Children’s Ombudsman sends strong message to government

THE Donegal-born Ombudsman for Children has warned the government it must not turn a blind eye to the mental anguish of mica-affected children.
Dr Niall Muldoon of the human rights institution has said the government “must listen closely” to how the lives of children living in mica-crumbling homes are being devastated.
He said he has been in contact with many children across the county whose lives are being turned upside down because of their lived situation, owing to the defective block scandal.
Children and young people have been key voices in the 100 per cent redress, no less campaign, bravely telling their heartbreaking stories publicly.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Dr Muldoon said a child’s basic human right to live in a safe home must not be ignored by the government.
“Over the past number of months I have been in contact with a number of children who have been affected by mica. The children that contacted me told me about how worried they are for themselves and their parents.
“I recognise the hardship suffered by children affected by mica in Donegal and elsewhere, and the impact that this has had on every aspect of their lives. The pandemic has shown us the importance of having a safe, warm and secure home. That should be a right for every child – no matter where in the country they live.”
Dr Muldoon said he commends the children who have spoken out about this issue and who have, with their parents, worked hard to ensure their voices are heard loud and clear.
“Children’s words are incredibly powerful and the Government needs to listen closely to what they have said about the stress they are experiencing and the mental anguish caused by living in a crumbling home.
“I very much hope that a solution can be found as soon as possible so that children affected can stop worrying about what will happen to their home,” he said.
Dr Niall Muldoon is not scheduled to travel to Donegal.
The Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) was established in 2004 and has two main roles; the promotion of children’s rights and taking complaints made by or on behalf of children about the administrative actions of public bodies.
Dr Muldoon was re-appointed to the role of Ombudsman for Children for another term earlier this year by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.

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