Grandparents Do Have Access rights under by Law.

Grandparents often play a very important role in the lives of their grandchildren but can find themselves in a situation where they may not be able to see their grandchildren particularly in circumstances where a family breakdown has taken place and the relationship between the child’s parents or the child’s parents and grandparents is strained. This can lead to repercussions for other extended family members where access may be denied by one parent against their in-laws and other relatives of their former partner.

People without formal grandparents access rights in such circumstances can find themselves excluded from the lives of their grandchildren and this can be a very upsetting for them and for the children involved.

If this is the case what can they do to address the problem and how can the law help?

Unfortunately the legal position is that grandparents access rights are not automatic right to see their grandchildren.  The only right they have currently is the right to apply for access. This means that any attempt then to exercise access will need to be made proactively by the grandparents. In all cases the options of negotiation or mediation should be explored to try and come to an arrangement so that they can spend time with their grandchildren however as a last resort an application can be made through the courts to do so.

Negotiation can take place directly between the parents and grandparents or through perhaps another neutral party to try and agree on terms. If no agreement can be reached on grandparents access rights the parties would be advised to consider mediation where an independent third party would come in and facilitate both sides in reaching an agreement on the issues in dispute. This is often a very effective option and can have better long term effects on the family as a whole as both sides take ownership of the arrangement that they come to and the process is much less confrontational than a court scenario.

If all other avenues have been exhausted unsuccessfully grandparents may have no choice but to make an application to their local Family Law District Court (where all cases are held in private) for access to their grandchildren.

How Do you Go about getting these rights enforced?

Until recently grandparents would need to appear before the District Court initially to get permission from the Court to bring their application for access. In considering these applications the Court typically considered:

  1. The grandparents relationship and connection with the child (including past access);
  2. Any risks that the application would disrupt the child’s life
  3. The wishes of the child’s parents and the child

If grandparents are successful in the first stage they would then go on to make another application to the Court for access itself. The District Court Judge would hear evidence from all sides on the matter and then would decide if it is in the child’s best interests to grant the access. If so he would make a Court Order to this effect.

The Children and Family Relationship Act 2015,  however, to removes the previous obligation imposed on the grandparents of a child to first apply to court and obtain leave before exercising the right to apply for access to their grandchild or for their custody (the day to day control of them).

This means that grandparents will now only be required to make a single court application if they wish to spend time with their grandchildren. This application will again be decided by the District Court Judge who will use similar criteria as previously to determine whether an Order for access or custody should be made, namely:

  1. The grandparents connection with the child;
  2. Any risks that the application would disrupt the child’s life and the extent of harm that these risks would pose;
  3. The wishes of the child’s parents and the child

The Act also provides for a wide definition of grandparents and so includes grandparents of half-blood and their spouses and adoptive grandparents.

The law also has introduced a novel provision which entitles grandparents to apply for custody of their grandchildren.  It will be very interesting to see how this works in practice.  It requires that the parents are either unable or unwilling to care for the child. What may make the section more controversial is the fact that anyone who can establish a connection with the child may apply.

On Tuesday on Spin 103.8 John M. Lynch contributed to a discussion about the Rights of Grandparents Bill 2013.  You can listen back to the show here: [mp3j track=”Rights of Grandparents Bill 2013@Grandparents Bill Spin1038 19.02.13.MP3″ autoplay=”n” caption=”John M. Lynch”]

For further advice or if you wish to discuss any other legal area please contact or telephone 052-6124344.

The material contained in this blog is provided for general information purposes only and does not amount to legal or other professional advice. While every care has been taken in the preparation of the information, we advise you to seek specific advice from us about any legal decision or course of action.

65 Comments to “ Grandparents Do Have Access rights under by Law.”

  1. marina lynch says :

    My name is marina lynch .my bro there ex girlfriend left with his child is now living in dublin .there was no court order involving access to my nephew. But there is a barring order in place she got to keep my brother away from she made accusations against him saying he was violent. Can u pls tell me could he still have legal access to his son. Can u pls also tell me do my parents have legal rights .we also have no address for my brothers ex girlfriend. Thx

    1. John M Lynch says :


      Your brother should make an immediate application for guardianship and access. He will need an address to serve the papers. Your parents are also entitled to make an application to see their grandchild. However the detail will have to be worked out and if not agreed will be decided by the Judge.

