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Saturday 1 November 2014

TDS urge a 'Yes' vote in referendum

Published 24/10/2012 | 11:14

BOTH Deputy Andrew Doyle and Deputy Billy Timmins are calling for a 'Yes' vote in the upcoming Children's Referendum.

The two Fine Gael TDs stress that Saturday, November 10's referendum offers the opportunity to correct a litany of child protection failures which have occurred over the past 20 years.

Deputy Timmins, speaking after An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny launched Fine Gael's campaign for a Yes vote, says, 'we all have an opportunity to make a real difference by recognising children as citizens in their own right for the first time ever.

' This Referendum is about protecting children from abuse and neglect. It's about supporting families by re-affirming and underpinning early intervention and family support services, to protect children in their homes.

'And finally, it's about treating all children equally in adoption.'

' This Referendum has been called for almost 20 years now, after a string of disturbing and deeply upsetting reports cataloguing a history of child abuse and neglect.

' These reports have underlined the sad fact that in a small minority of cases, children don't get the care and protection they need at home.'

Deputy Doyle feels the proposed changes in the referendum will have a number of positive impacts on child protection.

'It will help to support families by reaffirming and underpinning early intervention and family support services to protect children in their homes. It will ensure all children are treated equally in adoption, which is currently not the case.

'And it will ensure children have a voice, where they have been left silent in the past.

'Everyone accepts that the best place for a child to be brought up is within his or her family. But unfortunately this is not always the case.

'In a small minority of cases, what happens in a child's family can be a serious threat to their safety and welfare.

' This Referendum sets out where, in these exceptional cases, the State can intervene.'

He adds, ' this isn't about giving power away; rather this Referendum proposes to use power - always ethically, professionally and justly - to protect and uphold the rights, the safety, the dignity and innocence of children.'

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