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Call for date of children's rights referendum to be set

TD Mary O’Rourke says that the referendum ought to take place early in 2011, and appealed to the government to release wording ahead of any vote.

FIANNA FÁIL TD Mary O’Rourke has called on the government to announce a date for a referendum on the rights of the child, RTÉ reports.

She has also demanded that the government release the wording of the proposed referendum.

O’Rourke, who chaired the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children, said that the referendum ought to take place in January or February of 2011.

Fine Gael Children’s Spokeman Charlie Flanagan has agreed that an advance publication of the wording would be needed. He said:

The horror of the recent Roscommon case and other officials reports have again highlighted the totally unacceptable situations where children are emotionally abused, sexually assaulted, physically beaten and tortured by their parents and close relatives.

The State has a duty to its children and to society. Every week that passes without the necessary Constitutional change is endangering the safety of our children.

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