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Tag Archives: 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

Why I am standing for the Law Society Council

I’m delighted to have been nominated as a candidate in the forthcoming Law Society Council Elections. I would appreciate your support and ask you to consider me when casting your ballot before polling ends at 5.00pm on Thursday 27th October. Why I am Seeking Election I believe that smaller practices, both inside and outside of Dublin, need greater representation within the Law Society. I believe in diversity. I believe it’s important …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

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

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

Critical changes needed in our family law system

I’ve spent my life as a parent and a solicitor working to support and empower Children, Families and Communities, and promoting the principle of Social Justice. Having worked for over 20 years in Family and Child Law, I see first-hand on a daily basis, the critical changes which we need to make in our Family Law system. Some of the key changes I will advocate for if elected to Seanad …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

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