Children From Tipperary Tell Us What They’d Do If Taoiseach For A Day…

As Ireland counts down to General Election 2016 Barnardos has asked children living in Tipperary what they would do if they were Taoiseach for a day.

June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos, said, “While children do not vote, they make up nearly a quarter of our population and are directly affected by Government policies and laws. Every day in Barnardos we see how children’s lives are being adversely affected by austerity. If we are serious about wanting to build a sustainable and fair future, every candidate in Tipperary owes it to our children – and themselves – to hear what our young people have to say.

“Key issues raised by the dozens of children Barnardos spoke with were the impact of drugs on their communities; the need for more child-friendly places to hang out and better resourced schools. Abolishing the water tax also came up a number of times and large numbers pleaded for enough safe housing to end the homeless crisis.

What children from Tipperary would do if they were leading the next Government:

  • ‘More books or better books for children to read in schools and a light and curtains in every child’s room,’ said Dylan, five.
  • ‘Every child should have a house, toys and food,’ said nine-year-old Saoirse.
  • Eve, aged 10 wants ‘Every school to get a play area and clean new tables and chairs, plus she added, ‘free buses and transport for everyone and it would be better.’
  • ‘Better play areas in schools,’ said Orla, aged six.
  • And Coia, aged six, would ensure ‘Every child gets a present for Christmas and their birthday.’

Ms Tinsley added, “From meeting with children across Ireland and through Barnardos’ direct work with children and families, it is clear that our younger constituents want to see fairness at the heart of their communities. Our elected representatives could learn a thing or two from listening to them.”

Barnardos has also been calling for greater equality in the 32nd Dáil. The children’s charity wants all candidates in General Election 2016 to pledge to take action in five crucial areas which would demonstrate political commitment to ending child inequality, and result in real improvements to children’s lives.

  1. Politicians must promise to safeguard the first year of a child’s life

à Invest sufficiently in Tusla, the Child and Family Agency

  1. Politicians must increase investment in early childhood care and education

à Increase spending on early years from 0.2% GDP to meet the international average of 0.8% of GDP


  1. The State must provide free primary education

à This would require an annual investment of €103.2m, equating to just €185 extra per pupil


  1. Politicians must guarantee access to primary care services for all children when they need it

à Guarantee one fully operational Primary Care Team for every 1,500 children


  1. Politicians must promise to ensure a secure home for all children

à Stabilise rents over time by linking rental prices to the Consumer Price Index and raise rent supplement levels to help struggling families now

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