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Minister insists children’s rights referendum will take place this year

Frances Fitzgerald also welcomed yesterday’s publication by the Catholic Church of the report of the Apostolic Visitation to Ireland.

Frances Fitzgerald
Frances Fitzgerald
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Children has today reiterated her commitment to hold the children’s rights referendum by the end of this year.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Frances Fitzgerald said work was “ongoing” on the issue of the referendum and that she hoped a report detailing progress would be published in May or early June by her Department.

Fitzgerald confirmed that 62 new social workers had been hired as promised, but that there was “no room for complacency” on the matter of child safety.

When questioned about why the Children’s Referendum had not yet taken place, despite successive governments promising it, Fitzgerald said: “Drafting constitutional change must be clearly understood by public… it’s work that needs to be gone through methodically.”

She gave assurances that her Department was working hard to produce the wording and that a stand-alone referendum would take place by the end of 2012.

The Minister also welcomed yesterday’s publication by the Catholic Church of the report of the Apostolic Visitation to Ireland.

In a statement, she noted that “the assurances of the Archbishops of the visited Archdioceses that all newly-discovered cases of abuse are promptly brought before the civil authorities” – saying that this was is in line with the Children First national child protection guidance.

Fitzgerald said there could be ”no doubt as to the responsibilities of every organisation and individual to protect children and report concerns regarding abuse.”

Children’s rights referendum will be held this year – Government>

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