Parental alienation ‘increasingly cited in Irish courts’

Parental alienation 'increasingly cited in Irish courts'

Helen McEntee

Parental alienation is being “increasingly cited in the Irish courts” despite the lack of a clear agreed definition, justice minister Helen McEntee said as she launched a new consultation on the issue.

The Department of Justice last year commissioned research into parental alienation which is still ongoing and will continue alongside the new consultation, which is seeking views on how the government should respond to it.

Mrs McEntee said: “There is no clear agreed definition of parental alienation in Ireland and there are no reliable statistics on how prevalent it is. However, the term appears to have been increasingly cited in the Irish courts.

“We know that parental alienation generally refers to a process through which a child becomes estranged from a parent as the result of the psychological manipulation of the other parent. It may also refer to situations where one parent is wrongfully influencing their child or children against the other parent.

“This is a serious issue and an important consultation that will inform the Department’s consideration of policy and law in this area.”

The consultation can be found online and will run until 24 June 2022.

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