Media and News Coverage of Parental Alienation in Ireland

Parental Alienation gets much coverage in the media in Ireland and more so in the recent years as awareness increases of the harm done to children and parents by this form of abuse. Below is a list of articles and and media coverage on both Parental Alienation and the related Coercive Control issues.

August 2021Law Society GazetteSome judges can’t accept parental alienation, says psychiatry professor“A webinar on parental alienation last night heard that though the concept is recognised in psychiatric textbooks, some judges have yet to accept its validity. 
In these cases, the court may need to be educated on the concept of parental alienation, the webinar heard.
Parental alienation is the rejection of one parent without good reason, while estrangement is rejection for a good reason.
DSM–5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental-health professionals in the United States.
The latest volume acknowledges the concept of parental alienation, without using the actual phrase, Dr William Bernet told the webinar.”
July 2021The Irish TimesFather claims children in foster care with no legal basis

High Court will have to intervene in dispute between father and Tusla, says judge
The Irish Times reports on a harrowing case where the children a suffering from extreme case of unjustified rejection of one parent and the complications for the children, the family, Tusla, and the courts when abuse is allowed to develop to such an extent.
August 2021Niall Boylan Show
Parent Alienation – Kenn Joyce and Minister for State for Special Education Josepha Madigan On Thursday’s show Niall Boylan spoke about Parent Alienation. 
It is broadly defined as when a child who had a previously healthy relationship with their parent begins to reject this parent, seemingly without justification.
Kenn Joyce, spokesperson from Alienated Children First and Minister for State for Special Education Josepha Madigan joins Niall on this discussion
January 2021East Coast FM

Declan Meehan
Parental Alienation
The Morning Show
1.  Kenn Joyce – Alienated Children First

2.  Mike Fay – Helpline Trainer The Samaritans

3.  Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD – Fine Gael
January 2021Wicklow NewsWicklow County Council pass motion on Parental Alienation“Wicklow County Council have become the 29th council to pass a motion recognising and addressing the issue of Parental Alienation. Arklow Councillor Tommy Annesley who put forward the motion has been praised by parents throughout County Wicklow and beyond.
“Councillor Annesley added:
“We certainly need to look at civil and criminal legislation because the impact on children is horrendous. “How children are being manipulated by one side or the other and certainly people get away lightly. It really is heart-breaking to see the way the kid has been manipulated to make accusations against the mother or father. It needs to be looked at by our legislators and we need to get something done to stop it, because in some cases there are people who are suicidal because of it. [There are] huge mental issues because the child has been manipulated and it needs to be looked as it has been in other countries.
August 2020Gorey GuardianSpecial report: Parental alienation“Parents in County Wexford who are isolated from their children following separation or divorce, have welcomed the unanimous passing of a motion by Wexford County Council, calling on the Irish Government to recognise Parental Alienation as a form of child abuse requiring specific legal measures.
Wexford became the 24th county in Ireland to officially request that the relevant Government departments recognise Parental Alienation as a crime and a form of coercive control and implement recommendation 36 of the October 2019 Report on the Reform of the Family Law System.”
July 2020Sligo ChampionStark reality of alienation from your children“A divorced father speaks with Ciara Galvin about the frustrating and detrimental affect which alienation from his children has had on his life – Alienation of one parent can occur by the other parent with no regard to their children.
It can be hard to diagnose in the often toxic fallout of some broken relationships.
Currently, parent alienation is not recognised in Ireland, and many parent groups are campaigning for the Government to recognise it. So far, 23 county councils across Ireland, including Sligo have passed motions calling on the Departments of Health, Justice and Equality, and Children and Youth Affairs, to implement recommendation 36 of the Report on Reform of the Family Law System published last October.”
April 2020Law Society GazetteJudge describes case as ‘parental alienation’“A judge has described a case in which a mother was accused of using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to deny her ex-partner access to their son as a case of ‘parental alienation’.
The term describes a process through which a child becomes estranged from a parent as the result of the psychological manipulation of another parent.
It is believed to be the first time the term has been recorded in court.
Judge Mary Larkin was making an order at the Family Law Court in Ennis on Thursday, according to a report by Gordon Deegan in the Irish Examiner.”
December 2020Irish ExaminerMy ex-wife wants to hurt me. I don’t know if I’ll see my kids over Christmas“The more fathers and mothers that talk about their experience of alienation, the better for our society. It is in the silent spaces that abuse thrives. 
Alienation is a devastating experience for the entire family unit. The court system is becoming more sophisticated in dealing with this issue. But as a father, never give up. Write to your children. “

July 2020Dail Eireann
Debate – Family Support Services
James Browne
Question:160. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding parental alienation and its impact here; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Justice: “
Parental alienation has been described as a situation when a child’s resistance or hostility towards one parent is not justified and is the result of psychological manipulation by the other parent. The issue of parental alienation is highly complex and I am aware that some professionals advocate for the classification of parental alienation as a clinical disorder affecting children, while others raise concerns that taking this action could act as a means of masking other serious issues such as genuine allegations of child abuse. The phenomenon most commonly occurs in the course of family break-up or divorce
While there is no specific legislative provision regarding parental alienation in Irish family law, section 246 of the Children Act 2001, provides for an offence of frightening, bullying or threatening a child in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to the child’s physical, mental or emotional health or wellbeing. There is also a range of legislative provisions in place for dealing with child welfare particularly regarding the relationship between a child and his/her parents or guardians, providing the framework for a legal response to a wide spectrum of child welfare issues.
July 2020NewstalkHave you been affected by parental alienation?“A number of listener got in touch wanting to talk about parental alienation  – it’s when a child becomes estranged from a parent as the result of the psychological manipulation of another parent. Ciara Doherty hears from listeners & talks to Professor of family therapy Jim Sheehan.”
April 2020Irish TimesParental alienation: ‘It’s emotional abuse at the highest level’ When one parent turns a child against the other, a childhood is lost“Last May, the World Health Organisation officially recognised parental alienation syndrome for the first time, deciding to include it in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, which comes into effect at the beginning of 2022. ….. The syndrome can be hard to diagnose in the toxic “he says, she says” fallout of some broken relationships.”
This list is under construction. please come back for updates. Copyright and IP of all titles quoted is acknowledged.

Note in Irish law Coercive Control in only an offence between current or previous “intimate partners” and so there is no offence of Coercive Control of children. The Minister for Justice and the Minister for Children both advise that any abuse of children, including psychological abuse is covered “Under the Child Care Act 1991, the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, is the statutory body with responsibility to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection”. These issues will be coved in another page on our website shortly.

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