On Tuesday October 23 Martin Heydon TD hosted a public meeting in Lumville House Newbridge to discuss the forthcoming Children’s referendum.
A packed hall engaged in debate and questions on the issues involved in the forthcoming Children’s referendum on Saturday November 10.
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Francis Fitzgerald, a native of Newbridge, was joined by a national panel of experts including Fergus Finlay, CEO of Bernardos, Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Chairman of the Adoption Authority and Wayne Dignum of the Irish Foster Care Association.
Minister Fitzgerald told the meeting that the referendum proposals, along with other reforms under way to improve child protection and welfare services, would be an historic step forward.
Barnardos chief Fergus Finlay spoke of the need for the people of Kildare to step up and protect children.
“They should have rights — the right to be loved, the right to grow, the right to be educated, the right never to be exploited, abused, or neglected,” he said.
Dr Geoffrey Shannon informed the meeting that proposal increased the rights of children and did not impinge of the rights of parents.