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 Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State

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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:49 pm

Do ye think we could get a legal discussion going out of the Roscommon woman incest case ? Just remembered it as I was reading through the Anglo sue thread on the Pin and they dragged the topic in ... Surely laws might change in favour of the father or to give social workers some more powers of intrusion ... What a Face

Stifster wrote:
ewd3 wrote:
irish sundance wrote:
So in the case of "discovery" we will have to trust the judicary to play ball,will we not?
OT but
The same judiciary who opposed the taking into care of those children in roscommon?

for the love of a non-existent god. Even if these were somehow related...

The mother applied to the Court, ex-parte, that is without notice to the Health Board, and obtained an injunction preventing the board from taking the children into care without a full hearing of their case. All the "judiciary" heard was the woman's side of the story. The health board never challenged the injunction it appears.

Quote :
Last night, legal experts queried why the High Court injunction was not immediately challenged by the health board once it became aware of the order restraining it from removing the children from their family home.

To say that the judiciary "opposed the taking into care" is plainly untrue.

Quote :
Earlier this week, social workers told Judge Miriam Reynolds, presiding at Roscommon Circuit Criminal Court, that they had concerns that "a Catholic right-wing organisation" had provided the mother with financial support in her successful bid to get a High Court injunction restraining it.

Quote :
Judge Reynolds expressed her frustration that she could not impose a lengthier sentence on the woman, .
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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:23 pm

Does anyone know which 'Catholic right-wing organisation' was involved?
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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:27 pm

Yes, it was mentioned in the Irish Independent today. It was a woman called Mena Bean Ui Chribin who I haven't heard of but seemingly had a high profile in the early 1990s. She was apparently representing a group called Ograchas Naoimh Papain, which equally I had never heard of and when I Googled it the only results were in relation to this story, rather than providing a background on the organisation.
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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:31 pm

I presume it's impossible to take legal action against her but hopefully the exposure in the press might encourage her to examine her priorities.
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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:56 pm

I think that Cribín wan was involved in some Ultra Catholic Gaelscoil in Ballymun back in the 90's. I'd say you could email Noel Ahern - he must know her.
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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:36 pm

There was an interesting piece on Morning Ireland yesterday covering the fallout from the Roscommon case.

Over the last few days there have been calls for a Children's Rights referendum from many quarters. Dr Catherine O'Sullivan of UCC points out that the rights of children in the current dispensation are presumed to be covered by the specific constitutional recognition of the place of the family within society. 4 minutes into the clip she says:
Quote :
The rights of the family supercede the rights of children because there is a presumption that the rights of children are best protected within the family.
To which Áine Lawlor responds:
Quote :
And we know unfortunately that that's not always the case.
Now while what both ladies above have said is undeniably true, I fear the reality that while children are not always protected by their own families, it is almost always the case. Is it wise to change the consitution to deal with such exceptional cases and skew the current relationship between parents their children and the State? The presumption of those calling for a referendum is that children's rights would be better protected by the State. Now, I think that is a pretty big presumption. Far more so than the presumption that families cannot be trusted to rear and cherish their chidlren.

How often has the State failed children in its care? Institutional abuse in state sanctioned industrial schools was rife for decades. More recently even children specifically in the care of the HSE have been failed utterly by the State. These children in Roscommon did not suffer due to the lack of laws, they suffered because the social workers screwed up. (I think I can say this without fear of being contradicted - whatever happened, social workers had concerns and failed to protect the children. If they couldn't best a looper like Bean Uí Chribín, they really need to consider their suitability for the jobs they're paid to do.)

There was a social worker on Newstalk (link anyone?) on Thursday night calling for Barry Andrews' head over this since he had written to him when he was appointed alerting the Minister that the child protection systems in Ireland we woefully unfit for purpose. All Andews did was say the concerns would be sent on the the HSE, the very body the social worker was complaining about. The anger is the social workers voice was palpable and it was hard to listen to. He pointed out that in the recent English case, senior people lost their jobs. Obviously that never happens here, because in the HSE, no-one is ever accountable for anything. He stated clearly that Roscommon could happen again (and is surely happening as we speak) anywhere in Ireland for the simple reason that the people tasked with preventing it are not up to the job.

In the Irish Times today, Carl O'Brien points out that the problem is not the lack of necessary laws but the lack of a properly resourced child protection system. A Children's Rights referendum in the absence of a complete overhaul of the State's approach to children's welfare will be but a sham.

There is a need for a debate on this and to start I would caution against transferring responsibility for the protection of children from parents to the State, when in my view the State is far more likely to fail in its duties in this regard.
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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:13 pm

unaligned wrote:
I presume it's impossible to take legal action against her but hopefully the exposure in the press might encourage her to examine her priorities.

I don't know on what basis you have in mind. I suppose the DDP could consider putting her on trial as an accomplice to a crime.
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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:21 am

coc wrote:
There was an interesting piece on Morning Ireland yesterday covering the fallout from the Roscommon case.

