O'Rourke speaks out about voter apathy

Fri, Nov 2, 2012, 00:00

REFERENDUM:FORMER MINISTER Mary O’Rourke warned against voter apathy ahead of the children’s rights referendum on Saturday, November 10th, when she campaigned for a Yes vote in Dublin yesterday.

She visited the Iveagh Trust Building and residents of the area as part of an event organised by the Children’s Rights Alliance and Yes for Children campaign.

“Apathy is catching. It’s contagious . . . there’s a huge amount of apathy. I’d hate if the day came along and people just said, ‘I’m not going out to vote, I couldn’t be bothered, I don’t understand it’,” she said.

Mrs O’Rourke chaired the cross-party committee that produced a draft referendum wording in February 2010. She said the committee had “wrestled” with the importance of striking the right balance between parents and children’s rights.

“We didn’t want to disturb the family. I think they all fit comfortably together now.

“Each has their individual rights, not conflicting but compatible,” she said.

“All of the work that went into compiling the wording of the referendum over recent years has now come to fruition. This is a very positive amendment which will benefit future generations of children.”

Broadcaster Lorraine Keane, who also visited the Iveagh Trust Building, described the referendum as “crucial” and said it was important “that we all make it our business to vote”.