Dáil debates

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Child Protection

4:15 pm

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Rabbitte, for coming into the House and addressing the issue comprehensively. It is something that falls into the area of a change in legislation. We referred to the in camerarules as they apply to family law cases. Like the Minister of State and other Members of the House, in the past I have had to go into court as a witness in such cases. Not everybody welcomed me with open arms but I did what I felt I had to do. As they say, fair play is good sport, wherever it applies. The Minister of State referred to the protection of the rights of the child and consultation with the child in particular situations, which did not take place except in an arbitrary fashion by somebody who proclaimed to know best what to do. That is something that most mothers in the country will have strong objections to, and I do not blame them.

I am worried about the pattern of a number of cases that I dealt with, whereby there was an intent to take away the rights of the mother of children or to take away rights that she might have after rearing her family and suddenly face the possibility of being out on the road after 20 or 30 years. That cannot and should not happen in any democratic society. All the Members that I know in this House have always dedicated themselves to getting fair play for people in such circumstances.

This question went out to two Ministers and both Departments have been threatened obliquely by the other side as to there being consequences in the event of a report being made to either or both of them. I hope we have addressed the issue and that action will be taken to ensure the issues I have referred to will be addressed fairly by the courts.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.