Fianna Fáil is to hold a public meeting on the upcoming Children’s Referendum in Co Monaghan next week. The party’s National Campaign Director, former Children’s Minister Barry Andrews, will host the meeting along with Fianna Fáil Honorary Secretary Margaret Conlon and other local representatives.
The meeting will take place in the Glencarn Hotel in Castleblayney at 8.30pm on Tuesday, 30th October.
Speaking beforehand, Margaret Conlon said the meeting is open to anyone who has questions about the referendum.
“I am concerned that the issues involved in this referendum have not been fully explained to people. I want to cut through the confusion and explain these issues simply to voters in Monaghan so that they can make an informed and considered decision,” she said.
“Fianna Fáil will be delivering leaflets to houses across Monaghan and Cavan, explaining in a clear and concise way what this referendum is about and why we are asking people to vote yes. This meeting in Castleblayney will give people an opportunity to ask questions and to air their views about this referendum.
“A yes vote in this referendum will be a step forward for children’s rights. It will ensure that the rights of the child will be explicit in our Constitution. The referendum will also ensure that no child is discriminated against whether they are disadvantaged, physically or intellectually disabled when it comes to accessing services of the state,” Margaret Conlon said.
Fianna Fáil’s Director of Elections for the referendum campaign is former Minister for Children Barry Andrews. He has also appealed to voters in Monaghan and Cavan to vote yes, saying it is one step towards improving child protection.
“This referendum will improve adoption rights for thousands of children in care who currently cannot be adopted due to anomalies in the law. In Ireland today, there are 6,500 children in care and 2,000 of these have married parents. Under the current legislation, these 2,000 children cannot apply for adoption with their foster families,” said Mr Andrews.
He added, “This referendum is an important step, but it is not the only answer. It must be backed up by the necessary resources in terms of social workers and supports for vulnerable children in Monaghan, Cavan and across the country. We can help this to happen by voting Yes for children's rights on November 10th”