Unmarried Fathers to protest at Four Courts - Political Quote

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Unmarried Fathers to protest at Four Courts

A veritable "sea of Santas" will be protesting outside the Four Courts on December 23 at high noon. This is according to an e-mail I received today from Niall Murphy on behalf of the The Unmarred And Separated Fathers Of Ireland.

The purpose of the protest is "to highlight the pain and suffering unmarried fathers have to go through because of the Family Law Courts." According to the Press Release this is an annual event at which at wreath-laying ceremony and a minute's silence mark the memory of four members who have taken their lives in recent years.

I am not aware of this organisation and have never heard of them. I don't believe that a correct balance has been struck between the rights of the father, the rights of the mother and the rights of the child in cases of unmarried or separate fathers.

However this kind of protest has been given a very bad name by a similar organisation in the UK which likes to dress up as Batman or Spider Man and climb the Houses of Parliament.

Yes they got great publicity but not the right kind of publicity. What kind of trust can be placed in middle aged men dressing up as super heroes and climbing things?

If this organisation is genuine, and I have no reason to doubt it at this stage, then I hope it goes about its campaigning better that the UK version.

I have to say I don't see the purpose of protesting outside the Four Courts. In fact I don't agree with it. A protest is an attempt to change a decision or a system. However the courts must remain independent of this kind of influence or attention.

A better target for this group would be the Dail or the Dept of Justice. These are legitimate targets but not the Four Courts. The courts just implement and interpret the law as the system dictates (are you listening Michael McDowell TD, Minister for Justice?). That is the role of the judiciary and the courts therefore they are not a legitimate target for protest.

I wonder has this group approached the political parties and the Minister for Justice. If so what was the response? If not, why not?

I will report more when I learn more but if anyone has any more info please post it below.


Labour member said...

I am very wary of organisations like this. Without casting apsersions on this particular organisation I think people should be aware of the type of organisation we are talking about. Have a look at http://www.family-men.com/ and draw your own conclusions.

By the way Keith I think you are completely right - serious consideration must be given to all involved. Children, Mothers, Fathers

Political Quote said...

Casting a cold eye, so to speak, is a healthy thing in relation to groups and organisations like this.

However I have been doing a little research into the group and it is all positive so far.

I am going to do a full piece up on this organisation in the New Year.

labour member said...

The Womens and Equality Officer in Labour Head Office may be able to aid your research. I know she was due to meet reps of this organisation sometime this year.

This will all beome quite topical as well with the "fluffy bunny - sure aren't FF great" childrens rights referendum. John Waters and many like him will be opposed.

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