  2. Suzanne says :

    Hello John don’t know if you remember me use to be a neighbour of yours in Parnel Street… Jevis B&B you spend many hours in Jervis coffee shop… Just noticed your page on Grandparents rights and wanted to ask do they have any in Ireland.. My son has broken up with his girlfriend over 6 months ago they were not married but his name is on the birth cert… I am allowed to see my Granddaughter for 1 hr a week in their house which I find very uncomfortable as they don’t talk and are very rude would love to be able to take her out for a couple of hrs per week if possible… Just wondered is there any chance of that happening she will not allow me to do that must be in her house I have tried talking with her but she will not change her mind… I would take her to court if I thought their was any chance of spending more time with my Granddaughter she is 15 months old I have had contact every week with her but like I said 1 hr only… Would appreciate any advice… Hope your keeping well. Suzanne

    1. John M Lynch says :

      How much time does your son have with her? It’s a combined family approach which should mean that you should all get to spend an amount of time that is of benefit to the child. The overriding principle is the best interests of the child.

  3. Mary Ryan says :

    Hello John. I want to make an enquiry. My brother died suddenly last year. He had a beautiful young daughter who we saw nearly all the time. Since his death last year his wife has decided that me and my family should have virtually no access to my niece. She would say to call in a couple of days beforehand and when the day would come she would find an excuse for us not to see her. Me and my fiance are getting married in July and his wife said that my niece could be a flower girl at the wedding. She said it several times. But now she said that they aren’t even going to the wedding. My parents and my brothers wife haven’t always seen eye to eye. My question is do me or my parents have any legal right to access to my niece. She was originally from the Philippines. We are not even sure whether she will go back there permanently or not. We tried to keep contact but she keeps saying one thing and meaning another. Is there anything we can do. We’re at the end of our tether. We just don’t know what to do anymore.

  4. John M. Lynch says :


    Your parents are entitled to make an application to the District Court for access. This is a two stage application – an application for consent to make the application and then the application for access.
    Most District Judges would take the view that a child is entitled to see her grandparents. If you have exhausted all other avenues this may be the way they will have to go.

  5. Joyce Merne says :

    Hi. I have been a big part of my Grandaughters lives since they were born and saw them on a daily basis, as they live next door. They are now 5 and 7. Due to a family dispute my son and his wife won’t allow the girls to visit me and I hear them crying to come in to me. As their Grandmother have I any legal rights to see my Grandaughters and what rights do I have please? Thanks

    1. John M. Lynch says :


      You have a right to apply to the District Court for a decision on whether or not you can see your granddaughters.

      I would suggest that you consider mediation as an alternative to Court.

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  7. catherine says :

    Hi John. I have a daughter who is almost 5 now and me and her dad have been together soncrnshe was 1 and a half. His mother didn’t see her until she was nearly 2 and from then on saw her once a week for a little while as she had issues with me from the past for no reason. My daughter goes to visit her on Fridays for a few hours and does be distraught over having to do so as she hasn’t bonded well. Will she have legal rights to see my daughter as I’m not happy making my child do something that is so upsetting to her and makes her so unhappy. Thank you

    1. John M. Lynch says :


      The quick answer is that the Courts are very sympathetic to supporting relatoinshps between children and their extended family .

      However , each case will depend on the particular circumstances and the view of the judge.

  8. Walsh says :

    Hi john
    My bother isn’t in my niece life and her mother makes it so hard for us to be in her life we would like something to be on a more permanent bases. So I’m wondering what rights would my mother and father have

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      If they are the grandparents then they can make application to the District Court without delay. This will be a more streamlined process when the Children and Family Relationships Act comes into play.

      1. Walsh says :

        My bother name isn’t on the child’s birth certificate so would that make any difference

        1. John M. Lynch says :

          This should not make a difference unless the parentage is disputed.

  9. Valerie Murphy says :

    Hi John my daughter and I have been estranged for nearly three years. This situation came about over a stupid invitation to Christmas dinner and has since spiralled out of control. I have had no verbal communication with her since then I have not seen my Grandchildren either. She now has another child who I have not seen at all. When she became pregnant on her first child she lived with me and stayed with me until the child was over a year old so I have a close bond with her eldest child and miss her and her mother so much. We were always so close as she is my only daughter she is now moving out of Dublin which will mean access for me will be more difficult. I would just like to know how to go about gaining access to my grandchildren where do I start. I would much appreciate your reply. Thank you in anticipation.

