Thursday 24 October 2013

It's the right thing to do, because it's about the children

Dear God, who will rid us of this troublesome Taoiseach?

I was listening to the Great Unbearable on the radio this morning as he was asked to comment on the abduction of two innocent Roma children by Irish State authorities on the dubious premise that they had blonde hair.

"This is about children, it's about children."

Oh, so that's okay then.  This is one of those lines that politicians run to when all else fails, and when Enda is being interviewed in public you can rest assured that all else has already failed.  Other fall back lines are:  "It's the right thing to do" and "This is about protecting lives", usually before you're whacked with a Mickey Finn.

So it's about children. 

Presumably when children were taken off unwed mothers and put up for adoption in foreign countries it was about children.

Presumably when children were sent to industrial schools because their parents were poor or their mother had died it was about children.

Now of course we're told we must wait while An Garda Siochana and the HSE investigate themselves before we form any conclusions or comment.

It might have been helpful if the same Guards and HSE had waited, investigate and formed some conclusions before snatching the children in the first place.

Let's have a look at Section 12 of the Child Care Act, 1991, the legal provision used by the Guards.

12.—(1) Where a member of the Garda Síochána has reasonable grounds for believing that—
(a) there is an immediate and serious risk to the health or welfare of a child, and
(b) it would not be sufficient for the protection of the child from such immediate and serious risk to await the making of an application for an emergency care order by a health board under section 13,
the member, accompanied by such other persons as may be necessary, may, without warrant, enter (if need be by force) any house or other place (including any building or part of a building, tent, caravan or other temporary or moveable structure, vehicle, vessel, aircraft or hovercraft) and remove the child to safety.

An "immediate and serious risk".  Being blonde carries some risks - but I'm not sure sufficient to warrant [Ed: they don't need a warrant] police action.

Remember during the referendum on children the No side warned about State overreach and intrusion into the family. 

And you're not even safe in a hover craft.  Perhaps a hot air balloon. 

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