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Children's rights vote tipped for polling day

THE long-awaited children's referendum will more than likely go before the electorate on General Election day, Children's Minister Barry Andrews indicated last night.

The referendum, which seeks to enshrine the rights of the child in the Constitution, was first mooted by Bertie Ahern when he was Taoiseach.

It came close to fruition after Mr Andrews' department finalised the wording and issued it to children's rights groups and members of the opposition last night.

However, if it is to take place on the same day as the General Election, the date will be March 25 or later, Mr Andrews revealed.

The establishment of a referendum commission and the number of referendum related bills which need to move through the Oireachtas means that any earlier deadline "would be very tight".