THE PROVISIONAL RESULT of the Children’s Rights Referendum has been announced and the proposed insertion to the constitution has been passed by the Irish electorate.
Following an extremely low turnout, the referendum carried on a 58 per cent to 42 per cent vote.
Of the 1,066,239 votes cast, 615,731 voted in favour of amending the wording of the Constitution which relates to children.
There were 445,863 No votes and 4,645 spoiled votes.
- Of those spoiled votes, THIS was probably the most interesting
Just three constituencies – Donegal South West, Donegal North East and Dublin North West – rejected the proposed change to the Constitution.
The umbrella group for the Yes campaign, which includes Barnardos, the ISPCC, the Children’s Rights Alliance and Campaign for Children, said the result is “a statement by the people of Ireland that children matter.
“[It] provides a mandate for better laws, policy and services to improve the protection of children now, and into the future,” the group added.
Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay commented, “It’s an historic day for children in Ireland. Today, the Irish people have said they want to change the way we value and treat children in our society and in our laws. Today’s vote will make an enormous difference to children’s lives, especially Ireland’s most vulnerable children.
“It is a testament to the incredible solidarity that has underpinned the Yes campaign, that across all divides – political, social and geographic – the people of Ireland have said YES for children.”
Tanya Ward of the Children’s Rights Alliance warned, however, that today is “not the end of the story”.
“The real work now begins to put in place the legislation and policies to build better child protection and children’s rights services for Ireland’s children.”
The result has also been welcomed by Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore who thanked “those who came out and exercised their right to vote”.
“This is a historic referendum. The decision by the People to insert a dedicated Article into the Constitution to protect the rights of children draws a line in the sand against the litany of past failures,” he added. “Up to now the failure of those in positions of power to protect children has been a blight on our nation’s history. Today’s result is a vindication of the values that we hold and how much we value children and childhood.”