I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Real Fathers for Justice had successful meeting with the Gender and Sexual Orientation Equality Unit for Northern Ireland


Tel: 07871503189


Tel: 077858631132

09/10/2009 – ref med: 012

Dear Sir / Madame

I am contacting your organisation on behalf of Real Fathers for Justice, we are a Direct Action Parenting Group, raising public awareness and applying pressure for long overdue changes in UK Family Law.

The 08/10/2009, a date that will be forever embedded in the history books of children's and fathers rights in Northern Ireland. Recognition of the hard work that has been done by RFFJ NORTHERN Ireland was finally recognised by the government.

RFFJ members Pete Morris and Hugh Mc Cloy met with Eileen Sung and her team in the castle buildings in Stormont, Eileen Sung heads the Gender and Sexual Orientation Equality Unit for the Northern Ireland Executive Office, and is responsible for coordinating and promoting policy work on gender and sexual orientation equality across the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) and public sector bodies. Sung has recently been awarded a Fellowship under the prestigious global Fulbright Program that will enable her to conduct research at IRWG. Born and educated in Northern Ireland, she is eager to learn about American culture and how it compares to life in Belfast. Sung's research will focus on women's paid and unpaid work and the cultural and social influences that affect those choices, including the gender pay gap and work/life balance.

(Taken from the University of Michigan's institute for research on women and gender)

The meeting was a resounding success, it was undertaken that the research from RJJF concerning family law, domestic violence, divorce, child abuse, education, health and social issues will be addressed and feedback will be given to RFFJ on the issues raised. From this also we will be involved in consulting on policies that will be affecting the areas we highlighted and for the first time in the history of Northern Ireland a fully represented conference on the rights of children from a fathers perspective will be partially funded by the government and will take place in Belfast in the near future and will be hosted by RFFJ.

Further on from this Hugh Mc Cloy took the opportunity to have a quick meeting with the Human Rights Commission, what has happened today has set the wheels in motion for Northern Irelands to take the lead in all the issues highlighted by RFFJ and RFFJ will lead the way in leading Northern Ireland into parity in equality of rights in this country.

We entered this meeting looking for recognition of our research and left with three identifiable gains, it is a good day for families, for children for fathers and for mothers in that the Northern Ireland executive now have the ability to look into all issues surrounding family law objectively.

Quotes from the meeting

Pete Morris;

  • "The family courts need to be opened up, there needs to be control in the family courts, the judges need control, someone needs to keep records of exactly what's happening. It should not be a dip loc court a man should be able to go in and defend him(self) against false allegations in a family court"
  • "The family court is like a dip loc court one man decided your fate"
  • "a child forms a bond with both parents it comes down to the children should have rights, a child should have the human right to both parents"

Hugh McCloy;

  • "A victim is a victim, gender is no barrier, by denying a father refuge in domestic violence you are basically denying a child refuge, it is state sanctioned child abuse by leaving a child in the hands of an aggressive mother"
  • "Parental alienation needs to be looked in to by Northern Ireland as it is child abuse and there is something very wrong with this country if it is not"
  • "The amount of money that is being fired into family law and the amount of closures of hospitals cannot be acceptable in this day and age that money could be best spent on children when they are born. The maternity in Omagh is closed because of public cuts to run the family law court in Omagh probably costs ten times as much and yet it stays open that can't be in the best interest of a child"

Eileen Sung;

  • "Today is an opportunity for us to work through where you are coming from, maybe to clarify what you think and what your needs are as they may be two separate things"
  • "Surly there needs to be a set of principle around shared parenting and what are the rights and responsibilities and I don't mean financial responsibilities"
  • "We have opportunity we are here today to try and find where each other starting points are, there is going to be a limited amount of help and support for facilitation that we can give to you for the gender unit, in a sense in that we promote sitting around a table representative of men and women we encourage men and women to sit down together and I feel it would be great to have a man on our staff"

More quotes from the meeting are available and can be gained by contacting Hugh McCloy using the details provided. I will take this opportunity for the warm welcome form the gender equality unit and thank them for their time and for now what they will be doing to aid in children's rights.

Pete Morris – Regional coordinator Northern Ireland, Real Fathers for Justice

Hugh McCloy – Research and development officer, Real Fathers for Justice

"Today's problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them." ~Albert Einstein"


Bev said...

I too am pleased that government is giving official recognition to your concerns and is undertaking a study and careful to include your views. That is a start only of course. In Canada where I am there are movements to address tax fairness for those raising children and these policies should really be gender blind. The care of a child is vital work in society and it is only because it has been devalued that women have been devalued, that some have become bitter. Divorce battles need not be confrontational if parents had all along been valued by government for raising children but sadly they were not. IN Canada we have no birth bonus, no universal funding for children for all their childhood, no income splitting, no pensions for caregivers. This makes the caregiver poor and not just angry but forces her to ask for money from the 'fall guy', the earner. In a fair world she would all along have had government funding for her role and would not be forced to be so angry> Men and women both have been mistreated by a tax system that did not recognize government obligation too, to support raising children.
I suspect many marriages would not end were these financial and social status issues corrected, but even if they did end, they would not be based on such bitterness.

Best of luck with the deliberations and I must say that i very much applaud the route of working through the system. Angry demonstrations and media- seeking displays some groups try actually discredit the legitimacy of the claims.

Michael J. Murphy said...

Thanks for your comments.

I was a stay-at-home dad for 10 years and can speak with direct knowledge. In terms of experiences it was the best of the best. I would encourage all dads to take time, if they can afford it, to do some one on one at home. I changed at least a thousand diapers, and all the other things a parent does with a child. Seeing the first crawl, the first unsteady standing, the first tiny steps, the tentative walking and then from walking to running down the hall.

We are an international political action group and use a variety of mechanisms to deal with the unfairness which can include civil disobedience. The latter is a last resort if we believe law makers are not paying attention. They are starting to do the latter better than before which has allowed us to sit down with them for discussion in Canada and some other countries. Belgium has equal shared parenting as does some other European countries. Australia as a version of shared parenting too.

I wish you well. Our children are precious and our love for them drives our passion for change.

hugh said...


thanks for the comment, it truly was a great meeting. i agree in what you say in terms of sitting down and debating the facts, i have taken part in the demonstrations to highlight family law and to be fair they have had a impact from a public pressure point of view.

this is the biggest global movement of its kind, this movement exists in every county where in law there is a childs best interest policy, without actually stating or knowing what is in a childs best interest

political representation is a must and now we have the platform to address this issue and many more


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