Minister Lucinda Creighton’s new political party RENUA, has attacked Minister James Reilly’s proposed total ban on child corporal punishment.
RENUA said that although striking a child ‘represents a failure of parenting,’ the fact that parents in today’s world are under ‘serious time and fiscal pressures’ means that an outright ban on all forms of corporal punishment is too extreme.
Minister for Children James Reilly, plans to abolish all forms of corporal punishment from foster and residential care, and he has also proposed to remove the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ from Irish law, which would effectively ban parents from hitting their children to any degree in the home.
The statement issued by RENUA said that the possibility that parents could be criminalised for hitting their children was ‘a step too far’.
‘We are a country that spent many years trying to get the state out of our bedrooms in terms of telling people how to live,’ the statement read.
‘Are we now to replace the old ways with a nanny state which will be squinting into the windows of law abiding parents looking for the slightest slip up to occur so they can reach an arrest quota.’
'Mums and Dads are imperfect and make mistakes. They need support rather than displays of facile populism like Mr Reilly’s current proposal,' the statement said.
Ireland is one of the few countries in Europe that does not currently ban corporal punishment in the home.
The European Committee of Social Rights recently found that Ireland violated European law by not banning all corporal punishment, potentially giving Minister Reilly’s proposed legislation extra weight.