Equality For Fathers In Ireland

Equality For Fathers


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Posted on February 17, 2015 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)





Dear Deputy,

I am concerned that there seems to be overwhelming support for the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2014 and that it is being acclaimed as a step forward in the rights of unmarried fathers whereas in fact, it is the opposite.

At the moment, an unmarried father can become a Legal Guardian to his child by

1) Marrying the mother of his child and adopting his own child

2) Seeking the mothers permission to be a Legal Guardian by Statutory Declaration and

3) By fighting the mother in Court.


This means that the right of an unmarried father to have a legal relationship with his own child depends solely on his relationship with the mother. Now, the Government are seeking to grant automatic Guardianship to unmarried fathers but only if they live with the mother and so the unjust inequality not only continues but actually gets worse for the unmarried father who does not live with the mother. Regardlees. The rights of any citizen should not be dependent on another. It would be the same as allowing a woman to vote only if her husband agreed. As this would be ridiculous, it is obvious that the rights of an unmarried father should not be dependent on his partner.

Further, the Government proposes to dilute the rights of married fathers. Currently, a married father acts jointly with his wife as Legal Guardian. However, following this legislation, if he separates or divorces, he can be undermined by a 3rd party who forms a relationship with his wife. This 3rd party can become a 3rd Legal Guardian and so the balance of power will be permanently be undermined. The natural biological father of the child will always be outvoted in any contentious issue because the new partner of the mother will naturally be more concerned with the maintenance of their relationship with her than siding with her ex husband against her for the sake of a child that they have no natural ties with.

Before voting this legislation in, please familiarise yourself with recent Equality Tribunal decisions which indicate that fathers are regularly ignored in Guardianship issues as can be seen at http://equalityforfathersinireland.webs.com/equalitytribunal.htm



Cathal Garvey



Separated father awarded 4,000 euro after being told not to attend his daughters sports day

Posted on December 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

In this dispute, a father said that his daughter was enrolled in a school without his knowledge or consent by his estranged wife and he initiated a complaint to the Equality Tribunal. However this matter was resolved at mediation and the case was withdrawn from the Tribunal.

However, on the 23rd of May 2013, he said that he received an email from the school informing him that the school sports were scheduled to take place on the 24th of May 2013. He submitted that he got very late notification of the event compared to other parents and this was a pattern of the school not to inform him in good time of school events.

The Equality Officer ordered the school to pay to the father €4,000 to compensate him for the anxiety and distress he experience as a consequence of the discriminatory treatment and victimisation.

Read full case HERE and article HERE.

Two successful Equality Tribunal cases by fathers

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The case DEC-S2013-009 concerns a claim by a separated father of two children that he was discriminated against on the gender, marital status (now civil status), family status, religion, and race and victimisation grounds in relation to the provision of a service by the respondent in that the respondent refused to give him information about his children.

The case DEC-S2013-010 concerns a complaint by an unmarried father that he was discriminated against by the Community Welfare Service on the combined grounds of gender, civil status (formerly marital status) and family status when seking rent alowance for accomadation for himself and his children. 

A report referring to both cases cabn be found HERE.

Previous cases can be found on our Equality Tribunal page HERE.

Fathers Day protest at Enda Kennys House

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (2)

Fathers Rights Groups from all over Ireland protesting outside Enda Kenny's house in Castlebar on Fathers Day 16th June 2013,  in objection to the 'in-camera' rule (Secret Courts). Joseph A. Egan handed in a letter seeking Transparency in the Family Courts in Ireland and an end to the Secrecy. Also, calling for Children to need both PARENTS and Children need parents, not Visitors. — with Joseph A Egan and Fathers Rights Ireland Archive in Castlebar, Mayo.


Bi Election in East Meath

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Immediately after the announcement of the Bi-Election in East Meath, the declared candidates were sent the folowing E-mail:

"Following the announcement that you are to stand in the East Meath By-Election, Equality For Fathers in Ireland would like to know your position on the lack of parental rights for fathers in Ireland, as highlighted in articles HERE and HERE". 



