Up to a thousand people have attended a ‘Hands Off Our Kids” rally at Dáil Éireann today, where speakers demanded “zero tolerance” from policy makers and politicians in regard to child sex abuse and the sexualisation of children.
The rally was called in response to the ongoing controversy surrounding the British activist Peter Tatchell who was welcomed by the Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman, then a Green Party Councillor, to a 2018 Pride event in Dublin.
In a letter to the Guardian in 1997, Tatchell wrote that children who had sex with adults said it “gave them great joy” He added that “while it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.”
Tatchell has also spoken to and with policymakers and politicians regarding explicit sex-education in Irish schools, where he advised that parents should be opposed if they wanted to remove their children from programmes. He is also a persistent campaigner to lower the age of consent, and has written in Irish newspapers on that issue.
Award-winning actor and director, John Connors, said that serious questions needed to be asked about Peter Tatchell’s influence on the Irish establishment, especially in regard to the involvement of his Educate and Celebrate organization in shaping programmes for school children.
“We’re inviting him in,” Mr Connors said. “Never stop questioning that, never stop speaking out.” He said that people had been afraid to ask questions about child abuse in the past in Ireland and that this had led to suffering for children.