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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Archbishop says children's rights vote is no 'magic formula'

Diarmuid Martin says the Children’s Rights referendum is welcome, but will not solve all challenges for parents and children.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has welcomed the proposed wording of the Children’s Rights Referendum – but warned that its passage would “not be a magic formula” to resolve the country’s challenges.

In a homily to mark the start of the new law term, Martin said the approval of the referendum would not “resolve all the challenges for parents and children which sadly often emerge in our complex society”.

“A change of culture will take a long time to be embedded within the various levels of society and public service,” he said.

The Archbishop added that, on a personal level, he believed the formal wording of the referendum had “attempted to address the rights and obligations of the various interest groups in a balanced way”, while also giving adequate focus to a child’s own interests and opinions.

He further called for the public to join “in a united and unambiguous way” to condemn the recent spate of gangland attacks, many of which had been carried out in front of children.

“No economic or no political aim can be achieved by such violence. It is simply amoral,” he said.

Dr Martin’s homily was delivered at the so-called ‘Red Mass’, held at St Michan’s Church close to Kings Inns, which marks the start of the Michaelmas law term and is attended by many members of the judiciary.

The final wording of the referendum will be confirmed this week, when the Seanad completes its consideration of the necessary legislation.

Read: Sinnott accused of engaging in ‘hysterical hyperbole’ over referendum

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Gavan Reilly

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