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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 26 January 2022

Ombudsman: Children's rights referendum won't bring "radical change"

Emily Logan said she had seen a “cautious approach” taken to any change in the constitution in the past.

Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan
Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE CHILDREN’S OMBUDSMAN has said that the referendum on children will not bring “radical change”.

Ombudsman Emily Logan was speaking about the referendum in an interview with broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE Radio 1′s Miriam Meets, alongside her husband Connell Foley from Concern.

She first called for a referendum in 2005 “after it became obvious that people are making really important decisions for children that often can have a profound effect on them, but there is no obligation for them to consider the interests of children”.

She said in relation to a children’s referendum that:

I think what we are looking at is not a children’s rights referendum – we are not talking about a radical change here in Ireland.

Logan said that Irish people are “attached to our constitution” and “people see it as a barometer of our social and moral values”.

She said that she had seen a “cautious approach” taken to any change in the constitution “so I think what we will see is not radical”.

Logan added that she feels strongly about people having to respect views of children, particularly children in care, and the interaction between the State and children who need additional support.

O’Callaghan asked Logan if she was interested in entering politics, but she ruled out the idea.

In June, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that the government is committed to holding the referendum on children’s rights, and hoped to do so this autumn.

He made the comments following the publication of a report into the deaths of children in State care.

Read: Children’s Ombudsman criticises application of ‘in camera’ rule on child cases>

Read: ‘Standalone’ referendum on children’s rights to be held this autumn – Gilmore>

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