Child welfare

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NGOs and child and family Bill

Jillian van Turnout (ind, Taoiseach nominee) protested at the exclusion of voluntary organizations from briefings on legislation in Leinster House (Seanad Eireann, 2nd October 2013, 390).  She had organized a meeting on the Child & Family Agency Bill, 2013, to which she had invited the Children’s Rights Alliance, Barnardos, EPIC (Empowering People In Care), Pain, Lifestart, The Irish Association of Social Workers, Focus Ireland, Young Ballymun, Start Strong and the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development.  They had given their views on the Bill which had now been long delayed.  Now she had learned that the audio visual room was to be banned for Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), apparently because they were too embarrassing.  She had visited several parliaments around the world and NGOs had greater access.   She was supported by Sean Barrett (ind, Dublin University) who said that we should involve civic society more.    Matin Conway (FG, adminisrative) had been told that he could not bring in the Irish Deaf Society, ‘the removal of the voice of democracy’.  It was appalling, he said.  The leader of the house, Maurice Cummins (FG, labour), described this as a retrograde step, whereupon the Cathaoirleach undertook to convene the committee on procedure and privileges to resolve the matter.