Media coverage of child poll urged


MINISTER FOR Children Frances Fitzgerald has called on the media to provide more information on the children’s referendum.

“We really do have to ensure that the referendum is covered over the next 2½ weeks,” she said.

“Because it is non-adversarial, it is not getting the kind of coverage that you would expect,” Ms Fitzgerald said during a Young Fine Gael press conference advocating a Yes vote in the referendum in Dublin yesterday.

She added: “There is a huge public interest in the people being informed.

“There is an obligation in terms of making sure the message gets out there.

“It is one page. The stability treaty was 20. So let us make sure that the people make sure of the four or five key points.”

Ms Fitzgerald said that, unlike children, property was referred to 38 times in the Constitution. “Let us make explicit how we want children to be dealt with in the Constitution,” she added.

“There are explicit rights, explicit protection and the adoption issue being dealt with equitably, and the best interest and the views of the child being considered in key areas which affect them.

“I do hope that the information deficit will be fulfilled between now and the referendum.”

President of Young Fine Gael Patrick Molloy said the party would hold information meetings in third-level institutions across the State.

“We expect our members to be out knocking on doors and providing leaflets,” he said.

“As an organisation, we are very hungry for this referendum. We believe this is an important step. Many of us have grown up hearing about the horrific things that have happened to children over the past 30-odd years.”

Mr Molloy said there had been 17 reports published about child neglect and abuse.

“We, as an organisation, are extremely supportive of this amendment and the Minister’s efforts to ensure that children are better protected,” he added.

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