Sunday, November 4, 2012


Yet again the people of Ireland are being forced to vote on a Constitutional amendment that will hand over more power to the State/ EU. This time, under the heading of Fundamental Rights, proposed amendment 42A encroaches on the sensitive area of the Family, as parents are asked to appoint the State/EU (politicians, social workers, the courts) as the ultimate protector of their children.
Supreme Court Judge Adrian Hardiman states that Ireland’s Constitution does not put parent’s rights first and children’s second,  it prefers parents to third parties, official or private, priest or social worker, as the enablers and guardians of the child’s rights’ and in wholly exceptional cases, where  parents fail in their duty towards their child’ it allows the State to intervene, ‘always with the due regard for the natural and imprescriptable rights of the child’.  Former Supreme Court judge, Mr. Hugh O Flaherty, also confirms that the provisions proposed in the new amendment ‘are all -- or nearly all -- to be found in an existing Article of the Constitution, in our ordinary legislation or in court judgments’.

In 2000, without public debate, Dáil consent or approval of the Irish people, our then Taoiseach, supported by the leaders of the other two main political parties, signed Ireland up to a new EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This EU Charter conflicts with our Irish Constitution in a number of vital areas. In particular, the EU Rights of the Child (Article 11-24) makes no mention at all of parent’s rights or the  ‘family’, thereby viewing the child as an isolated individual, rather than as part of the family. The sole reference to parents chillingly states, ‘Every child shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis a personal relationship and direct contact with both his, or her parents, unless that is contrary to his, or her interests( Art 3). There is no clarification on who will decide what is contrary to the child’s interest.
The Best Interest of the Child (BIC) principle comes from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Since 2006, the UN committee overseeing the implementation of this document has demanded that our Irish Constitution be changed, in order to make way for the UNCRC.
 Article 2 of the UNCRC is clear that the State will decide what is in the best interest of the Child, not the child, or the parents. And Art 43 of the Convention mandates that our State will answer to a UN Committee, not to the people of Ireland. Here again, our political leaders have refused to defend our Irish Constitution and above all, the rights of Irish parents and their families enshrined within it.
We know that strong family units have been and still remain the backbone of our nation. Our Constitutions’ definition of the family is recognized worldwide as the foundation stone of a stable society. The State / EU have no right to isolate the child from the family and remove parent’s rights as the primary educators and protectors of their children. The people of Ireland own their Constitution and only they have the final say, they deserve to be told the truth.
Government can better provide for the rights of our children by removing the severe EU austerity measures which have resulted in 30% of Irish children living in poverty. It should be protecting families being evicted from their homes by the banks and by ensuring the ongoing funding of HSE treatment for sick children and appropriate care for those with special needs
It is only by changing Ireland’s Constitution that our political leaders can enforce the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights! That is why we are being forced to vote on this contentious and unnecessary Constitutional amendment -and what a high cost it will be to Irish families and Irish Society. I will be voting NO to the proposed Constitutional amendment 42A and in the best interest of our children, I urge you to do the same.

Contact Dana: 087 6794367