Sunday 4 December 2016

'I strive to get equality'

Published 23/12/2011 | 06:00

John (not his real name) has two children in their twenties whom he hasn't seen in 15 years.

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"My ex-wife accused me of biting our younger daughter," he says.

"It took 10 years of legal wrangling before the truth emerged that I had never even raised a finger to her.

"I ended up having a nervous breakdown and went to hospital for treatment. I came through that horrendous experience, met another woman and had another child.

"The acrimony between my ex-wife and me was so bad, I felt I had to concentrate my efforts on protecting the child born outside of marriage. She's a teenager now and we have a great relationship.

"I tried organising protest marches to highlight the injustice experienced by single parents, but the support just isn't there.

"If there's a march for gay rights, students or even the elderly, people turn up in their droves, but we don't get the numbers.

"I'm in my mid fifties and I'll keep doing my bit to raise awareness and strive to get equality for unmarried and separated parents."

Irish Independent

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