This web page will hold the various Events held by Parental Equality over the years

Treoir Conference

Williamsons Mall Francis Street Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Tel. No.: 042-9329149 Fax No.: 042-9352332
Dear Nuala
Further to our recent conversation regarding the organisation of a training seminar on Family Law the following arrangements have now been made:
23rd October 2000
Family Law
Thursday 16th November 2000
Community Contact Centre, Ramparts, Dundalk
lO.30a.m. -l.OOp.m. 2.00p.m. -4.30p.m.
The course will be delivered by Anne O'Carroll who holds a Law degree and is an award-winning journalist in the area of legal rights and information. She can provide a practical and informative introduction to general family law including marriage, separation and divorce; widowhood, children, guardinership, custody access and adoption; family property, Family Home Protection Act, maintenance, inheritance rights; violence barring/protection orders etc.. Anne can also cover differences in the duties
and obligations in a family based on marriage and a non-marital family.
In order to ensure that Anne covers material which will be of most use to those attending please let me know if there are other areas of Family Law which would be of particular interest to you.

Also could you please indicate names of those people from your organisa.tion who would
be interested in attending. so details can be tinalised as soon as possible.
Yours sincerely f ( I p...Q...o f (
Development Manager
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Directors: Anna Reynolds. Rita McCarron. Maura Kavanagh, Donna Cobum. Noel Reenan, Sean Kelly. Neville Cuthbert. Kay Duffil1, .- Eamonn Murphy, Rose McCusker. Mairead McKieman, Ann Ward. Liam Tynan, .
JoM Mathews (Co.Opted), Ronan Gingles (Co-Opted)
Registered Office: Unit 1, Williamsons Mall, Francis Street. Dundalk, Co. Louth.
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Male Link Launches Report on Mans World Conference


Conference; co-operation Ireland.

North and south working together.

Present were Stephanie and Bernie.A number of organisations were represented at this conference from both north and south of the border. Community workers, woman’s group’s men’s group’s partnerships, ex - prisoners group, historical groups, members of the churches, teacher’s etc.

This conference was held by Co-operation Ireland to raise awareness and dialogue among community groups particularly in the South about issues arising from the Multi-Party Agreement of April 1998.

This Project focuses on the Agreement and  what it  means for community development.

The Agreement deals with issues such as Identity, Equality, Human rights, and Participation of civic society in Policy and government. Strand 2 of the agreement looks at establishing a North South Consultative forum representing civil society with a focus on social, cultural, and economic issues.

In the afternoon the groups were divided into workshops where everyone could talk to each other and discuss different issues,

both Shephanie and I found the workshops very interesting and we talked about the issues and problems effecting Parental Equality cross-border.

I made contact with Mary Kelly from the Dundalk Partnership and we discussed funding. She has very  little funding available this year but will send me out the relevent forms the following day. she advised me to apply for funding for workshops or training programs.

I was also speaking to the representive from Co -operation Ireland and I feel there is funds available there for some projects intergrating north and south .

County Enterprise Board ebusiness 23/10/00  Report

Attended by Sam Carroll

Seminar on using the internet to benefit your business in association with TradeNet.  Ronan Dennedy CEO of Louth County Enterprise Board made a presentation.  There are grants available through the “Empower Initiative to help small businesses to use web sites to promote their businesses”.

(  Grant Aid available web site development with training programs called Empower 2000/01 Initiative.  Can get 50% (£1000) of £2000 in non returnable grants for web sites.  Can go for either bill board or interactive site.

(Our products could be parenting packs with parenting models/calander etc; services/presentations to schools, professionals etc; kids corner information on site and also pack; Roger’s study on shared parenting.

We can also do an on line newsletter.

They are promoting eircom/indigo software which is designed for small businesses to totally set up and control their own web sites without the need for web master etc.  The started pack costs £495 plus vat and you can advertise up to 10 products which you can sell over the internet by customers using their credit cards.  Customers credit is automatically checked through Bank once the merchant sets up an “OnLine Merchant Account”.  Software upgrades are free.  £495 includes full day training on ecommerce including how to handle vat and shipping.

GIF is the preferred format for fastest downloading of site.

Note; 41% of adults said convenience and accessibility is why they use the internet, it was suggested we use a facility to get feedback from customers.

Our logo should be prominent on the site, (note and were voted the worse sites in the USA! ie. Small sites can compete with sites which have deep pockets but still are badly designed.

I had an opportunity to talk with Ronan Dennedy about PE’s work in Louth.  He was very interested in the book that we published and he said me to drop one into him.  He suggested also that I talk to Gránnie Mackie , Women and Enterprise Officer at Louth Enterprise Board.  I also spoke with Peggy McGlynn of the same department.  Ronan suggested that the Dundalk Partnership would be the place for seeking funding for us.

