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Duty to vote for children

The curious invisibility of the children's referendum, in spite of the best efforts of Frances Fitzgerald, Leo Varadkar and the genuinely reformist Alan Shatter, raises the question as to whether we still believe this is a State where children should neither be seen nor heard. Critics are correct to question how much the referendum will transform our ramshackle child care services.

But the level of public turnout on November 10 will send a clear signal to politicians as to just how much we have reformed our atrocious attitude to children. Citizens have a duty to alert themselves, vote on the issue and by doing so make the definitive statement that the protection of children consists of more than fulsome apologies over the consequences of previous acts of indifference.