Wednesday, 6 February 2019
Children's Rights: Motion [Private Members]
I thank the Acting Chairman. I am going to speak about the motion first. Two weeks ago, we were all in the Mansion House at a very dignified and moving ceremony commemorating the first Dáil. Very much central to the first Dáil was the Democratic Programme, written by Tom Johnson, the leader of the Labour Party. It was adopted by the first Dáil 100 years ago. It stated the first duty of a parliament or government was to look after its children. This is the central tenet of the motion. I very much respect most of the people who have contributed in good faith to the debate on this very important issue. We are now a relatively wealthy country. We have recovered from the worst economic crisis that has ever befallen the country, when budgets were reduced by one third. In the worst of times, the Labour Party, in government with Fine Gael, protected some of the most vulnerable of our citizens and we will not take the type of attacks that have come from other people. There was absolute stone wall abuse in the House.