Speaking after the shocking story of ‘Maggie’ on RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime programme this evening (Thursday), Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, said that the upcoming Children’s Referendum will help bring about a cultural change to ensure children are seen and heard.
"It is essential that we have a Constitution and a culture that hears the voice of children. This Referendum is a key opportunity for Irish people to come out and make a statement in support of children; children who have been abused and children who have been ignored.
"If we vote Yes to this Referendum, we will be making a clear statement that children have Constitutional rights that must be vindicated by the State. A Constitutional change of this nature would be a clear direction to legislators, the judiciary and everyone who works with children on behalf of the state that we must protect and cherish children in Ireland.
“This Referendum alone will not address all of the issues affecting children, and it is just one part of the Government’s Programme for Change for Children. But the provisions set out in the Referendum will help to support families, ensure the safety and welfare of children at risk and ensure child protection services can respond proportionately to child protection concerns.
“For too long, children have gone unheard in this country. We can change this on Saturday November 10th. I am urging people to make sure they come out and vote.”