Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has echoed the concerns of the Children’s Right Alliance, which awarded a D+ grade to the Government, criticising its lack of progress in fulfilling its own promises to the nation’s children and young people.

Speaking following the publication of the CRA report card Deputy Rabbitte said, “I’m not surprised by the Children’s Right Alliance’s finding that this government is seriously failing to meet its commitments to children and young people – the problems highlighted by the report card are issues that are being brought to my attention every single day.  I am, however, disappointed by the key findings of this report, which reveals a serious under-provision of services and protections for our kids.

“Despite Government promises to increase capacity in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, there are more than 2,080 children waiting for an appointment.  There were over 2,500 children living in homeless accommodation at the end of 2016, and with regard to services for children who are victims of sexual abuse, Galway remains the only county in the country which has a 24 hour service.

“These failings, and more like them, mean that a significant number of Ireland’s children and young people are being denied the most basic of their human rights and this is simply not good enough.  Minister Zappone and her Department must wake up to the seriousness of the situation facing children in this country and begin actively recruiting staff and implementing strategies to deal with these issues”.