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Minister Fitzgerald will 'monitor' beauty pageant situation, but no plans for a ban

Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she was pleased the public’s outcry forced the child beauty contest to retreat to a pub.

Frances Fitzgerald
Frances Fitzgerald
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Children Frances Fitzgerald will continue “to monitor” the beauty pageant situation in Ireland and “whether there is a need for further action”.

This comes as the organisers of a controversial child beauty pageant which took place in Monaghan last week signalled their intention to stage up to four more contests in Ireland next year.

The Texas-based Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant was forced to find a last minute venue for the contest after the Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan cancelled the organiser’s booking, stating that they were not honest about the nature of the contest.

The organisers of the contest held the pageant in a pub in Monaghan.

Back of a pub

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, the minister said she “welcomed the fact that the force of public opinion in Ireland forced last week’s event to be moved to the back of a pub”.

She added that she hopes “that public opinion will continue to play a role in ensuring any further attempts to hold such pageants are also dissuaded”.

When asked if Ireland will follow in France’s footsteps and ban child beauty pageants altogether she said that while the French Senate did vote last week on a possible ban, as she understands it, “this is not likely to be implemented in the way proposed”.

No place in Ireland

Last week, Senator Jillian Van Turnhout called for a ban on child beauty pageants telling TheJournal.ie that she thought child beauty pageants had “no place in Ireland”.

She added that she would be looking into how legislatively it can be handled in the future and called on Seanad and Oireachtas members for support.

Minister Fitzgerald said she felt “strongly that we need to address issues in relation to the sexualisation of children” which is why she has previously worked with Retail Ireland to introduce the first guidelines on the responsible retailing of childrenswear.

Read: Dublin hotel pulls out of hosting child beauty pageant>

Read: ‘Beauty pageants do not sexualise children’ says contest organiser>

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