WEXFORD Young Fine Gael chairman Cathal Byrne is reluctant to say that promoting the children's right referendum is an uphill task.
'Any time I have been out canvassing, people have been generally receptive,' he stresses, adding that his views are his own, not necessarily those of the organisation. The problem is, receptive to exactly what. 'As compared to previous referendums, people are not as aware of the issues.'
He is convinced that next Saturday's poll is addressing some very important issues and he reports that voters are generally favourably disposed to the notion of improving the constitutional rights of children.
And he should know, because he is one of the comparatively few people who have been out and about actively trying to persuade people, first, to come out on the day and ,second, to vote 'Yes'.
Young Fine Gael has held a series of public meetings on the topic and Cathal Byrne enjoyed a stint of canvassing with Transport Minister Leo Vradkar in Wexford. He has also shared a platform with Chief Whip Paul Kehoe and with Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald in recent weeks.
His experience is that campaigners and canvassers find that the electorate is starting from a low base. ' There is not as much media coverage as in previous referendums. The main issue is, what is the referendum about. The other main political parties are also in favour, which gives a different atmosphere.'
The young man from Bree made it clear that the supporters of the ' Yes' camp are not complacent about securing a successful outcome: 'It is a matter of getting the people out to vote.'