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Minister Fitzgerald welcomes Supreme Court decision to uphold Children's Referendum result


I welcome the unanimous decision of Supreme Court today.

It is important that citizens have the opportunity to bring concerns to our courts as happened in this case.

As the then Minister for Children & Youth Affairs who brought forward the proposition put before the people, I am pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld the wishes of the majority of the Irish people who voted to put the protection and best interests of children at the heart of our constitution.

The Children's Referendum was a key element of this Government's comprehensive and unprecedented programme of reform designed to better protect Ireland's children. This reform programme has also included the establishment of Tusla, Ireland's dedicated Child and Family Agency and the enactment of the Children and Family Relationships Act, which was signed by the President on April 6th.

This is a new era for the how we as a society view our children. No longer seen and not heard, children are now recognised by our Constitution as individual rights holders deserving of protection by our laws irrespective of their family form. Most importantly, we have enshrined in our constitution the fundamental principle that the best interests of the child will be recognised as paramount in important decisions affecting them.

Every child matters. Every child is equal.

As Minister for Justice and Equality, I will continue to work to make this a practical reality for children in Ireland today just as I will continue to work to make Ireland a more equal society for all