Parental Alienation – Department of Justice Policy and Research Publication Press Release

Dublin 25 May 2023 – Alienated Children First Press Release on Department of Justice publication of Policy and Research on Parental Alienation and available at 

Alienated Children First positively welcomes the Irish Department of Justice publication of research and policy on dealing with parental alienating behaviours and how they will be addressed and integrated into the Family Justice Strategy 2022-25.

Alienated Children First (ACF), the main Irish advocacy group representing alienated children and their parents, welcomes the publication of the Department of Justice Report on Parental Alienation today and endorses its findings and recommendations. We congratulate Ministers Simon Harris and Helen McEntee for their leadership in producing such a comprehensive and objective report detailing the reality of parental alienation abuse whilst recognising the reluctance of some organisations and individuals to categorise coercive and alienating behaviours in this way. We agree on zero tolerance of abuse regardless of gender, especially against children and hopefully this approach is a very positive step forward for all. ACF supports the Department’s methodology that will incorporate robust research, reviews, reforms and initiatives to offset this form of child and domestic abuse. We fully support the joined up working approach of the Departments of Justice, Health and Children and look forward to this being reflected in future frontline court, legal, social and health service systems. 

At today’s launch of the report ACF Chairperson, Ms O’Neill stated “We are generally pleased to see that progress is being made on protecting children in high conflict situations including parental alienation. We note that significant mention was made of the constitutional imperative of the best interests of the child and incorporating  the voice of the child in the recommendations. ACF raised the priority of the need for regulation and training of professionals reporting that voice, particularly in light of case law from the Irish High Court and other jurisdictions exploring how the voice of the child may be manipulated in high conflict and parental alienation cases, to ensure that the authentic voice of the child is protected and reported.”

ACF, legal professionals and other NGOs and stakeholders concerned, were briefed online today on this highly anticipated Department of Justice report on Parental Alienation. This was compiled after an extensive public consultation and independent research ‘Approaches to the Concept of Parental Alienation in Other Jurisdictions’ carried on in 2021. ACF endorse the report’s findings, especially the recognition of alienating behaviours affecting mothers, fathers and extended families but primarily girls and boys.  We look forward to information, training and support on parental alienation being rolled out for families dealing with these situations and their incorporation into the Department of Justice strategy and practice. 

ACF are encouraged that this groundbreaking report has tremendous potential for improving the safeguarding of vulnerable children in high conflict separations and will contribute to improving the Family Court and Social Services systems. 

For more information please Contact Janice O’Neill at or 00353 86 601 4174


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