Opening Statement as Chair to the Oireachtas Children & Youth Affairs Committee

I am grateful to have the opportunity to Chair this committee, and to work with each of you on the issues and legislation that will come before us.

I am aware of the importance of tackling matters relating to the work of this Committee. Hailing from Fingal, which has the youngest population in the State, I fully understand the pressures that childcare costs cause for families, and the needs of childcare providers in terms of resources and support.

I believe child welfare, fostering, and adoption are some of the most important matters facing our country. There can be no more important matter than ensuring adequate protections are in place to protect every child and young person.

The issues debated by this Committee must be above Party politics. As Chair of this Committee, I will be committed to prioritising the needs of our children, of our young people, and their welfare, as I know each of you are. I share in your commitment and passion for these matters.

This Committee is particularly essential to the workings of the Oireachtas, our democracy, and our State given the fact that it is wholly focused on the protection and welfare of our future generations, ensuring they are in a position to make the most of every opportunity which life affords them.

I believe that, by working together, we can make a real impact on the lives of children and young people across our country. I am grateful to have the opportunity to Chair this Committee and to work with all of you on the matters that come before us.

I will embrace the challenge of Chairing this Committee, in the best interests of every person that our work will impact, and for the betterment of our society as a whole.