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Children deserve a fully resourced Family Law Court system – Ó Clochartaigh

24 March, 2015

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has welcomed the Child and Family Relationship Bill, saying it also presented an opportunity for a fully resourced Family Law Court system.

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“I challenge attempts by some to label this Bill as the ‘Gay Adoption Bill’. This is a disservice to what is a comprehensive overhaul of family law.”

“The Bill simply ensures that in the case of same sex relationships, both parents have guardianship rights. I am pleased the Bill recognises the reality of diverse family types.”

“I also welcome that the Bill will ensure that a child’s voice is heard and considered when important life changing decisions are made in relation to guardianship, custody and access.”

“I have some real concerns however about how aspects of the Bill can really be implemented given the serious resource restrictions that exist, and the lack of consistency and specialist knowledge that can characterize some family law proceedings and the requirement to hear children’s voices.”

“I am generally concerned about the way that family law is being dealt with by the current court system, a system that is in serious need of overhaul.”

“The days of children and parents, huddled into packed court waiting rooms along with other citizens there for civil cases have to end. We need a dedicated and fully resourced Family Law Court system backed up by a comprehensive court welfare service.” 

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