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Launching our Children's Referendum campaign - Children should be seen and heard

Posted on October 17, 2012 at 03:10 PM

Today we launched our Children's Referendum campaign which is asking people to vote Yes on November 10th.

Speaking at the launch, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said: "It is our tragedy, as a nation, that some of the darkest moments in our history are a direct consequence of children's interests, and children's right to be cared for and protected, being ignored. This referendum is our opportunity to right that wrong. To state clearly and unequivocally that we, the Irish people, value children and childhood."

The campaign's Director of Elections, Minister Kathleen Lynch pointed out the crucial difference that the passing of this referendum could make. "The wording of the referendum includes a range of changes which include considering the view of the child in matters of family law. It will ensure equal treatment of all children when it comes to adoption, regardless of whether their parents are married or not."

Teenagers Roisin O'Gara and Ruairi Conway were on hand to help with the launch and make their case they think adults should vote Yes. Fifteen-year-old Ruairi Conway said: "I believe it is about time that children are seen and heard. It is about time the Constitution of this country protects all the children of the nation. It is about time we show we value children and young people and are ready to listen to them."

Ruairi and Roisin at the press conference

Sixteen-year-old Roisin O'Gara added: "I can't vote in this referendum but if I could I would be supporting it. I believe this amendment will give extra protection to those children who most need it: like children who face neglect or abuse, or children who for a variety of reasons find themselves at risk."

Photographs from the launch are available to view on Flickr, while you can find statements relating to the launch listed below. You can also watch a report on the launch on the Irish Times website at this link.


Statements from the campaign launch

The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore

Minister Kathleen Lynch

Deputy Ciara Conway

Deputy Aodhan Ó Riordain

Senator Mary Moran

Labour Youth


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