Ben Gilroy (Direct Democracy Ireland) was the first to reply and said

"Years ago I had a child out of wedlock and discovered very quickly the corruption of rights of fathers and all denial of same in the monkey courts they call family law. So as you can imagine its something that's close to my heart and something I will fight for.

Kind regards

Ben Gilroy". 



 Helen McEntee (Fine Gael) called to my door and said she had not received my e-mail but would reply later. She replied that evening with the following: 

"Thank you for taking the time to email me regarding you concerns in relation to Government Policy regarding Equality for Fathers. As your local candidate I will forward your concerns to the Mininster for Justice and request that he reply directly to you.

If I am elected to represent you, I look forward to bringing matters as these to the table for further discussion and to work on this with you.

Kind Regards,

Helem McEntee"

However, her party and constituency collegue Regina Doherty made the same claim but failed to follow through on her promise after she was elected and now won't even ask parlamentary questions on the subject. I have yet to receive the promised response from the Minister.



 I also met Eoin Holmes (Labour) at my door. Although he seemed to understand the issues, he has yet to return a written response re his position on the lack of parental rights for fathers.  


Obviously, Eoin Holmes has been taken in by the claim that male politicians represent men only. I will write to him and remind him that a separated father was the Taoiseach from 26 June 1997 to 7 May 2008 yet separated and divorced father are continously discriminated against.



Seán Ó Buachalla (Green Party) replied as follows:


This is something that I have been actively trying to highlight through the Green Party since I first met Luke Martin and got my first understanding of the issue when we were both interviewed as general election candidates in 2007 on LMFM and I invited both him and Liam Ó Gógáin to address the equality policy group in Green Party central office a few years ago, which they both did and we were very grateful for their contribution and I took part in a discussion with Liam on his radio slot as well a few years ago about this as well.


I put a motion to the Green Party annual convention in 2008 on the issue and this was accepted by a large majority of the delegates. You can watch the youtube video of my speech on this at that conference at this link (the text of the motion is in the video description and I'm the second speaker in the video HERE)


Green Party policy is currently undergoing an extensive review and I hope to get the chance to ensure that prioritising this equal rights issue will be central to Green Party policy from now on.


I hope that that addresses your query and that it makes it clear how important I consider addressing this issue.



Seán Ó Buachalla.

Seán Ó Buachalla has shown an interest in the matter and has previously taken steps to deal with the issues.





This Bi-election will not change the Government but most voters will use it to send a message in relation to the economy. If you are a single, separated or divorced father and have a vote in East Meath, use it to send your message that you want equal rights and responsibilities in relation to your children. So far, Seán Ó Buachalla looks like the best bet and so Equality For Fathers in Ireland calls on anyone who cares about single, separated or divorced fathers and their children to support them by voting for Seán Ó Buachalla.

Any other responses will be posted if received.

What are BARNARDOS trying to hide?

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (1)

During the referendum on Childrens Rights campaign, Barnardos posted the following on their Facebook page HERE

Barnardos Guardian ad Litems are fully qualified, trained and vetted to work with the child (regardless of their age). They also work with the child's family to ensure that an accurate picture is painted and avoid situations where children’s views could be influenced by a member of their family. The Guardian’s reports are submitted to the court for the judge’s consideration in making decisions on the outcome of the case. Barnardos does not anticipate profiting from more children having their views heard in court proceedings as our Guardian ad Litem service operates on a non-profit model. We believe this will be hugely beneficial to children in ensuring they are active players in decisions that will significantly affect their future. Should you wish to have any further information on Barnardos’ Guardian ad Litem service, please call 01-7080443

This was challenged as follows: 

"BARNARDOS IRELAND claim that :”Barnardos Guardian ad Litems are fully qualified, trained and vetted to work with the child (regardless of their age)”.

Not True. There is no actual qualification for a Guardian Ad Litem. The work can be carried out by social workers, psychologists or lawyers. There is no body to which a complaint about their behaviour can be made.


