Friday 19 January 2018

Father to hold baby for first time after court battle

Judge Patrick Durcan
Judge Patrick Durcan

Gordon Deegan

A father who won a paternity battle over his baby daughter is to hold his little girl for the first time.

This follows a judge issuing an ultimatum on the baby's mother, telling her "we can do this two ways - either you agree access with the father or if you don't agree, I will arrange access for you and you may not like how I do it".

At Ennis Family Court, Judge Patrick Durcan told the mother that the 18-month-old baby girl "should not be deprived of her father".

He said: "I would like that your daughter would get to know her father."

The stand-off between the child's parents comes one month after the young man emerged victorious in a paternity battle with the mother's husband.

All three parties are non-nationals and both men had applied for guardianship.

The two provided DNA samples with the man who had a brief fling with the mother, prior to her meeting her husband-to-be, being confirmed as the baby girl's father.

At the outset, a solicitor for the father said that her client "has not had any contact with the child to date".

Benefit

Addressing the mother, Judge Durcan said: "My decision is this. Where you have a child, a child has a mother and a father and a child is entitled to the benefit of that mother and of that father."

In response, the mother told the judge that the father "has never been around".

In reply, Judge Durcan said: "He now wishes to come and be part of your child's life. The very fact that he is now waking up after 18 months, there should be access. Very little access at first and for it to get greater and greater."

Judge Durcan adjourned the case and the parties returned 90 minutes later to confirm that they had agreed interim access. The application for guardianship is adjourned to May 21.

Irish Independent

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