Let us not betray those we have already failed

The children's rights referendum could make the state's role paramount in the care of Irish children - the very state whose institutions have failed so many of them, writes Tom McGurk.

23rd June, 2012
It's hard to imagine what can be achieved by giving more power to institutions which have so undeniably failed in the past.

Their faces stare out from our morning newspapers, these Irish children who sadly are now dead. In their pictures - obviously taken in better times - they generally look relaxed, hopeful even, brimming with the unique vigour of youth. In their demeanour, they seem expectant, their young life stretching ahead. But it was not to be.

They grew up in an Ireland of the new century, an Ireland which during their short lives had experienced...

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