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 Header Item Ceisteanna - Questions
 Header Item Priority Questions
 Header Item Children's Rights Referendum

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 787 No. 3

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  2 o’clock

Ceisteanna - Questions

Priority Questions

Children's Rights Referendum

 60. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald her response to the Supreme Court judgment that her Department acted in breach of the Constitution during the recent children’s rights referendum; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [56975/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I wish to inform Deputies that the High Court is currently hearing an application for leave to petition the court under the provisions of the Referendum Act 1994 to question the validity of the provisional referendum certificate issued by the referendum returning officer in respect of the children's referendum poll held on 10 November. That petition stands adjourned until January 2013. The application relates specifically to the provision of public information by the Government and the decision of the Supreme Court regarding that information.

In light of these matters, it is prudent not to make comment that would be prejudicial to proceedings. As a respondent in the proceedings, I am particularly constrained as regards further comment and, at this stage while proceedings are ongoing, it is necessary and prudent for me to restrict my comments.

I participated fully in a Seanad Éireann debate on the Supreme Court decision on 8 November, the day of the decision. I made a detailed statement as part of that debate. No other proceedings were under way at the time. I refer Deputies to that detailed statement. My statement of 8 November acknowledged the errors that had taken place. I reiterate my acknowledgement and regret that these errors took place.

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