'No' group tells parents not to be hoodwinked
A NEW lobby group has warned that parents are being "hoodwinked" into betraying their offspring by voting Yes in the children's referendum.
The warning came after Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore expressed his fear that there could be a low turnout because there was not the "same degree of controversy" over the referendum.
But the newly-formed Parents For Children announced its opposition to the referendum, on November 10, with a series of controversial claims.
It said that if passed the amendment to the Constitution could lead to the state taking special needs children into care if their parents felt "under pressure".
It also claimed that parents could be forced to vaccinate their children and allow a teenage daughter to have an abortion.
Spokeswoman Maria McMenamin confirmed that none of these scenarios was possible under the law at present, but said the new amendment would allow them.
The group is printing 26,000 leaflets in its campaign for a "No" vote. Its members include Fr Brian McKevitt, editor of the Catholic newspaper 'Alive'.
He accused the state of engaging in a "confidence trick" to become the "parent-in-chief", and said: "We are being asked to buy an expensive second-hand car from a very shady dealer without even getting a look at the product."
At the launch of Labour's campaign for a Yes vote, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said children had been excluded from the 1937 constitution.
"We have seen since 1937 the way in which, frankly, the State over the decades kow-towed to churches in respect of the care of children to the detriment of children. We're putting that right now," he said.