Over the last few days there have been calls for a Children's Rights referendum from many quarters. Dr Catherine O'Sullivan of UCC points out that the rights of children in the current dispensation are presumed to be covered by the specific constitutional recognition of the place of the family within society. 4 minutes into the clip she says:
Quote :
The rights of the family supercede the rights of children because there is a presumption that the rights of children are best protected within the family.
To which Áine Lawlor responds:
Quote :
And we know unfortunately that that's not always the case.
Now while what both ladies above have said is undeniably true, I fear the reality that while children are not always protected by their own families, it is almost always the case. Is it wise to change the consitution to deal with such exceptional cases and skew the current relationship between parents their children and the State? The presumption of those calling for a referendum is that children's rights would be better protected by the State. Now, I think that is a pretty big presumption. Far more so than the presumption that families cannot be trusted to rear and cherish their chidlren.

How often has the State failed children in its care? Institutional abuse in state sanctioned industrial schools was rife for decades. More recently even children specifically in the care of the HSE have been failed utterly by the State. These children in Roscommon did not suffer due to the lack of laws, they suffered because the social workers screwed up. (I think I can say this without fear of being contradicted - whatever happened, social workers had concerns and failed to protect the children. If they couldn't best a looper like Bean Uí Chribín, they really need to consider their suitability for the jobs they're paid to do.)

There was a social worker on Newstalk (link anyone?) on Thursday night calling for Barry Andrews' head over this since he had written to him when he was appointed alerting the Minister that the child protection systems in Ireland we woefully unfit for purpose. All Andews did was say the concerns would be sent on the the HSE, the very body the social worker was complaining about. The anger is the social workers voice was palpable and it was hard to listen to. He pointed out that in the recent English case, senior people lost their jobs. Obviously that never happens here, because in the HSE, no-one is ever accountable for anything. He stated clearly that Roscommon could happen again (and is surely happening as we speak) anywhere in Ireland for the simple reason that the people tasked with preventing it are not up to the job.

In the Irish Times today, Carl O'Brien points out that the problem is not the lack of necessary laws but the lack of a properly resourced child protection system. A Children's Rights referendum in the absence of a complete overhaul of the State's approach to children's welfare will be but a sham.

There is a need for a debate on this and to start I would caution against transferring responsibility for the protection of children from parents to the State, when in my view the State is far more likely to fail in its duties in this regard.
The calls for the childrens' referendum are predictable and to an extent understandable, but they miss the point. We don't need to change the Constitution to prevent this from happening again. Indeed, it could and should have been prevented earlier and to blame the Constitution is to risk letting those responsible for this atrocity off the hook.

I also have fears about this ever-looming childrens' referendum. Do we know exactly what it will entail? Last I heard there was talk about bringing in strict liability for statutory rape, which is not something I support.
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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:14 am

Have to say I agree with Evercloserunion 100% on this.

The idea being promoted by many in the public eye, that children have less rights than their parents, is a sham. Bunreacht offers more than enough protection to children. The fact that the State does not live up to its obligations is the issue and proof that changing the Constitution will not suddenly convince the State to follow through on its duties.

Let's look at Bunreacht:

The Family - Article 41 wrote:
1. 1° The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.

2° The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.

Basically we have the rights of the family being seen to be superior to all written law. This does not mean that children and their rights are inferior to the whims of their parents.

The important article in Bunreacht, that defines the rights of children, in respect to their parents or guardians imo, is Article 42. This is the Article on Education. But as can been, Bunreacht views education to be more than just the three Rs:
Education - Article 42 wrote:
1. The State acknowledges that the primary and natural educator of the child is the Family and guarantees to respect the inalienable right and duty of parents to provide, according to their means, for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social education of their children.

Article 42 wrote:
3.2° The State shall, however, as guardian of the common good, require in view of actual conditions that the children receive a certain minimum education, moral, intellectual and social.

And here we have the clincher:
Article 42 wrote:
5. In exceptional cases, where the parents for physical or moral reasons fail in their duty towards their children, the State as guardian of the common good, by appropriate means shall endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.

So, as can be seen, the State not only has a right to intervene when it considers that children have been abused or may be abused, it has a duty to do so. In fact, children have the absolute right to be protected, and as can be seen from Article 41, this right is superior to all written law. Indeed when we compare this to Article 42, we can see that the rights of the child outweigh the rights of the parents.

Let us not be blinded by an act of scapegoating and let us instead demand that the State starts to live up to its obligations with regard to the natural and imprescriptible rights of children.
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PostSubject: Re: Rights and Responsibilities - Children,Parents and the State   Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:17 am

Anything which is, by its nature, strict liability, will be of questionable constitutionality if raised as an issue before the courts given the recent judgements of the Supreme Court. This would of course change if there was a constitutional change... but the Supreme Court does not like strict liability... nor do I... evercloserunion are of one mind on this - strict liability is a very bad thing indeed.

Anyway... I'll post again on the matter when the drink has worn off.
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