Independent TDs call for Yes vote
Six Independent TDs joined together at a press conference in Dublin this morning to call for a Yes vote in the children’s rights referendum on November 10th.
Chaired by Technical Group whip Catherine Murphy, the group also includes Stephen Donnelly, John Halligan, Finian McGrath, Maureen O’Sullivan and Shane Ross.
Ms Murphy said the referendum represented “a starting-point” but that it had to be “a living thing that is expanded on”.
Expressing similar sentiments, Ms O’Sullivan said: “It can’t just be a paper issue.”
Mr Halligan said that, although the group supported the amendment, “the amendment would mean very little” unless services were put in place for children.
Mr McGrath said he was a “Yes, but” voter, adding the amendment would be “very hollow if you don’t provide services for children at risk”.
Mr Donnelly said the referendum was “a very important step” but that, as well as changes in the Constitution and in legislation, “the culture needs to change”.
Mr Ross said it was “extraordinarily important” to pass the amendment, but it was “only a start, and a declaration”.
Ms Murphy said: “Recognition of the child in his/her own right; sufficient protections for the family and proportionate responses when warranted; addressing the complicated issue of adoption – these are all extremely positive aspects of the proposed legislation, but they cannot be enshrined in our Constitution and then forgotten about.”