Monday 29 August 2016

Children's rights

Published 01/11/2012 | 17:00

• Why in God's name did it take so long to give Irish children full rights as Irish citizens in their own right in our Constitution?

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Having said that, I welcome it with open arms and believe nobody should even consider voting No in the landmark referendum on November 10 which at last is giving recognition and protection to our children.

The following words are a joy to read: "The views of the child shall be ascertained and given due weight."

Some of my childhood memories of the 1950s and 60s are of corporal punishment. Both my brother and I made our First Communion at the age of six and seven as boarders under ruthless and frustrated nuns. In other junior and secondary schools where we were boarders, physical and mental abuse was rampant.

I repeat what I wrote in your paper after the Ryan Report in 2009: abuse in this country was not just confined to industrial schools -- children were locked away and failed in many of our fee-paying schools, too.

Please vote Yes on November 10 and make sure that once and for all "the State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children".

Brian Mc Devitt
Glenties, Co Donegal

Irish Independent

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