Code of Ethics Events

Code of Ethics & Good Practice for Children's Sport Information Day

Sport Ireland (previously The Irish Sports Council) hosted a Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children's Sport Information Day at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown, Dublin today. The Information Day was opened by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D., before Frances Fitzgerald, T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, addressed the group in relation to the upcoming legislation on Children First.


An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D. said; "My first duty as Taoiseach was to put a voice for Children at the cabinet table and Minister Fitzgerald is that voice. She helped bring us where we are today and help us give more protection to children. We all have to admire the courage of Karen Leach today, the courage to speak out but not all children have this courage. We have to give protection to children, not just our own children, but all children and it is our responsibility as adults to do this."

Frances Fitzgerald, T.D., Minister for Children & Youth Affairs; "The issues being addressed today are not historic, they are current, but we are taking action as we want to deal with all children equally and listen to the voice and views of the child. This seminar shows how far we have come and the time and effort that the Irish Sports Council are putting into this and I want to say thank you. We are dealing with the key issues and as Minster I will continue to do that and work closely with the Sports Council to encourage participation."


Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport Leo Varadkar said: "We have to commend the attention the Irish Sports Council gives to child protection. With every NGB having a children's officer we are making big steps in this regard and we can now say that sport has an excellent model for child protection. We are putting a greater emphasis on sport and education and it will be incorporated into the new version of the junior cert. It is important that those participating in sport are safe."

Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, said; "We are delighted to have An Taoiseach here, along with Minister Varadkar and Minister Fitzgerald. It exemplifies the importance of the topics being discussed today and the high priority that is attributed to child protection and welfare by this Government. This is very much in line with the huge importance that the Irish Sports Council puts in ensuring every child feels safe and happy participating in sport and physical activity across the county".

Following the opening of the Information Day, Sinéad Kearney, a practising solicitor, gave an overview of the impact of the upcoming legislation (Children First & Garda Vetting Bureau) on sport at the Information Day.

The key note address was given by Karen Leach who was abused by swimming coach Derry O'Rourke. Karen told her story, giving an insight into the lessons that can be learnt from her experience and received a standing ovation for her emotional account of what she had overcome.

Sinead Kearney (Wallance and Byrne Solicitors) then presented on pending legilsation focusing on the National Vetting Bureau Bill, Withholding Informaiton Act and the Head's of Children's First Bill.

There were three workshops on the topics of Bullying (delivered by Sticks & Stones drama group), Consulting with Young People (Kate Hills, National Children's Officer, Swim Ireland) and Disciplinary Procedures (Paul Stephenson, Child Protection Officer for Sport, NSPCC NI).

The afternoon session the focused on Social Media with Ian Power from SpunOut giving tips on the safe use of social media for children while Detective Sergeant Michael Lynch of the Gardai presenting on social media and child protection.

Over a hundred representatives from the National Governing Bodies of Sport were in attendance at the Information Day including the NGB National Children's Officers and Code of Ethics tutors along with the Local Sports Partnerships and others involved in sports participation across the country.