Breen warns against complacency

October 25th, 2012 - Pat Breen

Speaking following Public Meeting on the Children’s Referendum which was held in the Auburn Lodge Hotel in Ennis on Monday night last organised by Ennis District Fine Gael Executive, Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen has warned against complacency urging everyone across Clare to vote Yes in the Children’s Referendum on November 10th to help protect vulnerable children from harm.

“The need for constitutional change to enshrine the rights of children was first voiced by the former Supreme Court judge Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness in 1993. And it has taken until now and the appointment of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald T.D. to bring this referendum to fruition. While this referendum is one of the most important in the history of the State we cannot be complacent and it is important that people go out and vote on the 10th. Students and other groups have long campaigned for referendums and elections to be held on a Saturday; so now is their time to make sure their voices are heard. By voting Yes on November 10th you can help to ensure that children at risk are protected from harm. This is our chance to make a clear statement about how we value our children.”

Welcoming the support from the ICA for the referendum, Deputy Breen said today that “it is the first time in the organisation’s 102 year history that it has chosen to take such a move and I would like to commend the organisation for this major departure. The support of the ICA reiterates the fact that this is one of the most important referenda in the history of the state and they join a growing list of national organisations which have come out in support of a Yes vote on Saturday November 10th. They include a host of groups working with children and young people, including the National Youth Council of Ireland, Unicef, Barnardos, the ISPCC and the Children’s Rights Alliance. All of these organisations recognise the positive change that can be brought about by passing the Children’s Referendum.”

“After 17 reports on child protection failings over the last 20 years, we now all have a chance to make a difference on Saturday November 10th and vote Yes to protect children and support families. I’m asking everyone across Clare to play their part and make their voice heard.”