Tuesday, 24th September 2013
Last Thursday, in the light of the introduction of a ban by the French Senate, I expressed my opposition to the child beauty pageant due to take place in Dublin. I am delighted to say the hotel where it was planned to be held cancelled the booking and that no other hotel in Ireland would take the event. Eventually, it was a rushed event in a bar in County Monaghan. I thank all of the parents who got behind my call and the hotels that stood firm, for which I thank them, as I realise they are commercial ventures. I also thank the social media which showed their positive use in getting behind the call, as well as my colleagues who supported the call. I have been inundated by messages from across Ireland and it seems to have hit a touchstone with the people. The organisers of the child beauty pageants have said they will be back next year and organise events regionally. This is about the early sexualisation of children, to which I am very much opposed. I have taken the initiative to contact the French Senate to ask for details of its ban and how it put it in place. I ask the Leader and my colleagues in the House to join me in opposing this initiative. This is above party politics and we can work together on the issue. I will shortly bring forward an initiative, but I hope it will be a joint initiative on behalf of Members of the House.