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      I am saddened to hear that you are estranged from both your daughter and your grandchildren.I would suggest that mediation is the best way to try to resolve this problem long term. The legal route will involve you making a District Court application for access . This might force a situation that might lead to mediation.

  10. anthony says :

    I’ve split up with my partner two years ago I’ve have sole custody and guardianship my son age 4 goesto see his grandparents every second weekend now that he is starting school soon I’ve told them he can only go Down on Saturday and returned Sunday they are unhappy about this and have threatened me with legal action what should I do I’ve also told them they can come any time to see him I’d never stop them from seeing him as I understand there rights but they seem to want more and more time with him

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      It is always difficult to be precise as to what a Court might deem proper access by either a parent or grandparent . It varies from Judge to Judge . I would recommend that where there is a good relationship between the child and grandparents that it is in everyone’s best interests that agreements on access be by consent. I would, therefore, strongly recommend that you suggest that this impasse would be best resolved by using a mediator to see if you can agree a longer term access arrangement.

  11. su p l kell says :

    My son had a child wit a girl and i hav seen my granddaughter 3 times since born in march. She has made it difficult for him but they gav sum to. Sum agreement. Iv asked to see my granddaughter but told i hav to go to my mother by de time i get der she has to leave. Iv wrk so i dnt hav time to runnin down to my mums for hurt coz i got my hse dun up and stopped all smokin for my granddaughter but notin seem’s good enough can a seek visitation time

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      If you cannot reach an amicable agreement on access , then you can make a District Court application. It will be a matter for the District Judge to decide on the level of access, so it is always wise to see if you can reach an agreement without going to Court.

  12. Mike Hughes says :

    My wife, son and I are UK citizens, our son and his then girlfriend, split from each other two months after the birth of their daughter, ever since then we have had nothing but grief.
    Up until a few months ago, he was paying support for his daughter, that was until she stopped our son from seeing his daughter, my wife and I had continued to visit our granddaughter, that was until recently after our son and former partner had an argument about her new boyfriend being with his daughter, now she has told me that we can’t see our granddaughter, not until our son starts to pay support, saying that she doesn’t trust any of us with her daughter.
    As British citizens, can we as grandparents use the Irish legal system to apply for access to our granddaughter, I have asked the mother to reconsider her decision, but she is adamant that she will not let her daughter out of her sight.

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      Yes, I believe you should make a court application in Ireland for access.

      1. Mike Hughes says :

        If a access order is granted for grandparents to access to their grandchild, is the order legally binding,what if the mother of the child won’t comply with the order,will the grandparents have to go back to the district court

        1. John M. Lynch says :

          It is legally binding and there is a breach the person concerned is in contempt of Court and liable to the Court sanctions.

  13. Fiona Gannon says :

    I have a new born baby and my inlaws are threatening to get access. They have made our lives miserable and have been trying to split my marriage up. They also made the pregnancy very difficult for me. They have been very malicious towards me and don’t Want my child any where near them. Please could someone tell me if they would have a chance gaining access?

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      I am assuming that you are still in a relationship with the child’s father and that this is a question of whether or not his family can have access to the grandchildren. If this is the question, the answer is obviously a question of fact based on the relationship which the grandparents have with the children. It is obviously a matter for a court to decide the extent of access if any which should be granted. This decision is based on the best interests of the child. There is a procedure within our system for grandparents to apply for access, however the extent of the access will be a matter for the courts.

  14. S G K says :

    Hi, I have read thru your comments regarding Grandparents rights and approx 50% of them suggest mediation.. I was just wondering can you suggest a company that can facilitate this, I live in Dublin [northside] and although I (personally) feel that this is a waste of time in my case, I would prefer to do everything by the book from the offset.. Thanks

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      Your starting point should be the Family Mediation Service.

  15. Nora says :

    Hi,my in-laws and I do not have a good relationship, I asked them to be civil with me for the sake of their son/my partner and our child, they rufuse to be civil with me and wish to see their grand child but only in their home. I do not want this due to the type of relationship they have with me (verbally abusive), I have repeatedly offered visits to my home and have been refused, I have now also offered a mutual puplic place to have visits and again they refused. I now have constand abuse from them stating that I am denying contact, yet the wanted contact is only contact excluding me and I’d rather be civil and not have my baby have a separate relationship with them but then have to explain why they don’t participate in any other area of her life. They are now saying they are going to bring me to court, can they?

