THE Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) Mayo branch called on all election 2016 candidates to make and keep promises to children at their special election event in Castlebar.
ISPCC Mayo hosted the third in a series of regional election events taking place around the country as part of their #InvestInChildhood election campaign.
The child protection charity set out five promises to children, to which all election candidates should commit:
•Publish a national strategy on children’s cyber safety within 100 days
•Fully resource protection, welfare and mental health of our children
•Ensure the right to an adequate standard of living for all children
•Ensure a nationally available drug and alcohol rehabilitation network for all young people in need.
•Put the best interests of children at the heart of all new laws and fully implement resource and evaluate same.
Five candidates from the constituency were represented, included sitting TD Michelle Mulherin of Fine Gael. Also in attendance was Tom Moran of People Before Profit, Margaret Sheehan of the Green Party, Councillor Rose Conway-Walsh representing Sinn Féin and Michael Farrington of Renua. Also present were stakeholders, members of the public and volunteers from the ISPCC.
Aoife Griffin, ISPCC's west services manager, spoke about the services provided by the ISPCC in Mayo and how this frontline work has influenced the asks set out in the campaign.
Four of the candidates signed the election pledge - Tom Moran, Rose Conway-Walsh, Margaret Sheehan and Michael Farrington.
Said Grainia Long, chief executive of the ISPCC: “The next government has a once in a generation opportunity to address child protection and welfare both online and in everyday life; to prevent child homelessness and promote the right to an adequate standard of living; appropriate rehabilitation; and most importantly put the best interests of children at the heart of everything that we do.
“We are calling on candidates to make their promise to Invest in Childhood”
The ISPCC Invest in Childhood campaign will be holding a number of local events in the coming weeks to give voters the opportunity to learn about their candidates’ commitment to investing in childhood. They are urging the general public to contact their local candidates regarding these issues and to tweet using #InvestInChildhood.