Amendment not about 'abuse of power'

Sun, Nov 4, 2012, 00:00


A Yes vote in the children’s rights referendum would ensure the appropriate use of power by the State to protect children, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said.

"This is an opportunity to put in place rights for children and their protection and, also, to give those in foster care an opportunity to have a second chance," he added.

Mr Kenny, who campaigned in Dublin shopping centres yesterday, said the amendment was about the use, and not abuse, of power.

The Fine Gael director of elections and Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar today accused the No side of "constant misinformation".

"Deeply disturbing statements are being made by the No side, ranging from claims about forced adoption to the suggestion that this referendum is a threat to parents’ rights," he said.

"These are desperate attempts to derail a referendum that, if passed, will have a hugely positive effect on child protection in this country."

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said in Limerick today that the referendum was not about the norm, where families took good care of their children.

"It is about the exceptional cases when children are abused and neglected in their own home," he added.

Calling for a No vote, former presidential candidate and MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon said the Government could better provide for the rights of children by removing the severe EU austerity measures in place.

In a statement, Ms Scallon accused the Government of initiating "a contentious and unnecessary constitutional amendment".

She added: "I will be voting No in the best interests of our children and I urge you to do the same."