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      The answer is that they can make an application to the Court for access as grandparents. The next question is more difficult – what will the Court grant by way of access . The Court will apply the principle of the best interests of the child – and that is a matter for each judge . However, I have found that most judges consider that it is important that a child have a relationship with their grandparents and will grant access to facilitate it.

  16. Elizabeth says :

    My son and his partner are separated nearly six years now. My son has since then moved on and is in a new relationship the last four years now. He has three children with his ex partner and she is the most unreasonable human being I have ever come across. Rather than be civil for the sake of the children she does the total opposite. She has banned my son from seeing his children blocked our numbers, his number we can’t contact her. We have no communication with her at all. this has gone to court before and was settled with a routine sleepovers etc but she has since then broke the agreement. Can grandparents go for access as well as my son again.

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      Yes, grandparents are entitled by law to make an application for access to their grandchildren.

  17. Alex murphy says :

    My grandkids r in care in uk I am trying to get them back I have been given 3 assessments and 2 home visits all positive. My daughter is still trying to get the kids bk . I have been told that if I get gaurdian ship in uk it does not apply here as we don’t have the same here ? Was this not a hage agreement on these maters ..

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      Yes, there is a jurisdiction that means that a domestic Court will enforce another country’s court order on the care of children under the Hague Convention.

  18. Hi my granddaughter has been living with me for 2 year I look after her full time there is no care order in place just a family arrangement she lives with me and I provide for her finically can I apply for guardianship of my granddaughter my daughter see her rarely and her father doesn’t see her at all

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      Yes, you should be able to apply for guardianship in your local district Court.

  19. Gerry garcia says :

    My son has recently passed away we do not have a good relationship with daughter in law but have managed a few times to take him out this has now stopped as I am kept at the front door she has now reverted to not answering the door or telephone he has only biological grandfather in his life (self) and enjoys himself when he is with me I think that there is some jealousy that he can have some fun I don’t treat this as a competition just for the little boy to have a happy life and know his true grandparentd

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      You should make an application in your local district court for access.

  20. Catherine says :

    Hello. My son stopped paying me rent which led to a argument and he moved out ,my grandson is one and has artherphysois since his birth I have gone to every hospital appointment with him and his mother,we also mind him when ever they where out and went away know my son won’t allow us to see him he told his partner the baby mother not to bring him to us either,his mother won’t answere any of my messages when I require how he is ,he had a operation today and we have asked how it went and if he is ok with still no reply,I went with her when he had his last two operations , I miss my grandson so much and he is our first as well . We do so much work with him and he has come on so well from it , what can I do my son just keeps calling me names and has told his partners daughter to call me names who is only two /half years old

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      The law recognises and acknowledges the importance of grandparents in the lives of children and therefore has made available a mechanism to apply to the district court for access. This is an avenue which you should consider.

  21. Naomi says :


    My son is 6 and his father and I have not been a couple since I became pregnant with our son. I have sole guardianship and custody, and he has access based on an ongoing informal arrangement between us. On two separate occasions in 2015 (May and September) our son, then 5, alleged that his paternal uncle physically abused him while visiting the paternal family home, which is several hours drive away. The paternal uncle lives in the family home with the paternal grandparents. The paternal uncle bullied my son’s father throughout childhood and into adulthood.

    After the first alleged abusive incident, my son’s father told me he would never leave our son alone with our son’s uncle again. However, he did leave him alone again and the second incident occurred. I feel there is an unhealthy family dynamic at play which means that the paternal uncle’s abusive behaviours are not curbed or addressed appropriately.

    After the second incident I prohibited further contact, which enraged my son’s father since it means that our son can no longer visit the paternal family home if his paternal uncle is there. I reported the matter over the phone to Tusla, but they did not investigate it as they said I had taken proactive and caring measures by preventing further contact.

    My son’s father and I were in mediation this spring and the mediation service submitted a report regarding the alleged abuse to Tusla as they felt it was wrong that Tusla hadn’t investigated and are bound by child protection legislation to make such reports when they have been made aware of alleged child abuse. Tusla again declined to investigate but this time they put their decline in writing. Unfortunately they did not CC the letter and I was unaware that my son’s father had also received this letter.

    Last month he facilitated access between my son and the paternal uncle at the family home without telling me or our son in advance. He justified his action by referring to the Tusla letter. I had previously explained to our son that in order to keep him safe, I would not be allowing his uncle to see him anymore.

