Unprecedented call for 'Yes' vote


ICA ENDORSEMENT:THE IRISH Countrywomen’s Association (ICA) last night endorsed a Yes vote in the upcoming Children’s Referendum.

The move is unprecedented, as it is the first time in its 102-year history that the ICA has endorsed any side of a constitutional matter.

The decision was taken after the association’s national advisory committee – the body that advises the ICA on policy and strategy – voted unanimously in favour of supporting the referendum.

A spokeswoman for the ICA, which has more than 11,000 members, called the decision “significant”.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald said she was “delighted” with the decision.

“This highly unusual step to endorse a Yes vote is indicative of the importance of the referendum, she said. “It is particularly significant as the organisation does not usually take a stand on political issues. This referendum transcends politics. It is about protecting children who are at risk of abuse or neglect.”

The ICA joins a growing list of national organisations that have endorsed a Yes vote ahead of the referendum, which is to take place in three weeks’ time.

As well as enjoying support from a number of children’s rights organisations, the referendum is also the first to be supported by every major political party in the State since the Belfast Agreement.