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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

Landmark judgement in civil abuse case creates new law

The High Court has declared a new civil law in long-term abuse cases.  In a ruling issued this morning (21st May), Mr Justice Michael White has recognised that the long-term control and manipulation that an abuser exerts over a victim which facilitates abuse is in itself a civil offence. Cormac Walsh, from Arklow, who took the case said that recognising the concept of a ‘continuum of oppression’ helps create a …Read More

First Communion and Confirmation for divorced parents: a how-to guide

Family occasions can be fraught with difficulties during or after a relationship breakdown. But when your children are involved – and particularly when they are centre stage – the potential for serious tensions shoots right up.  Our advice is to take it step-by-step…follow these tips to help you through:   1.            Put your child and their wishes first. The most important thing is that your child has an enjoyable day, …Read More

Facebook Do’s and Don’ts during Divorce :

Your Facebook etiquette is probably the last thing on your mind if your relationship and your family is facing a break-up….but it could have a serious impact on the outcome if you aren’t careful.  You may think of your Facebook or Twitter primarily as a way of talking to and keeping in touch with friends.  Don’t forget that what we post may be totally public, and that it can affect …Read More