Louth Area Forum 23/10/00   Report.

Discussed local policies, 19 local groups attended.  We need to put forward suggestions for Shared Parenting policies to be included in the next meeting which will be held on the 22nd November 2000, at 7p.m. at St. Gerard’s Hall, St. Alphonsus Road, Dundalk. Focus on Social Inclusion and Social Development for the Social Development Council.

At next meeting they are looking for Chairman and Secretary.

Michael A. Curran and Aisling attended from Louth County Council, Community and Enterprises Dept.

Web site

Family Mediation Services.

Community Service Centre, Drogheda 16/1100.


Attended Sam Carroll and Bernie Shannon.

About 30 people turned up for                  talk by Eileen Fitzgerald the are Co-Coordinator for Family Mediation Service.  The gender imbalance at this meeting was approx 85% women and 15% men.  Bernie and myself were the major contributors from the floor promoting shared parenting, telling people of the barriers both social and legal to shared parenting following relationship breakdown and voicing our concerns about the biased Family Law Courts and how it effectively undermines the mediation service.


Eileen Fitzgerald spoke positively about Parental Equality recent contributions in this whole area of finding solutions for social change.  I had the opportunity to do some networking with some people involved with associated services in and around Drogheda including Tom Williams from Mabs, Caitriona MacGregor, Child Psychologist in the regional Child and Family Centre, Louth and Terri Mooney who deals with Bereavement and Loss.

I feel there was a general consensus on shared parenting and it was a good opportunity for Parental Equality to raise awareness of its services, aim and its existence with people who work in the social field.

People often confuse mediation with counselling.  Mediation is for couples that have decided that their relationship is over and the mediator assist in helping the couple work out parenting arrangements, working out property division, financial arrangements etc.  Mediation enables couples to make agreements, which they themselves have worked out rather than having adversely Family Law Court imposing orders on them.  I put forward the challenge that the mediation service was affectively undermine by the public’s perception that Family Law Courts are biased in favour of women and therefore women would be less inclined to go to mediation than their male counterparts.  It was also suggested at this workshop that it has been found in America where certain states make mediation mandatory that the outcome can be equally effective between couples who are experiencing acrimony as much as couple who enter mediation voluntary.

Eileen Fitzgerald spoke about power and the difference types of power that we all possess and how we can all abuse this power.  People have power over finances; over children they can have physical power or psychology power.  Mediation is about trying to empower both parties unlike the adversely Family Law Courts where both parties power is effectively given over to the solicitors, barristers and judges.

Tom Williams of MABS made a number of contributions, which Parental Equality would support and particularly that Family Law Courts should be taken out of the picture as far as possible in relationship breakdown situation.

Caitriona MacGregor, Child Psychologist with the Regional Child and Family Centre in Louth also made contributions, which were supportive of Parental Equality’s policies.  She mentioned the barriers, which were placed in front of fathers.

Terri Mooney, Bereavement and Loss Counsellor, spoke to me after the meeting and was very aware of the bereavement process associated with separation.  She offered to see clients who would be referred by us.

In summary I felt that the people at this meeting were very supported of shared parenting.  I had pointed out some disadvantages for women under the current social policy of expecting women to take on a primary and unequal responsibility in child care and how that negatively impacted on their ability to have the same opportunity to pursue careers and social opportunities as men have.  I gave Eileen Fitzgerald a copy of the book “Things for Dads to do with Kids” and when she learned that it was Parental Equality she was very complimentary of our achievements.

I proposed making further contact with these people mentioned in this report as I think that they would be advocates and good partners in projects for shared parenting.

The report on Treoir Workshop on recent legislation effecting unmarried parents.  In Drogheda, Thursday 2nd November 2000.



  This information day was mainly for unmarried parents to raise their awareness of legislation affecting them as unmarried parents.


There was a very low turn out from Treoir point of view.  The participants numbered approx a dozen people.  James O’Neill from Solo and Parental Equality made up the largest delegation.  Representatives from Parental Equality were Tony Tuite, Sean Kelly, Sam Carroll (and Tara), Noleen McEvoy and Bernie Shannon.  The presentation was made by Margaret Dromey, and Ailsh               .  There was a very active participation from Parental Equality voicing our concerns with how some of this legislation might be implemented under the current In Camera Family Law Court environment where proceedings and outcomes are neither monitored nor reported on.


Some of the suggestion put forward by the Parental Equality delegates were;


  • Parent’s occupation should be removed from Birth Certificates.
  • Both parents name on the child’s Birth Certificate should be mandatory.
  • Mandatory DNA testing should be used for having the correct names of both parents on children’s Birth Certificates as a child’s right.