5/02/2007

Fathers Rights, an election issue

I am surprised that there has not been more news coverage of the Fathers Rights-Responsibility party entering the electoral fray.



The grouping are standing candidates in 11 constituencies, almost half the number that the Nazi party, sorry, PD's are standing.

They are standing candidates in Cork East, Cork North Central, Cork North Central, Cork South West, Donegal South West, Dublin Central, Dublin South, Dublin South East, Dublin South West, Louth, Sligo Leitrim North and Wicklow.

Their candidate in Louth is Luke Martin. I have known Luke for a long time and know of his horror story at the hands of the family courts. He is a good man, a man who loves his children and who has been shafted by the courts.

I can understand his frustration with the family courts, in the south the system favours the woman even more than it does in the North and that's saying something.

I always said that I would never work in family law as I don't believe solicitors serve a positive role due to the fact that they have no duty in respect of the children. At times they can be a conduit for the anger and hatred of bitter parents.

Yet here I am studying family law as part of my elective subjects on the LPC.

What has disgusted me is the approach that is taken to the partner, usually men, who works. When it comes to the separation they find it almost impossible to gain custody as they are penalised for having went out to work in order to put food on the table.

I had a row with my tutor about this and asked where was the justice in the middle of this bullshit, she told me that justice serves no role in family procedures.

The case of unmarried fathers is even worse, they have no automatic parental responsibility and are at the whims of either the mother or the court.

When a Section 8 contact order is entered against the mother in order for the father to gain access to the children those women who refuse to comply with this court order are not made to.

There is no real action that the court is prepared to take in order to enforce these types of orders.

I think it's a disgrace!

It's an area of the law that needs serious reform and an area where men are penalised. This is something that I intend to ask my Cumann to debate on before next years Ard Fheis.

I will be asking the Cumann to send a motion to the Ard Fheis in support of serious reform and rebalancing in both jurisdictions.

In relation to Luke and the other candidates I don't think any of them have a prospect of being elected.

I suspect they are using this as a chance to get their views across and on the agenda and in that respect I wish them well.

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