Wednesday 29 January 2020

Vote on children's rights is essential

As usual, David Quinn chooses to adopt a political position that is radically out of step with the values of the majority of the Irish people. In his latest column (Irish Independent, July 16), he attacks the proposed children's rights referendum as an unnecessary governmental power grab that will undermine children's rights, and that our current constitutional safeguards are already sufficient to protect the interests of children.

This is demonstrably false. Take the case of the child in January of last year for example, whose mother was sentenced to seven years in prison for incest, and whose father was convicted of several counts of sexual exploitation. What happened to these children's so-called "constitutional safeguards" when our social services persistently failed to intervene and stop these acts of barbarity?

Furthermore, why is it that the Children's Rights Alliance, as well as a whole host of children's rights activists, including TD Alan Shatter, have concluded that our current constitutional framework fails to protect adequately the interests of children?

Our commitment to a children's rights referendum must be non-negotiable. We cannot afford to take the risk that our failure to pass this referendum will result in yet another child being sexually exploited.

Kevin James O'Mahony

710 St Mary's Road,
Lafayette, CA

Irish Independent

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