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1 entry for President Mary Robinson


As noted earlier in the paper, legislation was prepared on this basis and the Child Care Bill 1988 was enacted into law by President Mary Robinson on 10th July 1991, as the Child Care Act 1991. The Act superseded the Child (Care and Protection) Bill 1985, which was designed to update and extend the law relating to the care and protection of children.328 The second stage of the Bill was passed in the Dáil on 23rd January 1987 but had not progressed further by the time of the dissolution of the Dáil in January 1987. The Bill had also ran into difficulties when a Supreme Court judgement, in a case known as KC and AC v An Bord Uchtála, cast serious doubts over the constitutionality of two of the key elements; firstly, proposals to make it easier for children to be placed in health board care and, secondly, provisions which would have enabled the courts to grant custody rights to foster parents. A number of non-profit agencies in the area of child welfare were also critical of the Bill arguing that: in the context of the debate on children’s issues over the past two decades this Bill is seriously lacking and fails to address itself to some of the central issues which practitioners, policy makers and legislators have considered.329

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