    Both the 2 alleged incidents of abuse plus the recent unauthorised contact have had negative effects on our son, including his being scared at bedtime, waking in the night distressed, and seeking reassurance that he did the right thing by telling me what his uncle did to him and that he saw his uncle again.

    I wrote to my son’s father at the start of this month asserting my legal right to prohibit further contact. In the letter I also reminded him that I have no issue with any other member of his family having contact with our son, and invited him back to mediation to discuss how this can be facilitated. To date he has not acknowledged my letter.

    The uncle has not been charged or found guilty of anything, but I feel there are multiple warning signs for potential future abuse and I feel that prohibiting further contact is a necessary preventative measure. If my son’s paternal grandparents seek access to my son based on the precendent that is already there regarding them having access to him in their home, what are the chances that a judge will grant access considering the allegedly abusive uncle lives in their home? Would a judge grant access with the stipulation that the paternal uncle not be present?

    Thank you very much.

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      This is a very difficult and sensitive question which is probably more properly addressed to your solicitor. I can only offer the opinion that if the facts are set out are accepted by a court that it would be unlikely that the court would not impose conditions for the protection of the child while at the same time facilitating access to the father.

  22. Kris says :


    My daughter split with he rpartner and father of their 5 yo daughter few months after the baby was born due to his abusive, violent behaviour. After that he applied to the Court to granted him legal rights to custody over the child; he also said he would not agree the child would leave Ireland with her mother (my daughter wanted to go back to Poland since she had a job and flat to live over there); as for child support he said he can pay not more than 30 euros a week. His parents tried to get the child taken from my daughter claiming she does not have proper housing conditions to take care of the child (she was in the women’s refuge at that time for she had left her partner after he physically abused her) In the Court the Judge gave him the right to take the baby (now 5 yrs old) for every weekend plus once a month he can take her with him for the whole week. His parents lives in the same town as he lives and basically when the child is taken with him, the child spends most of the time with grandparents since they cook for her, they have other people coming with their kids to visit them and to play with her etc. Now my granddaughter goes to school since she started the school this year and they can’t take her as often and for that long as it used to be – or they would have to drive 30 km to drive her to school every day (and pick her up after the school) while she stays with them. Since the moment the child went to school she has started to come back home – after visiting her father and grandparents – and she keeps saying to her Mom (my daughter) that she treats her bad, she preffer to be with the father and grandparents (his parents) since he allows her to play on the phone and let her watch cartoons all the time when she wants and that she has better better toys there. She also started to ask why they are not living together and that she wants them to be together again since “this is the way mother and father should live”; definitevely not a sentence made up by 5 yrs old child; later she admitted it was something “grandma told me”. She also says that the father of the child wants them to move to his house or he could move to their house but “Mommy does not want that” His parents started to buy lots of toys and things like that for the child and keeps saying to her that her Mom is not treating her well but they do. My daughter can’t afford to buy expensive toys as they are buying and she told the father she’d apply to raise the child support he pays every week (which is 30 euros) for since when the child went to school there is much more expenses she must cover which is more and more difficult to her and she wants him to take more financial responsibilities on him. But she was told by the mother of the father that if she would ever do that THEY would go to the Court to get more access to the child for themselves. Now they see the child on every weekend and every time the father takes her. I am living in Dublin, my daughter in Waterford, I am working and have little time to visit my daughter and granddaughter on other occasions than on weekends; since the child on every weekend is taken by the father and spends the time with him and his parents most of the time I see my granddaughter is on Holidays – most of the time it is during Christmas or Easter, but if the parents of the father would go to the Court to get more access to the child I will not have a chance to spend any time with the child even on those Holidays. So I have two questions: is there anything I could do to secure some time I could meet my granddaughter? Should I go to the Court and ask the Judge to secure a time we – my granddaughter and I could spend together on Holidays?

    thanks (sorry for my english)

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      This is always going to be a problematic situation for a Court to deal with when you live at a distance from your granddaughter. A Court is unlikely to reduce the access to the father in order to accommodate your situation. I believe your suggestion about trying to spend time with her during the holidays is the most workable solution and one that might impress a judge .

