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The Children First Law Seminar 2016 – FEB 18, DUBLIN

The Children First Law Seminar 2016 takes place on Thursday 18th February in Dublin and brings together a panel of experts to discuss the new Children First legislation. What is it? The Children First Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on 19th November 2015. The Act will see obligations imposed on organisations that provide services to children. It will also introduce the mandatory reporting of child protection concerns …Read More

January – a time for change…..and a time to divorce?

I can say without any doubt that throughout my many years of practice, January has traditionally been the month when the number of enquiries about divorce peaks. In the short days after Christmas, I see the enquiries coming in through the website, and the first week back to work in January always sees a flood of new appointments.  I believe this happens for two main reasons: Firstly, Christmas can often …Read More

Great response to first event marking National Children’s Grief Awareness Day

#childrengrievetoo #childhoodbereavement All of us at The Guardian Project in Arklow were delighted with the response to our weekend event, marking Ireland’s first National Children’s Grief Awareness Day.  I’m a founder and director of the project, and we hosted an information morning for parents, family, teachers, coaches, and all those involved in the care of young people in the community. The Guardian Project provides a safe and caring space for children affected …Read More

Ireland’s first Childhood Bereavement Awareness Day – Fri 20th Nov 2015

It can be hard to help children cope with bereavement or loss – even those closest to them can struggle to support them through such a difficult process.  That’s one of the main reasons why I founded Arklow children’s charity, The Guardian Project, with the assistance of co-founders Michelle Gaffney and Johanne Kenny, in 2010. The charity is hosting a special event to mark Irelands first ever National Bereaved Children’s …Read More

Why schools need policy on dealing with parental separation

The recent Equality Tribunal award of €4,000 against an Irish school for ‘discriminatory’ treatment of a separated father should act as a wake-up call for all schools, when it comes to dealing with parental separation and divorce.   In the case successfully taken to the Equality Tribunal (read more) the separated father who took the case claimed that the school had sided with his estranged wife in withholding information from …Read More

Secrets for a Successful Divorce – the Three C’s:

You may not think the words ‘Divorce’ and ‘successful’ belong in the same sentence, but there are good and bad ways to deal with the breakdown of your relationship, particularly when there are children involved.  Communication, compromise and co-operation lie at the heart of negotiating your way ‘successfully’ through the process: COMMUNICATION Communication is key, and should be prioritised in a number of ways: Communication with your ex-partner/spouse: It is …Read More

“Celine’s Law” and Prevention of Benefit from Homicide

The recommendations for changes in this area, were brought about primarily as a response to the court case of Cawley v Lillis in 2011, when the family of Celine Cawley sought to prevent her husband who was convicted in respect of her wrongful death, from inheriting the share Celine held in their family home. The courts, due to current Succession law, could not prevent him from doing so. Under current …Read More

Key changes proposed under the Domestic Violence Bill 2015

The aim of the Domestic Violence Bill 2015 is to address gaps in the current legislation, and so increase the level of protection needed by victims, including threats posed by electronic or online communication.  The main changes can be summarised as follows: The new legislation extends the scope of a Barring Order to cover electronic communication, which includes text, email, or social media. It prevents a Respondent from “following or …Read More

There can NEVER be too much scrutiny in childcare cases

Gordon Jeyes, the head of Tusla (Child and Family Agency) has been in the media recently, expressing concern about how courts handle childcare cases, and the level of scrutiny involved.  I agree with him to this extent only: that in terms of child care cases (applications to have children removed from their homes into the care of the CFA), there is a need for more cohesive policies of practice across …Read More