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Courts - Ireland - Discrimination against fathers

Irish fathers face worst discrimination
11/06/2004 - 17:20:36

Irish fathers face the worst discrimination in Europe, a support group claimed tonight.

The Unmarried and Separated Fathers of Ireland said the constitution and the courts did not recognise the increasing diversity of modern families.

The group has organised a major conference at the Citywest Conference Centre next week in a bid to form policy to protect the rights of fathers.

Director Ray Kelly said the issue has to be tackled.

“This is the tenth anniversary of the 1994 UN Year of the Family, which the Government signed up to,” he said.

“But nothing has changed. Nelson Mandela would come out of retirement if he saw what we’re seeing.”

The conference on Monday will be the first ever national summit to bring together members of support and community groups and policy makers to debate the role of fathers in the family.

The ‘Facing the Challenge’ conference has been funded by the Department of Social and Family Affairs to mark the tenth anniversary of the UN Year of the Family.

Mr Kelly said the group had extended invitations to a broad variety of groups representing both men and women.

“We’re optimistic that they will attend. We need to stop this thing about men and women. It’s all about parents and children,” he said.

Speakers at the conference will include family law expert Geoffrey Shannon, the journalist John Waters and the rugby analyst George Hook. There will also be workshops about the role of the father in the family, the role of the state and the role of society.

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