In a parliamentary question, Deputy PJ Sheehan asked the Minister to explain why unmarried fathers are still forced to go and queue with junkies in order to get their names on their child's birth certificate, and why they are still required, unlike married fathers, to apply to courts to be guardians of their own children.
Inevitably, the answer from the powers-that-be, petrified as they are of the single mummy mafia, is that no change is forthcoming.
In fact, according to our esteemed minister, the current situation is a 'comprehensive' solution, based on 'the welfare of the child'. Which is nonsense, clearly.
It is prehistoric to discriminate between fathers on the basis of their marital status in this manner, and I look forward to the day when someone challenges this in court or via equality legislation.
But I have little or no faith in the Irish legislature, which has a lengthy track record of ignoring the needs of fathers and their children for each other, in reforming itself.
Given the latest reiteration of hardened attitudes and ignorance from the Justice Minister, one can only conclude that they still hate fathers, and still fear the mommy mafia, who are entrenched in opposing rights for fathers despite their odious rhetoric about equality when it comes to demanding ever more state funding for child care, single mommy allowances, free education and back to work allowances and so on.
One day, likely at the insistence of the EU, we will eventually concede in Ireland the fact that fathers are immeasurably beneficial to the development of their children and that the status quo we have espoused for so long amounts to nothing short of human rights violations and child abuse.
In the meantime, we still have to put up with crap like lesbian lovers being granted parental rights over fathers, like fathers being accused slanderously of various crimes by bitter mothers in closed courts, and like children being denied equitable parenting from the moment of birth on the basis of their parents' marital status.
In the meantime, because Dermot Ahern and his cohort are so lazy and fearful of a feminist backlash, fathers will have to continue to queue up with the junkies to get on the birth cert, plead with courts to know how their children's health and education is proceeding and face ongoing denial of their and their children's rights to justice.
Fuck you, Dermot Ahern. I genuinely hope that you find yourself in a family law court one day, slackjawed with shock because the other half has accused you of sexually abusing your kids in order to get back at you for divorcing her, or because she simply doesn't want to have to deal with you at all.
I hope you enjoy the endless months of expensive legal applications, the monitored visits with social workers in tow, and then ultimately the success of paying half your wages in maintenance to live in a rented bedsit and see your kids in McDonalds every other Saturday.
It's not normally a prospect I'd wish on my worst enemy. But I wish it upon you, Minister for Injustice, because it is exactly that fate that you, in your ongoing refusal to reform Irish family laws, have condemned other fathers to indefinitely.
PQ and answer below:
Under the law as it stands - section 6A of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964, as inserted by section 12 of the Status of Children Act 1987 - an unmarried father may apply to the court to be appointed a guardian of his child. Alternatively, where there is agreement between the parents, they can make a statutory declaration under section 2(4) of the Guardianship of Infants Act, as inserted by section 4 of the Children Act 1997, conferring on the father the status of guardian.
Under section 11 of the 1964 Act, a guardian may apply to the court for its direction on any question affecting the welfare of the child, including directions as to custody and access. In addition, the section provides that the unmarried father of a child, even if he is not a guardian, may apply to the court for orders on custody and access. Section 3 of the Act provides that, in deciding on an application relating to the custody, guardianship or upbringing of a child, the court shall regard the welfare of the child as the first and paramount consideration.
These legislative provisions are comprehensive. They permit the court in cases of disagreement to decide on arrangements for the child’s care and upbringing having regard to the child’s best interests. The vast majority of applications by unmarried fathers for guardianship are granted by the court.