  23. Jon says :

    I have a question regarding extended family access to my children. The mother is being extraordinarily obstructive and is not allowing any contact with extended family who previously had a good relationship with the children. My sister (the childrens aunt) and my parents (the childrens grandparents) are seeking to gain access through the courts under the new bill. The children live here in Ireland and the extended family in the UK. They are seeking perhaps a week once a year to take them on holiday or perhaps a weekend. Also to be able to have gifts delivered to the children such as christmas and birthday presents. This was commonplace until the break up and all involved are well respected members of the community with responsible jobs and a history of relationships with the children. I would appreciate your views on the chance of them being allowed take them to the uk on access and also if you could advise which court form I need to download to start proceedings. (The courts site is less than helpful)

    Many thanks and kind regards.

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      My view is that they should have a good chance of getting access subject to the logistics being worked out .

      The application needs to be made in the District Court where the children reside and I would suggest employing a soliditor to make the application.

  24. Emma says :

    My daughter in law does it want our grandchildren around her parents as they are abusive. They allow the children act out in very bold manner & fill them with sugar . Because they buy them sweets and allow them do as they wish / the children want to go there.
    There is members of the family taking drugs & it is not a safe environment at all. These grandparents have now applied for access . How can we stop this without proof . The children would be in danger .

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      I can only make general observations : All allegations would have to be accepted by a judge as facts before they are usually influential in any orders made. If a child is in danger , the Court will act in the best interests of the child in framing an order. It is a matter for the parent with custody to deal with access.

  25. Catherine says :

    Hello, my nephews are in care, I’m living in England but am from Ireland. Do I have any rights to see my nephews? I havent met one of them and the other was 2 when I last saw him. They 8 and 9 now

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      I would be surprised if the HSE would not be amenable to facilitating you seeing them. But I would need to know all the details to give a more detailed answer.

  26. Bridget Gallagher says :

    I am a grandmother now living in Republic of Ireland upon retirement with my husband of 45 years . Unfortunately my eldest daughter marriage broke down and her then husband (now ex through divorcing) went on in his life and moved in with his partner who had her own home and then telephoned their rental agents and requested to be removed from their existing tenancy agreement ( in effect abandoning his family i.e. wife and their w small daughters aged 4 years and 1 year of age)

    My husband her father and l made every effort to support them emotionally and financially in any way required . My daughter was/is now in effect classed as a single mum (fortunately she received financial support from social services together with instigating through Court maintainable for his 2 daughters and a small spousal maintenance payment was also agreed at the time following their divorce)

    However when we decided to retire to Ireland last year we also supported our daughter and her new first partner and made arrangements for them to move to Scotland where we all have a large support network. When her ex husband learned of this he went to Court to gain full access for his daughters as he maintained he could not have regular access. They are now living with their father his partner and her son (who is a couple of months older than my eldest granddaughter) Their father agreed through family court that he would support their daughters through having them confirmed (February) and Supporting youngest daughter first holy communion (June).

    My oldest daughter is very unhappy as although he confirmed in February she has a placement for secondary school being Roman Catholic he has since turned down this placement much to her devastation and they are now sending her to the secondary school where they are sending his partners son. I do not feel this is correctly respecting the criteria for his daughters religious education. He himself and his brother were brought up a catholic his mother was also catholic and both attended the Roman Catholic secondary school he has refused to allow his daughter now to attend. (all very sad)

    Their daughters did attend a catholic primary school and when father gained custody of them he withdrew them from this school leaving their friends clubs etc. my oldest grandchild has had great difficulty making these adjustments in her young life and l feel is closing down in her communication as she has no voice as no respect has been shown to her as to what she feels she needs in her life. I am very concerned to see this happening. Although girls still have regular access with my daughter she feels helpless to fix anything as their father has a good salary and is more than happy to spend this if necessary through Courts to have his daughters live with his new little family. We are not in same position as now retired and have no … way to offer support to them in this situ

    My daughter has since moved up to Yorkshire to make sure she has regular access to her daughters ( as Solihull is very expensive area to live in where my daughter girls and ourselves resided previously up to last year

    Would love to have your opinion regarding above as a grandmother l personally feel my daughter should never have lost custody of her daughters as we had made full arrangements in supporting rental accommodation in area (St. Ninians) (schools accepted them on role) where girls would be attending one of the best (if not the best) Roman Catholic secondary schools in Scotland where we have several loving responsible adult family members relatives and friends to support and provide a loving secure environment for their wellbeing in their future lives living as a happy family

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      Bridget, I have considerable sympathy for you as a grandparent but feel that my opinion as an Irish lawyer in a UK case is of little value. The best is can offer is that in any Court it is usually down to the evidence offered and the attitude of the Judge – neither of which it is possible to assess without being there.

