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Website to report on cases involving children

The reporting of family law was once forbidden, but now a new website will publish orders of the court, writes Ross McGovern.

The Child Care Law Reporting Project website aims to provide the public with an insight into why children are taken into state care. The dedicated site will publish reports from the courts following orders made under the Child Care Act.

Former legal affairs editor for the Irish Times Dr Carol Coulter is the project’s director. Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland she said: “I do think we need to know what goes on in order to have a proper debate about how to protect children and how to ensure that their welfare is provided for.”

An example she gave was of three children being found in a flat with no food, heating or lighting. Another includes a baby being put into a wheelie bin by her mother who suffered with mental illness.

The difficulty in reporting on cases of child abuse or neglect has been in identifying the victim, however cases in recent times have shown that it is possible to cover such issues without disclosing the children involved.

The Minister for Children and Youth affairs , Francis Fitzgerald, who signed off on the regulations allowing for the project said; “It is extremely important, it’s a turning point in effect in terms of openness and transparency about what is happening in our courts in relation to child care and family law.”

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