Family law rules ‘being breached’ in courthouse

A leading family law solicitor has urged the justice minister to personally intervene over what he claims are flagrant breaches of the law involving in-camera cases at Limerick Circuit Court.

Under the Judicial Separation Act 1989, when family law cases are heard in a court no other cases can be scheduled at the same time.

However, Limerick solicitor Dan O’Gorman, said people in family law cases in Limerick often had to walk the gauntlet of lawyers, gardaí, criminal case witnesses, defendants, media and the general public. A family law case at the court recently was followed by a DPP case that involved gardaí, solicitors, and a defendant as well as being attended by up to six journalists.

“People involved in the family law case encountered all the others as they left the courtroom. It is stressful enough being involved in a family law case, without being exposed to the public in the court building.”

He called on Alan Shatter to intervene with the Court Service to ensure the situation doesn’t continue.

A spokesman for the service said it made every effort to maintain the dignity and privacy of those seeking redress in family law disputes.

“Where courts are used for family law and other matters on the same date, they are scheduled at different times. We have not received any complaints about these arrangements in the recent past. But if a situation is brought to our attention that the arrangements fell short for any particular case, we will of course work with the judiciary, local practitioners and staff to endeavour to avoid any scheduling issues in the future.”


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