The Labour Party is the oldest political party in Ireland, founded in 1912 by trade union leaders James Connolly and Jim Larkin. In 1919 Tom Johnson, Party Leader at the time, was asked to write the First Democratic Programme, a statement of intent for how the emerging Irish State would bring about a lasting improvement in the conditions of all the people.

Tom Johnson pledged: “It shall be the first duty of the Government of the Republic to make provision for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the children, to secure that no child shall suffer hunger or cold from lack of food, clothing, or shelter, but that all shall be provided with the means and facilities requisite for their proper education.”

The Labour Party is building a new republic of decency, justice and equality, and supports the NoChild2020 campaign. Across the party, our sections are working hard to fulfil these five asks, drawing on the expertise of the Children’s Rights Alliance.



Labour wants every primary school to provide a hot meal to every child, every day. Providing school meals is a power of local government, and Labour would create a dedicated national fund that local councils can use to fund the delivery of hot school meals.



Labour brought in free GP care for children under 6, and wants to see free-of-charge GP care extended to all children and young people under 18 as the next step in a truly free-of-charge health system. Labour also wants to speed up the delivery of Primary Care centres across the country, with greater investment in child and adolescent mental health services in particular.



Labour would introduce a voucher scheme (“a culture cheque”) to ensure that children from all backgrounds can access arts and cultural events and performances.



Labour is committed to the delivery of truly free-of-charge primary education, including free schoolbooks, uniforms and an end to schools requiring “voluntary” donations from parents.



Labour’s plan is to create a €16 billion housebuilding fund, and to use the funds to build 80,000 homes over five years. Labour would prioritise families in homelessness and would legislate to strengthen the rights of children in homelessness and in rented accommodation.


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If you would like to find out more from the Children's Rights Alliance or sign-up directly to campaign updates:

Telephone: 01 6629400 or email: [email protected]