Tuesday 25 September 2018

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INDOpinion

The next referendum should be about the nationless born here

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018 4:50pm

During the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment Referendum, our streets and screens were plastered with all sorts of slogans and informational posters.

One poster which stood out urged us to “cherish all the children equally”. This was a direct quote from the 1916 Proclamation which highlighted the need to cherish people, particularly children, from all walks of life. Though in its use in the campaign, it was arguably skewed, the message itself remains valuable.

This part of the Proclamation should stir up feelings of pride and security in our laws and rights.

However, as of 2004, we can no longer claim to live up to these lofty ideals. In 2004, we voted by referendum to enact an amendment which undermined the birth rights of children. We did so by landslide with 79.17 per cent in favour.

While we ourselves spread our wings in Canada, USA, UK and Australia in record numbers, we built a wall that day.

Most shamefully, we did not only target immigrants but even children born here:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, a person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, who does not have, at the time of the birth of that person, at least one parent who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen is not entitled to Irish citizenship or nationality, unless provided for by law.”

The referendum asserted that children born here to parents with no legal right to citizenship would be de-nationalised and lose their claim to the provisions of Irish legislation and rights which up to then had protected them. This result undermined the rights of those who need our support the most.

Encouraged by the results of the referendums on divorce, children’s rights, equal marriage and the Repeal of the 8th Amendment Referendum, it is our hope that Ireland is finally ready to cherish its children equally.

To do this, we must start talking about repealing the 27th Amendment and its attack on the rights of children born in Ireland.

All children born in Ireland should be cherished and protected equally under our constitution. As we are confident in our ability to emigrate abroad, we should offer all those who chose to come to Ireland the same céad mile fáilte which we hope to find abroad.

“The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally.”

Imagine a country where all children all born equal, where all children are born with full rights. Imagine the power and progress Ireland could make if we repealed the 27th Amendment.

We have a country of equals to gain, all we have to do is come together and make it so.

Join us in signing the petition to Repeal the 27th Amendment at https://chn.ge/2Mv8WuO.

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