The Government's proposed children's rights referendum will be based on the wording proposed by an Oireachtas committee chaired by former Fianna Fáil TD, Mary O'Rourke.
Speaking on Newstalk earlier today, the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald (pictured), said that Government officials were working to ensure that the wording is based on the principles outlined by that Committee.
The O’Rourke wording has been previously criticised for being too imprecise on what it means by a child’s ‘best interests’ and the circumstances in which the State will be permitted to override the judgement of parents in this regard.
Ms Fitzgerald was responding to criticisms from Fianna Fáil earlier this week. The opposition's spokesperson on Children, Robert Troy, said the Government's failure to produce a wording was unacceptable.
Ms Fitzgerald said that the children's referendum would be held in the autumn, and remained a high level priority for the Government.
She said that there will be plenty of time for debates and discussions to take place and she's adamant a date for this referendum will be revealed in the coming weeks.
"I would expect that this would be a very high-level agenda item for Cabinet once we return," she said.
"Obviously the Cabinet will decide precisely on timing and dates and I don't want to be drawn into a precise date, but we are on target in relation to finalising wording and having a referendum in the autumn, as we said we would be all along."
She added that legislation was also being prepared on adoption and she hoped that this legislation would be published alongside the Referendum wording.