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Convention endorsement of rights to housing, healthcare ‘significant’

23 February, 2014 - by Caitríona Ruane

Sinn Féin delegates to the Constitutional Convention have welcomed the overwhelming vote in favour of strengthening constitutional protection of economic, social and cultural rights, describing the development as ‘significant’.

 Speaking from Malahide, Caitríona Ruane MLA said:

 “The rights to housing, food, water, health, education, work, an adequate standard of living, as well as language and other cultural rights, are among those human rights of the greatest importance and meaning to the Irish people both historically and today.  Vindication of these rights is what government should be all about.  

 “Protecting and guaranteeing these rights is about increasing fairness in our society.  Yes, putting these rights in the constitution would constrain government decision-making, but that is the point. It would force governments of the future to figure out a fairer way to raise and to spend money.  It would force them to make decisions for the common good, by putting citizens’ fundamental rights first – ahead of the vested interests of a tiny wealthy elite.  

 “It is very welcome that the Convention has so unequivocally endorsed a vision of a more equal Ireland.  Now it is up to the Irish Government to listen and to make it happen.” 

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