Family Carers Ireland hopeful of greater support for family carers following publication of new report
Family Carers Ireland warmly welcomes a new report by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and Equality which supports our call for Article 41.2 of the Constitution (referring to a woman’s place in the home) to be amended, rather than repealed.
The national charity, which advocates for and provides a range of vital supports for Ireland’s 355,000 family carers, appeared before the committee in September to make the case for a rewording of the clause which would recognise and support care in the home.
The report finds that the majority of members believe that Article 41.2 should be replaced with a new provision that “recognises the contributions made by family life and carers to our society”.
It recommends two possible options:
- Replacing the wording with “more appropriate, gender-neutral language” which acknowledges the support that home and family life gives to society and the importance of the role played by family carers.
- Postponing any referendum until the Government formally engages with the public. This public forum would involve “a broader discussion on the role of care work” and consider what form of recognition the Constitution might provide to carers – whether it should be essentially symbolic, or should “enshrine concrete socio-economic rights.”
Family Carers Ireland wishes to thank committee members for their engagement on the issue to date and looks forward to engaging further with all parties over the coming months and scrutinising any proposals brought forward. The organisation is keen to avoid any delays and supports the provision in Option 2 which calls for a referendum to be held 2019.
Speaking at the launch, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement with Family Carers Ireland Catherine Cox said: “We welcome the recommendations of the committee and will now take these back to our members for further discussion and consideration”.
Family Carers Ireland provides a range of services for Family Carers through its 26 nationwide resource centres. The organisation is currently running its year-long ‘Carers in Crisis’ campaign to highlight a lack of resources across the country including home care, respite and the ‘postcode lottery’ of necessary services.