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children’s rights

3 Steps Needed to Reduce Family Court Delays

Couples who are separating or divorcing can face long family court delays – up to one year in some areas. That’s according to statistics from the Court Service. Families in Wexford, Tullamore and Dundalk have faced delays of 24 to 52 weeks for a hearing (read more here). But these families also face further delays before they can even apply to court.  Couples are legally required to wait one year …Read More

Irish Legal News feature this week:

Saying a big thanks to Irish Legal News for featuring me this week. Here’s an excerpt to start you off….. This week Deirdre Burke of DM Burke Solicitors, a specialist family and child law solicitor in Co Wicklow, speaks to Irish Legal News for our regular Just A Minute feature. ILN: What has been your best experience as a lawyer? Without a doubt this was being the lead solicitor in …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

Law Society backing for Seanad 2016

Huge thanks to the Law Society for two features in the Law Society Gazette about my candidacy for Seanad Eireann 2016. I have been delighted to receive the formal backing of the Law Society for the Seanad election – they nominated me as their selected candidate for the Cultural and Educational Panel. The Law Society Gazette features  cover:  – life as a barrister and a solicitor– the foil that spurred social conscience– human based needs …Read More

Investment needed in Domestic Violence services

Almost 800 people, including over 300 children, received support from domestic violence services on one single day last year in Ireland (Safe Ireland report). On November 4th 2015, 120 women, and 166 children were accommodated in refuges. 18 were turned away due to lack of spaces. These figures do not include the many individuals who did not have local or immediate access to refuge accommodation or to services. Domestic Violence …Read More

My Manifesto for Seanad Eireann 2016, NUI Panel

I’m delighted to announce that I’m running as an Independent candidate for Seanad Eireann 2016, and that I’ve been nominated to run for election to the NUI Panel.  I intend to use both my election campaign and – if elected – my Seanad seat as a platform to promote the changes needed in Government policy and the law to enhance and protect children’s rights and the rights of families. The …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

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

Mother & Baby Homes – A Manifest Breach of Human Rights in Ireland?

Amid all the reaction to the revelations about Tuam and Ireland’s other mother and baby homes, there has been little response to Amnesty International’s comments.  John Dalhuisen of Amnesty said that the Irish government “must not view this and other cases as merely historic and beyond its human rights obligations.” The European Convention on Human Rights sets out very clearly a large number of basic human rights: The Right To …Read More