Irish News

Griffith College Hosts Referendum Debate with Ivana Bacik and Michael McDowell

By Business & Finance
08 March 2024
Pictured: Professor Diarmuid Hegarty, President of Griffith College, former High Court Judge Roderick Murphy, Michael McDowell, Independent Senator and former Attorney General, and Ivana Bacik T.D. and Labour Party leader at Griffith College’s campus on South Circular Road. Ms Bacik and Senator McDowell were present to debate the definition of family proposed in the upcoming constitutional referendum, on a panel chaired by Mr Justice Murphy. The event is part of a series of initiatives to mark Griffith College’s fiftieth anniversary.

Griffith College, Ireland’s largest independent higher education institution, hosted a referendum debate at its South Circular Road, Dublin campus on Monday, 4th March from 12.30pm to 2pm.

Labour Party Leader Ivana Bacik and Independent Senator and former Attorney General, Michael McDowell, debated the upcoming constitutional referendum on the definition of family. The panel was chaired by former High Court Judge, Roderick Murphy.

The event is part of GC50, a series of initiatives to mark Griffith College’s fiftieth anniversary in 2024.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Professor Diarmuid Hegarty, President of Griffith College, said: “Universities and colleges play a significant role in encouraging the open exchange of ideas on matters of societal importance. Griffith College is delighted to welcome Ivana Bacik, Michael McDowell and Roderick Murphy. It is a highly experienced and expert panel; I look forward to a spirited debate ahead of Friday’s referendum vote.”

Ivana Bacik TD said: “It’s a progressive step forward, not the big step we’ve called for but its nonetheless a step forward from our current text which only recognises women and mothers as having lives within the home and has no reference to care at all.

“Incremental change can be positive, this Yes on Friday for both care and family will represent progressive positive change and we can use it to build that ‘and’, to go further and create a truly equal society in line with our recommendations and those of the Citizens Assembly so I’m urging a Yes vote on both on International Women’s Day”

Senator Michael McDowell said: “When it comes to the Care Amendment I do want to say this, that there is nothing sexist and nothing in any sense misogynistic and nothing anti-women in providing that the State has an obligation to ensure that women are not forced by economic necessity outside the home when their choice is to be a parent within the home

“[What we’re being asked] in the Family Referendum as it’s called but it’s basically to do with making family, breaking the link between family and marriage is that were being invited to put something into the Constitution that is grossly uncertain, something grossly ill-defined, something which will have implications along the same lines as O’Meara for tax for welfare law for pensions for deportation of non-nationals, for property rights and for succession law”

Founded in 1974 by Professor Diarmuid Hegarty, Griffith College enjoys a national and international reputation for student success. Many alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in fields as diverse as accountancy, business, computing, design, engineering, law, politics and media.

Griffith College offers internationally recognised postgraduate and undergraduate degree programmes, complemented by a wide range of professional, short term and corporate training educational solutions. Today, over 7,000 students are studying in the College, which is a QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) validated institution. The College has campuses in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.