Saturday 21 September 2019

Man accused of fathering children with his daughters challenges refusal to grant him legal costs in childcare proceedings

A MAN accused of fathering children with his daughters has brought a legal challenge to refusals by the District Court to grant him his legal costs in childcare proceedings.

The High Court challenge arises out of allegations made by one of the man's daughters that he is the father of her child.

He is also accused of fathering two other children with two other daughters.

The allegations are disputed by the man.

Arising out of the allegations against him last July, Gardai arrived at his home, where he lives with his wife and some of their children, and removed two younger daughters.  No allegations have been made against him in relation to those two children.

The two children were placed in the care of the Child and Family Agency (CFA).    They remain in care and are the subject of proceedings that have come before the District Court on several occasions. 

He obtained a solicitor to represent him in those childcare proceedings.  The man, who is unemployed and not a person of means, was refused his legal costs by the two District Court Judges who dealt with the case.

Arising out of those refusals, the man has brought High Court judicial review proceedings against the CFA seeking to quash the District Court decisions on legal costs.

At the District Court hearings, the CFA had opposed the man's application for costs.

He claims the refusals amount to a breach of his right to fair procedures and his right to access to the courts.

His counsel told Mr Justice Richard Humphreys Monday  the crux of what was "a very complicated case" was "a claim concerning paternity."

His client and other parties involved had submitted DNA samples for analysis.

Counsel said it wasn't until the man's solicitor became involved that matters became more regularised.

The court heard that the man and his solicitor did not initially know what entity was carrying out the testing of the genetic material.

It was the solicitor who eventually made contact with the company that was carrying out the testing, counsel said.

Counsel also said the company had not been given vital information which they needed to properly conduct the tests.  The solicitor's assistance helped to ensure that the samples were properly analysed.

The court heard the results show the man is likely to be the father of one of the children tested.

Mr Justice Humphreys said he was satisfied to grant the man, who brought an ex-parte (one side only represented) application, permission to bring his challenge against the decisions. The case comes back in January.

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