BARNARDOS IRELAND claim that: ”They also work with the child's family to ensure that an accurate picture is painted and avoid situations where children’s views could be influenced by a member of their family”.

Not True. Parental Alienation is not recognised here. In Family Law cases, the children are predominantly with the mother (over 90% of cases result in so-called Joint Custody where the children live with the mother and the father has access). The influence of a custodial parent (generally the mother) is simply impossible to quantify.


BARNARDOS IRELAND claim that: ”The Guardian’s reports are submitted to the court for the judge’s consideration in making decisions on the outcome of the case”.

Not True. The Judge will flick through the report and make the recommendations an Order of the court. It is a simple Pass-The-Buck- exercise. The Judge will not examine any report to see if there is any bias. All of this happens in secret so even if a biased Guardian Ad Litem comes to light, nothing is done to prevent it happening again, in a different court with a different judge.


BARNARDOS IRELAND claim that: ”Barnardos does not anticipate profiting from more children having their views heard in court proceedings as our Guardian ad Litem service operates on a non-profit model”.

Not True. As I said earlier, Guardian Ad Litem fees “includes travel so an assessor gets €100+ per hour for sitting in traffic or on the DART. Also, €100+ per hour while having lunch. It works out at about €5,000+ per report”. Are you now going to dispute these figures?

Barnardos failed to respond to these claims and removed the post twice from their page.  

Equality For Fathers is quite concerned at Barnardos failure to explain their position as it seems they will gain financially from a "YES" vote, indicating corruption at the expense of Children. 

Inhumane Family Courts

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The article in the Irish Examiner ‘More humane’ family courts planned claimed that Families and  children caught up in legal disputes will have a more humane, less costly, and more expert court system under proposed constitutional reforms. This is an admission that the current system is not humane, is excessively costly and does not have the expertise required to deal with family law. The proposals deal only with court structures and do nothing to amend the inhumane legislation which effectively gives women the power to throw men on the scrap heap.

These points were made in the letters HERE and HERE

Equality for all -- unless you're a dad

Posted on June 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Why is discrimination against fathers so widely acceptable -- and what's being done about it,

asks Cathal Garvey.

Read full article HERE.

Questions for Presidential Candidates

Posted on October 4, 2011 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The following Questions were sent to the 7 presidential candidates. Any replies received will be posted here:

1) Would you sign into law any legislation that follows the recent Law Reform Commission proposals (HERE) that seek to undermine the current position of Section 6.-(1) of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964 that parents who are Legal Guardians act Jointly on behalf of their children?

“4.05 The Commission recommends that a general statutory requirement to consult should not be included in legislation concerning parental responsibility”.

2) What is your position on the failure of State authorities, such as the HSE (HERE), schools (HERE) and hospitals (HERE), to respect the right of children to have both guardians consent jointly for any matter that requires parental consent?

3) Do you believe that Gender Equality is an issue solely for women, as indicated recently in the Dept. of Justice report to the Universal Periodic Review (HERE), given recent Equality Tribunal cases (HERE)?

Women’s rights and gender equality

137. Ireland has ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Despite the progress that has been made, inequalities on the gender ground still exist. Workplace gender discrimination continues to be reported annually, with on average, women being paid 17% less than men and ongoing occupational sex segregation. Childcare and eldercare responsibilities often hinder the advancement of women in their careers. Women continue to be under-represented in decision-making roles, particularly in the political arena and as company executives and members of corporate boards.

138. To address these areas, gender equality policy in Ireland consists of a number of components. The comprehensive National Women's Strategy 2007-2016 is an all-of Government commitment to foster the advancement of women in all facets of their lives. The Strategy, which contains 20 key objectives and over 200 actions, aims to equalise socioeconomic opportunity for women, ensure their well-being and engage women as equal and active decision-makers. The Government and the European Social Fund have made funding available for a programme of positive actions to support gender equality. These include increasing women’s participation in employment, supporting women entrepreneurs and assisting those in employment to advance their careers”.