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Grandparents Rights


Currently Grandparents have the right independently of their own children, to make application to court for Access with their Grandchildren. In general the court will check if they have made attempts to secure this access outside of the courts, before they make application. Consideration must be given to how much access the children already have with their other parent, and whether the grandparents can see the children sufficiently within this time. The courts recognise the valid and important role which grandparents have in the lives of children, and in general will promote this. As in all cases involving children, the best interest of the children in making any order will be the paramount consideration.


One of the most difficult effects of family breakdown, is the effect which it can have on contact between Grand-parents and Grandchildren. In Ireland, traditionally, grandparents have always played a key role in the rearing of children, and do so more and more, because of the working commitments of both parents. They establish and maintain close emotional relationships with grandchildren, often being the full time care giver for the early years, and more.

  • Up until 1997 Grandparents had no legal entitlement to apply for Access/Contact with their grandchildren.
  • There are now limited circumstances in which Grandparents can apply to the District Court to re-establish contact with grandchildren, but this does not extend to Guardianship or Custody.

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