Statement by Chairman Liam Ó Gógáín
In setting out to design this web site, we wanted to set out the values, policies and rules which the web site and its content would observe.
This is particularly relevant, since the themes of the site are to draw awareness, both to the Institutional Discrimination against fathers across the EU, through cultural and political policies and also to highlight and challenge a range of abuses which are perpetrated against all citizens and fathers in particular, within the courts system.
Our intention is to use examples drawn from our own experiences, as fathers, as lay litigants and end users of the Family courts system and other statutory services over more than a decade now.We hope to give you an insight into the endless layer of marginalisation of fathers, some of which may be deliberate and many, which I’m sure just happen because Fatherhood and men’s perspective on family is just not valued or listened to.We will endeavour to back up what we say with traceable evidence, much of it in the form of facsimile images of original documents, and other media examples where available.
Of necessity and for the sake of authenticity, individuals will be named, exposed and identified. I intend to make every effort I can to ensure the accuracy and veracity of anything I present as fact. I reserve my human right to express my personal opinion when interpreting any situation and I hope to clearly distinguish between facts and opinion throughout the site. Where I name or identify individuals and make allegations in respect of their misbehaviour, I will offer them the right of reply, hopefully in a fairer manner and with greater transparency than has been granted to me in similar circumstances.
In the event where I am in error in fact and I am then made aware of same I will endeavour to immediately correct the error and bring the correction and apology to the attention of visitors, hopefully with more visibility than many other media sources do in similar situations. In this I am guided by the tenet that: “Once we realise that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes”
I have had dealings with many civil servants, statutory officials and various professionals and their representative bodies for over a decade now. My belief that a civil servant should be first of all civil and courteous to members of the public and secondly they should serve the member of the public in the role for which they are paid.
On the night my own late father retired from his job after 47 years as a customs and excise officer there was a “Do” for him attended by workmates and users of Dun Laoghaire Port. In reflecting on his career in upholding the law, he said; “My job was a job which had to be done , but one did not have to take pleasure in doing it”
In respect of the judiciary, in whom enormous power is entrusted (which rests with and is only legitimated by the People), I expect, as a given, that the greatest honour expressed in court, will be by those same judges, towards the honourable role and position they have the fortune to occupy. In making a judgement no judge has the right to demean, dehumanise or disrespect any person in front of them, be they legal representative, lay litigants representing themselves or plaintiffs, respondents, or witnesses.
I can tell you my own story only; my own experiences of what I have seen and heard. Since setting up Parental Equality back in 1992, I have listened to thousands of men and women recount their stories to me. In some cases they have presented me with incontrovertible evidence, some of which has been tape recorded. I expect as the site develops that other father’s stories will be rolled out on the site. I have already had some sent to me and I will invite and encourage visitors to send in their accounts of what happened to them.
Using the values and rules set out below, I intend to present the material as sent to me without putting a spin on the contents. In order to respect due process, however, I will as a rule, replace names and other details which clearly unambiguously identify a person or persons, where there is no accompanying appropriate evidence to back it up.
One of my hopes for this web site is that it stimulates debate, argument (in its useful and intended sense), some space for understandable and valid ventilation, reflection, clarification and a deepening of understanding by both men and women into how we can develop models of working, living, loving and understanding each other. My intention is to go POST PC and to seek sensemaking solutions for future relationships.
Acrobat is used throughout the site as the standard application for presenting documents. It’s a very good way to reproduce facsimile-like images of original documents. This is vital to the credibility of my arguments. I read once a quote from Michael Mc Dowell, SC and now Minister for Justice, that “The Devil is in the detail” Adobe Acrobat reader is freely downloadable here.It provides a vehicle for presenting documents cross platform to windows or apple based computers. Where possible I have inserted comments for clarification or impact and links to other related information. If you come across links which fail I would be grateful to you if you would bring them to the attention of the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The road to equality is only half travelled if it is travelled by one gender.
Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Tagann agus t-uachtar chun tosaigh.
I came across this very reasonable definition of the difference between Professionalism and Amateurism, which if applied when dealing with solicitors, barristers, psychiatrists, social workers, judges etc would cause a radical shift in the experience of customer satisfaction:-
Amateurs practice as long as it takes to get it right. Professionals, on the other hand, practice continually to ensure that they don’t get it wrong.
The two rules of natural justice, which are immemorial, supersede all positive law, just make real common sense and ensure fair play for all are:-
Nemo Judex in causa sua ( No one can be a judge in their own court).
Audi alteram partem (the other side must be heard)
Good law makes good sense, Bad law makesnonsense.
It takes very little fact to change a law. No amount of law can change a fact
The reasonable man adapts to the world; the unreasonable man expects the world to adapt to him; therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
A Garda Superintendent who interviewed me (in relation to a complaint made by me against misbehaviour by a Garda Sergeant in my family situation) gave me the following, as a sound basis for reliable evidence:- “ A Garda (in fact any witness) can only give evidence of that which is within his/her material knowledge”. I suggest that this outlook serves well when considering relationship breakups and the ensuing emotional mudslinging and allegations.
If someone makes an allegation and it is proved (after due process) to be true then the guilty party should be punished appropriately. If the allegations is found to be false then a punishment should accrue to the person who made the false allegation at least to the degree which would act as a deterrent against the making of false allegations.