  27. Carol says :

    Hi John my daughter has addiction issues and mental health. At the moment she is in hospital and will be giving birth to her first child next week. Athough she has been in a treatment centre and will go back after her baby is born. There is a creche for childreen there also which is great. So mother and baby can stay togeather. Social services will be going into the hospital this week to asscess if my daughters is mentally able to take care of her baby. My daughters mental health is very stressed at the moment as she is so worried that they will take her baby.
    The treatment centre she was in couldnt tackle her mental health as she is on 70 mls of methadone. After her baby is born the will detox her
    off the methadone and then she can be treated for her mental health. We as her parents are very worried they may take her baby which
    will send her back on the streets drinking and useing drugs. Can we step in and care for our grandchild for the period of time it takes her
    to go back to the treatment centre and continue with her programme. Then they can help her with ther mental health. Regards Carol

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      Carol, if the Social Services are involved I would suggest that you talk to them and offer the option of you caring for your grandchild. I hope it works out for all of you .

  28. Maria says :

    Hi I would like to know what our chances are as grandparents of getting access to see the children once a week. My son and his wife have stopped us from seeing them because I sometimes take the children to a shop and they help themselves but they have no evidence of this my husband has made remarks on the grandson when hes playing with his sister he calls him gay or a little girl but it’s only a joke. The children dont want to see us well this is what they say we have a court date in November if there’s no evidence will the court grant us the access?

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      As a general rule , a court will rely on evidence rather than hearsay to make a decision. Also, Courts usually favour some access over no access.

  29. Sharon Browne says :

    Hi situation is very complex but i will try to keep it as brief as i can. My partners parents are in dire straits at the moment because of their violent alchoholic son.
    Him and his girlfriend were on the run from the gardai about 5 years ago as he has over 80 convictions against him. They travelled to Wales with their then , 3 young children towing a caravan. They neglected their children and left them alone in a house to fend for themselves while they were drinking. The neighbours alerted the police and the children were put into care.
    My partners parents went to court in Wales and won guardianship of the two younger kids. (The other child was not their grandchild.)
    The childrens mother was given 3 supervised visits per year from that point on.
    They moved back to Ireland a year later and have been terrorising the grandparents ever since.There has been 2 barring orders broken. He is out on appeal, drinking on the streets.
    They have a violent relationship. They were granted visits with the children recently by a judge that should have ordered a social workers assesment of the home. All the doors in the home are broken from fights.
    The children are at risk while on the visits. There is no help for the grandparents or the kid’s.
    The kids are scared of them. Its all being handled very badly.
    My partner is also the childrens legal guardian as it was granted in the high court in Wales.
    Please if you have any advice i would realy appreciate it.


    1. John M. Lynch says :

      Sharon, it is a very tragic situation. I am afraid I am at loss to offer any advice that would help a situation that seems out of control .

  30. Susie Knights says :

    My partner parents asked to have my son overnight, I said no. They then asked if they could take him out without me or my partner there for a couple hours, I said No. They then threatened to take me to court. I have never said they can’t see my son, I have just said they can’t see him without me there. If they did take me to court would they be aloud unsupervised access to my son? I don’t trust them neither does my partner and his mother had all her children taken into care and his step dad has never had children. They can see him as long as me or my partner are present

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      If a Court is satisfied that unsupervised access is a risk to a child, then it would be unlikely to grant such unsupervised access on a first application. However, it is a matter of evidence at a hearing.

  31. patricia says :

    Hi john my sons ex has stopped us seeing our 2 and a half year old grandson,they split up in september 2018 ,my son was stupid and damaged her car after a fight and he has left ireland now as he doesnt want to get arrested but she told us if we dont pay for car damages he cant see us her new boyfriend told us the same . that we wont be seeing our grandchild if we dont pay up , also she says that the child has to forget us as he would be looking for his dad we used to have my grandson for 40 hours and more weekly and we are all heartbroken.we dont have money to give could you pleas give us some advice thank you

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      As grandparents, you can make an application for access to the District Court. You should consult a local solicitor who will make the application for you.

  32. Bernie says :

    When grandparents have tried to see their grandson, including text messages, phone calls, written letters, but no replies, what next can they do?

    1. John M. Lynch says :

      Apply to your local District Court for an order for access.