SPARK campaign protest Tuesday 13th March

S.P.A.R.K. is a diverse group of single parents living in Ireland who have united together to protect our children from the radical policy changes introduced in Budget 2012. We are here to raise awareness of the many challenges one-parent families currently face and to identify the essential supports needed to allow us equal participation in society. We assert the rights of our children to be treated equally and demand acknowledgement and recognition of our family status. We actively challenge stereotyping of our familes. We oppose any economic, social, legal or political policies that have a detrimental effect on our children or on us as single parents. We seek equality for children regardless of their family circumstances.


Last year the FG/Labour government promised they would not be jetting off or running up unneccesary expenses to the Irish taxpayer. The Irish government has now announced that 11 ministers and five ministers of stare will attend St Patricks day events overseas throughout the month of March. Enda Kenny will jet off to Chicago, South Bend in Indiana and then on to New York, while Joan Burton will also fly out to New York. Frances Fitzgerald will head to Boston while Eamon Gilmore will fly to Canada. The cost of a flight this week-end to New York is €2,034.46 and the cost to Chicago is €2,194.46 before any accomodation or expenses are accrued. The rate of €29.80 paid as a child rate on the One Parent Family Payment amounts to €1,639 per year. Enda Kenny talking on the St Patricks day events  says “these trips are an investment in Ireland’s economic recovery.” Parent’s in SPARK are angry the children of single parents are not considered worth investing in for their future. The recent budget cuts discriminated against single parents and their children.

On Tuesday 13th March at 10.30am parents in SPARK will gather at Dail gates on Kildare St with their suitcases. We will wear face masks of the different ministers and will pack suitcases with bags of money, while our children will pack their suticases with clothes, irons and prepare of Joan Burton’s school of hard knocks. This is to highlight that, while our minister run travel expenses to the taxpayer, a destroyed childhood is priceless. Joan Burton’s school of hard knocks is the theme of a protest to be held by SPARK at 4.30pm on Thursday 15th March when our government will finish up that day to holiday for St Patricks festival. The protest to be held on Thursday is to also opposed to the Social Welfare Bill, which is scheduled to be rushed through by the end of March. This Bill will result with children being left home alone from the age of seven. Joan Burton’s school of hard knocks will see children teaching each other how to cook, clean and iron while home alone.

Single Mother Leah Speight says ” The government should be ashamed of their treatment and discrimination against single parents, and not be holidaying on taxpayers money. Children in Ireland should be the real investment, and it is the children who will suffer from the cuts while our Ministers will wine and dine overseas.”

Contacts Leah Speight 0871390278 Louise Bayliss 0894309580 Laura Caffrey 0852254887 Grace Costigan 0862222103

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