Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Don’t Tell, Don’t Interfere, Don’t Legislate

January 22nd, 2009 · 3 Comments · Religion, Social Policy

Other than wonder about the nature of the group which helped the mother in the Roscommon Case take a High Court action everyone should be asking

  • What were the schools doing?
  • What did the doctor or public health nurse do?
  • What did the neighbours do?
  • The shopkeepers?
  • Why didn’t the health board go through other legal means following the high court injunction?

The culture of not telling or non interference is supported by society and influenced by mainstream church teaching in so many ways – no mandatory reporting, no Constitutional protection of children which to be fair to the health board does seem to limit the legal avenues open to it.

The Iona Institute tell us in a recent survey that 72% agree that parents should decide whats best for their children except for cases of abuse or neglect. This is code for no to a childrens rights referendum. These groups and the hierarchy have done and will do their best to slow down any attempt to change the constitution to give children access to rights.

There are many Catholic agencies and groups which oppose stay safe programmes, vaccination programmes, relationships and sexuality education, protection legislation and permit the distribution of ALIVE in churches and other church buildings. Those catholic groups which advocate/d a no vote in the Lisbon treaty did so in part to ‘protect the family’. Some of those individuals/groups providing parenting courses and advice for call-ins on television and radio programmes are deeply involved in Catholic fringe organisations but you wouldn’t know it.

The Church and it’s institutions own school buildings and maintain that they should direct the curriculum and decide on admittance despite state funding. They also have the right to decide who works in these schools. Their leaders don’t quit or get sacked when they don’t obey their own rules and policies on child protection or those of the state. Several government ministers regularly state that Ireland is a Christian country in relation to these and other types of social policy matters.

And the issue which should shock us even more than all the above is that the severity of abuse/neglect in the Roscommon case is still happening and there are even less people out there to report suspicions to (social workers being completely overburdened with cases). When these cases/suspicions are reported they take months or years to be investigated – and then the constitutional protection of the family and lack of full childcare protection legislation in the way.

Read Geoffrey Shannon’s report on the legislative deficits in terms of child protection in Ireland – the government paid him to write it.

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