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Children have right to mother & father: survey

By Ann Marie Foley - 04 April, 2015

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A new opinion poll finds that 70% of respondents agree with the statement, ‘Children have a right to be raised by their own mother and father’.

The poll conducted by Amarach Research on behalf of the Iona Institute also showed that 8% disagreed with the statement while the remainder said they neither agreed nor disagreed.

“The fact that 70% of people believe a child has a right to be raised by their own mother and father means the Government and the Opposition parties are completely out of step with public opinion,” Professor Patricia Casey said on behalf of the Iona Institute.

She continued, “The Children and Family Relationships Bill attaches no special value at all to motherhood and fatherhood which is why it is completely indifferent as to whether or not children are raised by their own mothers and fathers, or any mother and father.”

The Iona Institute explained that the finding of another poll Amarach conducted on behalf of the Iona Institute in February found that 91% of respondents believe when a child is available for adoption, it is best to place the child with a mother and a father.

According to Professor Casey, “The earlier poll finding on adoption also shows the extent to which our politicians are out of step with public opinion. The Children and Family Relationships Bill is the most radical piece of family law reform in the history of the State. It has been rushed through the Oireachtas with almost no debate. This is a terrible reflection on the state of Irish parliamentary democracy at present.”

The Iona Institute latest poll was asked as part of a monthly omnibus survey by Amárach Research last month, comprising an online sample of 1,000 adults aged 16 and over, weighted to represent the total adult population.

In his column in the Irish Independent (3rd April) David Quinn stated that media bias (including failure to ask tough questions about the Children and Family Relationships Bill) is distorting public debate and eroding democracy.

“Frances Fitzgerald, was asked no tough questions about the Children and Family Relationships Bill whatsoever. That is a failure of journalism,” he wrote.

On the topic of the forthcoming marriage referendum, David Quinn stated that most presenters are able to cross-examine the ‘No’ side, but not the ‘Yes’ side.

“This, on its own, creates an unbalanced debate,” he wrote.

He added that RTE has been acting as a “Field Marshall” for the same-sex marriage lobby, with programme after programme featuring soft and one-sided interviews with advocates of same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting.

“Media bias and media blindspots distort public debate on issue after issue,” he concluded. “The continual distortion of one public debate after another is distorting democracy itself.”

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