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Children

Child Abduction: the need to act quickly

A parent needs to act quickly in cases of child abduction. That is the conclusion to be drawn from a recent decision of the High Court. Child abduction involves the removal of a child to another country by one parent without the permission of the other parent.  In the case of JJ v PJ, earlier this year the High Court in Ireland refused the application by the father of a …Read More

Children’s Media Law Seminar 2016

I’m looking forward to attending and addressing the Children’s Media Law Seminar 2016, which takes place on 26 Oct 2016, at Chartered Accountants House in Dublin. It’s a half-day CPD event, which  will discuss various aspects of the law relating to the protection of children with regard to publication in the media Key topics to be debated at the seminar will include: Review of the “In Camera” rule in Family Law …Read More

Addressing the gaps in our Child Protection system

Every Child has a legal right to be protected from abuse and neglect, and the State is charged with vindicating that right. While certain progress has been made in child protection, much remains to be done to protect and support vulnerable children and to reduce risk. The key areas which need to be addressed urgently include: • Staff vacancies in Social Work departments countrywide must be filled, to ensure that …Read More

Equality for Children with Disabilities – Platform for Seanad 16

Did you know that 13% of people in Ireland have a disability? Children with disabilities make up around 5% of all those under the age of 14. Children and adults who have a disability are at greater risk of poverty, social exclusion and educational exclusion. As a parent of a child who has a profound hearing impairment, I have been involved with disability services in the medical and educational sphere, for the …Read More

Children’s rights to have their voices heard in Court

Despite some recent changes, there are still issues surrounding children’s rights to have their say in family law courts. I recently spoke with a 14 year old girl who was the subject of family law proceedings before the District Court. The application concerned parentage and access. Mary – not her real name – was adamant that she wanted her views to be heard by the Judge, and when I spoke …Read More

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

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