek Nolan noted that the Children's Referendum offers Ireland an opportunity to learn from the bitter lessons from the past. "What this amendment will do is provide the legal tools so that these gross failings cannot happen again. Our country will be constitutionally bound to treating future generations fairly, equally, and with their best interests at the very centre of any decision making." Watch Deputy Nolan's speech from here.

Minister Joe Costello called for a balanced and fair discussion of children's rights during the referendum campaign. "The media, and in particular RTE, should explore every mechanism for a balanced and fair debate within the constraints of the McKenna judgement so as to avoid creating a false polarisation dictated by a crude allocation of time on the basis of virtual opposition." Watch Minister Costello's speech from here.

Meath East TD Dominic Hannigan emphasized that the Labour Party is planning an energetic campaign, and outlined the work currently underway by National Director of Elections, Minister Kathleen Lynch and her campaign team. "They are planning a wide range of activities for the campaign. This will include a national poster campaign, local canvassing and flyering, and a strong positive social media campaign." Watch Deputy Hannigan's speech from here.

If you're on Twitter you can follow Labour and also follow the conversation on the Children's Referendum using the hashtag #CCRef. You can also like Labour on Facebook from here.

Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Jan OSullivanJoan BurtonAodhan ORiordain

blog comments powered by Disqus