Children’s Rights Alliance says ‘Yes’ to Vote on Divorce for Children’s Sake

Published date: 
22 May 2019


PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release

Children’s Rights Alliance says ‘Yes’ to Vote on Divorce for Children’s Sake

The Children’s Rights Alliance and leading children’s rights campaigners have come out to support a ‘Yes’ vote in the forthcoming divorce referendum this Friday. The Board of the Alliance made the decision to support the referendum in the best interests of children.

Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance says: “It’s our children who pay the greatest price for Ireland’s protracted divorce system. Drawn out proceedings can fuel conflict between parents. The reality is that it takes up to six years to get a divorce outside Dublin and up to five years in the capital. This is too long for grown-ups but it is a lifetime for a child. When parents are at war with each other, children are caught in the middle. Reducing the waiting period will help bring certainty and resolution. This is what children need.”

Prof. Geoffrey Shannon, Founding Patron of the Children’s Rights Alliance and Special Rapporteur on Child Protection says: “The research evidence suggests that the impact of divorce on children is determined by the level of conflict during the divorce rather than the divorce itself. A lengthy waiting period exposes children to high levels of inter-parental conflict. When children are exposed to pre-divorce conflict between parents that is overt, intense, chronic and unresolved, the evidence base suggests that children are better off with the two year period of separation proposed than the current four year period. There is therefore a compelling child protection argument to vote Yes on 24 May next.”

Judge Catherine McGuinness, former Supreme Court judge says: “Children are the victims of Ireland’s archaic divorce regime. This system means that families are forced to wait years and years for resolution. Divorce is always difficult for everyone concerned, especially children but delaying the process does nobody any favours. A reduction in waiting times will help to avoid unnecessary conflict in families and shield children from hostility between parents.”


Contact: Emma McKinley / Emma Archbold Tel: 01-6629400 / 087 6559067, Email:

Notes to Editor:
• Tanya Ward, Chief Executive is available for interview.
• For more information on why the Children’s Rights Alliance is supporting a Yes vote in the referendum, see here.

About the Children’s Rights Alliance
Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 100 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL