Family courts are like Auschwitz - You will be called by your initials before being lead to the Gas Chambers

Image result for gas chambers naziYesterday I accompanied a distressed friend as moral support to a family court in Mullingar’s temporary courthouse, which is a GAA clubhouse converted for court business but looks more like an office building in a 1930’s Nazi concentration camp from the outside and had all the trappings of a Nazi concentration camp on the inside.

Yesterday was Family Law Day at Mullingar District Court. The last time I had been in such surroundings was in Gorey, Co. Wexford, when on one Family Law Day in January 2014, I was refused entry to the courtroom by Judge Gerard Haughton because of a request from Tusla’s social workers and lawyers to not allow me into the courtroom. I had previous form in writing about family law so my presence could not be tolerated. I had been asked by a woman to speak on her behalf, to give positive evidence on her behalf as she had nobody on her side, not even a solicitor.

The woman had her 2 children snatched from her by the state in the summer of 2013, one of who was less than an hour old and breast feeding when the Gardai and Social Workers entered the delivery room. Before that, the last time I had been in Family Law Day surroundings in a courthouse was in the late 1990s dealing with my own case at the time. I was then and still am an unmarried father of one, now grown up son.

The one thing that struck me yesterday was the sheer despondency, frustration, sadness and fear that I saw etched in the faces of the people who were there, not the Lawyers, Social Workers, Gardai or other State Officials, but the ordinary parents who for the most part were in court to ask a Judge to allow them to be parents to their own children. But other family matters including maintenance and domestic violence issues would also have formed part of the day’s proceedings.

Some of these people were outside smoking (as an ex smoker I know how nicotine soothes anxiety and grief), some were inside the building awaiting a decision of the Judge, some were mothers, some were fathers and indeed I even spoke with a grandmother who was there in moral support of her son who was in court to seek extra access time with his child. I could identify with many of those who were there as I myself went through the same Hell on Earth in the 1990s.

But as these proceedings are TOP SECRET and the “what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas” mentality is the law, the general public is kept in the dark about everything which goes on behind those closed family courtroom doors. Unlike my experiences in the 1990s there were a number of Gardai there yesterday. Maybe their presence was to keep the peace in the event that a separated couple start at each other, or to give evidence in a domestic violence matter and to that end their presence would be necessary.

However I was not prepared to witness a Garda calling out to people when it was their turn to enter the courtroom. All parties to proceedings were called aloud by their initials before being ushered in the direction of the top secret courtroom. The only thing which was missing yesterday was a yellow star emblazoned on everyone’s lapels and their initials tattooed on their foreheads. Since when did members of An Garda Síochána become employees of the Irish Courts Service? Surely one would have expected that persons employed by the Court Service would have the task of assisting the smooth running of these proceedings. There is obviously no separation of powers between the court system and the police force in Ireland, but even I was shocked to witness a Garda acting as an officer of the court on Family Law Day. To all intents and purposes this modus operandi by the Courts Service is the sheer intimidation by the state of ordinary defenceless people.

Nazi Europe never fully went away as it pertains to Ireland’s Family Law system, a system which uses eerily similar methodology to those who sought to bring about the final solution in 1940s Europe. The Family Courts in Ireland must be abolished and replaced immediately because they are destroying decency, they are attacking humanity and they are the cause of as much child abuse as was perpetrated by the religious orders in past times. The present day Family Courts are perpetuating Ireland’s modern day holocaust i.e. abuse and neglect of children in the care of the state.

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