This website is designed to highlight the discrimination faced by fathers in modern Ireland. Fathers are generally unaware that they are discriminated against by state authorities, schools, medical practioners etc. as the consent of one parent is generally sought and accepted as adequate despite Section 6 of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964 specifically stating that The father and mother of an infant shall be guardians of the infant jointly.
According to S.I. No. 5/1998 GUARDIANSHIP OF CHILDREN (STATUTORY DECLARATION) REGULATIONS, 1998, Guardianship is "The collection of rights and duties which a parent has in respect of his or her child. It encompasses the duty to maintain and properly care for the child and the right to make decisions about a child's religious and secular education, health requirements and other matters affecting the welfare of the child. The exercise of guardianship rights may be agreed between parents. In the event of a dispute arising concerning the exercise of guardianship rights the court may determine the matter on the application of either parental guardian".
Any situation that requires parental consent requires the consent of both guardians to act jointly, other than an emergency situation or where there is only one guardian, i.e. a single mother where the father is not a guardian, or a widow/widower where a testamentary guardian has not been appointed.
If, as a legal guardian, you believe that your consent was not sought by the school your child attends, a medical practitioner has seen your child in a non-emergency situation without your consent or your consent was not sought with the mother of your child for any matter that consent is required, you can make a complaint to the Equality Tribunal but must notify the alleged discriminator with THIS FORM by registered post, within two months of the last act of discrimination. If the notification is not responded to within one month, you may then forward a complaint to the Equality Tribunal. This must occur within 6 months of the last act of alleged discrimination.
NB: Consent for medical matters by guardians is not required once a child attains the age of 16, in accordance with Section 23.-(1) of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997