Judge tells fathers who don't pay maintenance "stop the nonsense and get a job"

Brendan Burgess

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A judge sent three fathers to the cells at Ennis Courthouse in less than 30 minutes for failing to adhere to court orders to pay agreed maintenance for their children.

Two men were released within an hour, with one transferring the final portion of the €694.30 to his ex-partner via his smartphone in front of Judge Larkin.

In a fourth case, Judge Larkin told another father to “stop the nonsense and get a job”.

Judge Larkin made her comment after the unemployed father told her he spends his days ‘tidying up the house’.

His ex-partner told the court that the man in his 30s also helps out his father on the farm.

Judge Larkin asked: “Why are you farming? You have the leisure of working on your father’s farm because you love your father and you won’t get a job to pay for your children.”

Judge Larkin warned if the man doesn’t set up a direct debit for his maintenance payments, he will be going to jail the next time in court.
 

Leper

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That Examiner article asks more questions than it answers. Whatever side you read the story from it's tragic. I don't have the solutions, but I can empathise with all its problems.
 

ClubMan

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Whatever side you read the story from it's tragic
I don't see what's tragic about it. Marital/relationship breakdowns occur so is a reality of life for some. There's no necessity for it to be unnecessarily traumatic for anybody involved, including the children where applicable. But parents have responsibilities that need to be met. In many cases it would be even more tragic for everybody, in particular the children, if couples stayed together in a failed relationship. Something that was much more common in Ireland in the past unfortunately.
 

joe sod

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I'm amazed there's not an awful lot more cases like those.
there probably is but they don't make the news because usually the judges don't take such a hard line. That's the problem with the whole justice system in Ireland though there is no consistency, these guys had to pay up because they came up against this particular judge who just happens to have a strong line on feckless fathers. Don't defence solicitors also play the game by timing their defendant's case to come before particularly liberal judges
 

noproblem

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there probably is but they don't make the news because usually the judges don't take such a hard line. That's the problem with the whole justice system in Ireland though there is no consistency, these guys had to pay up because they came up against this particular judge who just happens to have a strong line on feckless fathers. Don't defence solicitors also play the game by timing their defendant's case to come before particularly liberal judges
Yes, you're correct. More should also be done to make sure these irresponsible fathers pay for their children's upbringing and mothers should also be helped in pursuing them.
 

Purple

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Yes, you're correct. More should also be done to make sure these irresponsible fathers pay for their children's upbringing and mothers should also be helped in pursuing them.
I agree. The same applies to visitation orders and shared custody. I have a friend who hasn't seen his son in months because the mother won't allow him to. He's been to court and the judge told the mother to obey the agreement they have but she just ignores it.
These things cut both ways, but it is usually the father who doesn't pull their weight.
 

Páid

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I agree. The same applies to visitation orders and shared custody. I have a friend who hasn't seen his son in months because the mother won't allow him to. He's been to court and the judge told the mother to obey the agreement they have but she just ignores it.
These things cut both ways, but it is usually the father who doesn't pull their weight.
If he has a court order he can get the Gardaí to enforce it.
 

Páid

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How traumatic is it for the child when s/he is regularly prevented from seeing their father?

I imagine the Gardaí would only have to be called once before she gets the message. Unless there is something seriously wrong with her she wouldn't want them calling a second time.
 

Purple

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How traumatic is it for the child when s/he is regularly prevented from seeing their father?

I imagine the Gardaí would only have to be called once before she gets the message. Unless there is something seriously wrong with her she wouldn't want them calling a second time.
There's something seriously wrong with her.
 

Páid

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All the more reason to report it to the Gardaí. Next time your friend goes to court he can state that there were x number of breaches and have a Garda as a witness to back up his claims.
 

ClubMan

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All the more reason to report it to the Gardaí. Next time your friend goes to court he can state that there were x number of breaches and have a Garda as a witness to back up his claims.
Having had first and second hand experience of this sort of thing, what the law provides for and what's pragmatic in reality are not always the same thing. It's easy to say "call the cops" in theory but often a completely different matter in practice especially when the kids' rights and welfare are (correctly) given primacy.
 
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