Dáil debates

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Reappointment of the Ombudsman for Children: Motion


3:45 pm

Photo of Danny Healy-RaeDanny Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I am glad to get the opportunity to talk on this important matter. Children are vulnerable and, as elected representatives, we must do everything to ensure they are properly looked after. This time of virus has been a concerning and upsetting time for many children. They are away from their schools, hobbies and friends.

Many teachers in many schools are entrusted with the job of seeing that children are fed properly, given meals and looked after in certain ways. I worry that they have been missing all this for most of last year and again this year. I sincerely hope these children are not hungry. It is the one reason I hope the schools will be open, especially special needs schools. These special children need special attention and they have been denied that. We know that they go into reverse quickly if their routine is not continued. I hope there will be no other blockage to prevent special needs school children from going back to their schools, crèches and places of care that they were used to attending.

It has been a trying time for all children of school-going age because they are away from their friends, hobbies and sports. We must recognise and hope they will be back doing the things they want to do. Children get tired of being in the one place or being at home in a room if the day is wet or whatever. We need to hope this vaccine is rolled out and that children and teachers can get back to school. The current uncertainty cannot continue or be allowed to arise again in respect of any cohort of children.


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