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Sinn Féin to join in all-Ireland Roundtable Child Protection discussion

18 September, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will participate in the all-Ireland Roundtable discussion on Child Protection that has been organised by both the British direct Rule Health Minister and the Irish government in Dundalk today, Monday 18th September.

The event in the Ballymascanlon Hotel, Dundalk, is being organised jointly by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Department of Health and Children. Invitations are being issued to a select audience and there will be speakers from the two governments and from NSPCC, ISPCC and Barnardos.

Speaking ahead of the meeting the former Six County Health, Social Services and Public Safety Minister said:

"Sinn Féin have consistently promoted an all-Ireland approach to Child Protection because of the simple fact that any gaps in Child Protection measures either side of the border will undermine the safety of children right across Ireland. We have also been adamant that child protection measures must be harmonised upwards in order to protect our children and vulnerable adults.

"This important and significant conference brings together relevant professionals from across the island. It should be seen as part of a much deeper process and not merely a one-off to placate the demands of the many organisations working to protect the rights of children on this island. One of the key objectives of this conference should be the establishment of a joint forum to take forward and oversee progress on the issue of child protection on an all-Ireland basis. Our goal must be to ensure that children on both sides of border will be protected by improved co-operation." ENDS

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