Court refuses woman who accused father of abusing his son right to appeal over custody order

Court refuses woman who accused father of abusing his son right to appeal over custody order

By Ann O'Loughlin

A woman who claimed her ex-husband sexually abused their young son as part of a number of failed efforts to prevent the child being returned to the father has also failed to get a further appeal over the matter.

The Supreme Court, in a written determination, refused to allow the woman appeal a Court of Appeal decision which ordered the boy should be returned to the European country his father is from.

The woman, who is Irish, met the father in Ireland and the boy was born in Ireland. They married in 2013 and in 2015 the family went to live in the father's home country. They lived there for two-and-half years until the marriage irretrievably broke down.

She left the family home with the boy and divorce proceedings began.

The mother made allegations the ex-husband had abused the boy.

The father obtained supervised access to him until the local courts in the father's native country decided there was no further necessity for supervision of access.

Those courts later decided full custody should go to the father with access for the mother.

Ms Justice Máire Whelan, giving the Court of Appeal decision last month on the woman's appeal, noted that the court of the other European country found the mother's "preoccupation and fears" about sexual abuse "stems from her own familial experience". Those fears predated the birth of the child, the other court found.

There was also an investigation in 2015 by police in the other country into her first sexual abuse allegations and it resulted in a decision "to take no further action".

She made a fresh allegation in January 2017, that the boy had told her of a sexual assault during an unsupervised visit by the father the previous New Year's Eve. A social worker investigated this and produced a report that was inconclusive but said it was a matter that should be investigated by the police.

After the decision to give full custody to the father, the mother took the boy to Ireland where she lives with her family.

The father brought Hague Convention proceedings here over child abduction which last July resulted in the High Court ordering the return of the boy to his father's country.

The mother brought an appeal to the Court of Appeal claiming, among other things, the High Court failed to make a determination of a grave risk of psychological harm to the boy or of him being placed in an intolerable situation if returned.

She also sought a stay on the return order because, she said, she had now instituted proceedings in the father's country seeking to vary the custody order and to permanently relocate to Ireland.

The Court of Appeal found the High Court had not erred and the orders of the trial judge were comprehensive and addressed all reasonable issues relating to the child's welfare.

The woman then sought leave for a further appeal to the Supreme Court.

In their written determination refusing leave to appeal, Chief Justice Frank Clarke, Mr Justice John MacMenamin and Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan, said the Supreme Court did not consider the treatment of the facts or issues in the Court of Appeal decision involved a matter of general public importance.

More on this topic

Residents challenge permission for 10-storey block of apartments in north DublinResidents challenge permission for 10-storey block of apartments in north Dublin

Challenge to wind farm permission to be fast-trackedChallenge to wind farm permission to be fast-tracked

Cork teenager gets community service for assault with neck chain around his fist to maximise injuryCork teenager gets community service for assault with neck chain around his fist to maximise injury

Ryanair must pay portion of former COO Bellew's legal costs, judge rulesRyanair must pay portion of former COO Bellew's legal costs, judge rules


More in this Section

Gardaí hope to bring charges today in connection with fatal Wexford stabbingGardaí hope to bring charges today in connection with fatal Wexford stabbing

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael ‘open’ to debate with Sinn FéinFianna Fáil and Fine Gael ‘open’ to debate with Sinn Féin

Michael McGrath: Fine Gael 'becoming increasingly desperate'Michael McGrath: Fine Gael 'becoming increasingly desperate'

Suicidal man found twice in one night by volunteersSuicidal man found twice in one night by volunteers


Lifestyle

Their passion for the adventures of JK Rowling’s famous wizard cast a love spell on Cork couple Triona Horgan and Eoin Cronin.Wedding of the Week: Passion for Harry Potter cast spell on Cork couple

Gareth Hanrahan is garnering quite a reputation as a fantasy author. He tells Ed Power how some of his novels’ settings are inspired by old Cork.Cork author Gareth Hanrahan reveals his dark materials

The raucous new version of the Dickens classic is winning much praise, writes Laura Harding.'He was always my David Copperfield': No colour bar for modern take on Dickens' classic

Alexa Chung and Tan France join forces for new, high-stakes, competition series Next In Fashion.Next in Fashion: Alexa and Tan team up for fab fashion series

More From The Irish Examiner