The silence of the lambs….
I’m not a parent. This may give me an unbiased view or, in the eyes of the ‘opinion vigilantes’, disbar me from speaking.
I read the proposed amendment. Then I read the current version. It’s hard to spot the difference even with the explanatory notes.
My sense of it is that this is the best wording that could be achieved while leaving the rest of the tottering edifice that are the antiquated ‘social provisions’ of Dev’s Constitution in place.
Which makes the amendment into a modern fig leaf covering a monstrous carbuncle.
The existing wording has caused some awkward moments and embarrassing situations for the “powers that be” in their hallowed courts and secretive chambers over the past few decades as our society has evolved out the McQuaid-ian straitjacket that it was reared in.
At the same time as these few awkward legal tangles were being ‘threaded’ the State and its agents were engaged in wholesale neglect of the children in their charge.
Children were being abused and were abandoned to the clutches of their abusers.
Young people were systematically deprived of their rights by extra- and quasi-judicial processes and abandoned into penal servitude for decades.
Children died in their dozens while in the direct care of the state.
When abuses were happening under the control of minority faiths an equally blind eye was turned.
When the matter finally got some attention, the States answer was to send someone who had been suborned by a secret society to negotiate with the superiors of that society. So, it is no wonder that the deal was totally unenforceable and biased.
Finally, when the tide web out on the “Euro Boom”, we saw that the Dublin skyline was forever changed by the presence of two world-class stadia but the children’s hospital that should have crowned Eccles St is nowhere to be seen.
For all its fine words, complex processes and Christian ideals, the State and its agents have an appalling history of neglect, negligence, fecklessness and hypocrisy in the field of child care.
The consequences and legacies of this history continue to be felt to this day and the nugatory gestures of contrition and compensation so far granted only rub salt into the un-healing wounds of the victims.
Do not grant the authorities and their factotums the fig leaf of propriety and concern that this amendment represents. They desire to cover up their legal discomfitures while preserving the form and principles of the rest that shabby and outdated Constitution.
Until the State has made proper restitution and has clearly amended its ways and habits in the day to day practice of its child care regime, then money spent on a Constitutional Amendment is an insult to those currently physically sick or mentally scarred by the States past maladministration.
Our founding document contains a fine promise to cherish all the children of the nation equally.
They deserve better care, a better Constitution and a better nation than they have had over the last hundred years.
Vote No to the amendment because our children deserve better.