Friday 15 November 2019

Register of Donor Conceived Person To Address Issues Related to Birth Registration.

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has signed the commencement orders and regulations for Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015.
Regulations under Parts 2 and 3 of the Act will come into effect on 5 May 2020.
Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 are the responsibility of the Minister for Health, are concerned with the rights of children conceived through the use of donor embryos or gametes.
These rights are provided for in Parts 2 and 3 of the Act by:
Clarifying the legal parentage of donor-conceived children.
Ensuring that all parties to a donor-assisted human reproduction procedure have provided their consent and are aware of their rights and responsibilities;
The donor-conceived child’s right in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to know his or her genetic identity
The vindication of this right will be achieved through the prohibition of anonymous gamete and embryo donation and by the establishment of a National Donor-Conceived Person Register. The Register will enable a donor-conceived child who has reached the age of 18 to access personal "identifying" information on the relevant donor and any genetic donor-conceived siblings she or he may have and, if she or he so wishes, to seek to contact those individuals.
Commencement of Parts 2 and 3 will also clarify the legal position of all parties involved in a donor assisted human reproductive procedures carried out in the State, but particularly the children born from such procedures. These provisions apply to heterosexual couples, female same-sex couples and single woman undergoing a DAHR procedure.
Minister Harris said:
"Today is a very significant day. This is something many people have waited a long time for and I am so pleased we are in a position to sign the regulations and confirm the start date.
There are other areas we need to work on and I am determined to work with advocacy groups to further evolve our legislation in this area."
The Regulations signed today, include a declaration of parentage regulation and a certification regulation which for the first time allows the intending mother of a donor conceived child, that is the woman who gives birth to the child, to name their spouse, civil partner or co-habitant as the second parent of the child, subject to consent of both parties. A parent under this section shall have all parental rights and duties in respect of the child. The donor of a gamete or embryo shall not be a parent of that child and shall have no parental rights or duties in respect of that child.
Section 20 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provides for female same sex couples who already have a child together to seek a retrospective declaration of parentage through the courts in situations where one of the women involved is the birth mother of the child born following a donor assisted human reproduction procedure where the donor was unknown.
As the Children and Family Relationships Act specifically relates to procedures where the intending mother is also the birth mother the Act does not encompass surrogacy.
The General Scheme for Assisted Human Reproduction will make provision for non-commercial surrogacy in Ireland and heterosexual couples, female and male same sex couples, and single people can avail of these arrangements if they meet the criteria set out in the legislation. The Scheme also sets out a court-based mechanism through which the parentage of a child born through surrogacy may be transferred from the surrogate (and her husband, if applicable) to the intending parent(s).
The commencement of Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 is a significant step forward in the area of donor assisted human reproduction in regard to non-anonymous donation, donor registries and legal clarify on parental rights for all parties involved. However, there is no specific legislation governing the broader complex and rapidly evolving area of assisted human reproduction. The forthcoming legislation on assisted human reproduction will provide this regulation with the intention to protect, promote and ensure the health and safety of parents, others involved in the process (such as donors and surrogate mothers) and, most importantly, the children who will be born as a result of assisted human reproduction.

Civil Registration Service 2018 Report: Irish Births Deaths & Marriages Now

Photo: Minister for Employment & Social Protection Regina Doherty
Births, deaths, no mention of taxes but at least one reference to Brexit - the 2018 Annual Report of the Civil Registration Service has offered an insight into how we live, how we get married and much more besides.
According to the report, 115,286 life events were registered last year, slightly fewer than in previous years. There has been a gradual fall in the number of birth registrations recorded in recent years to 61,901 last year and a rise in the number of deaths registered over the same period, to 32,029 in 2018.
According to the report: "Births registered in 2018 were some one-fifth less than the number registered in 2008."
Also relating to birth certificates, there were 3,842 corrections made to the register of live births last year, mostly due to removal of father's details as it was proven the name registered was not that of the actual biological father, cases where the identity of parents needed to be regularised under Irish law, or where other elements needed correction.
There was also a small number of late registrations and according to the report: "There was also an upswing in applications to regularise birth records in the run-up to and following the UK's decision to exit the European Union following the referendum in June 2016."
The report also shows there were 81 domestic adoptions last year - up 28% on the figure for 2017 - and that last year saw 28 adoptions of a child by a partner under the terms of the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017. There were also 75 new entries in the Register of Gender Recognition last year, including of two people under the age of 18.
As for marriages, the number of religious marriages fell again to 12,760 and according to the report:
It also shows that 10% of all marriages were conducted by a secular body, more than double the comparable percentage in 2014.
More than 90% of all marriages involved at least one Irish national; while the number of same-sex marriages fell for the third consecutive year to 664. As recently as 2016 more than 1,000 same-sex marriages were registered.
No objections to marriage were received last year but there were 1,732 notifications of intention to marry in 2018 under legislation aimed at preventing so-called 'marriages of convenience'. That figure is almost half of the comparable figure in 2015 and 65% of the marriages at the centre of those notifications to registrars went ahead - a lower percentage than in previous years.
On the other side of the marital coin, 979 foreign divorces were recognised last year, while the number of registered solemnisers continues to grow, with 5,828 people in a position to oversee ceremonies as of last year, the vast majority of whom are religious solemnisers.
As for the 32,029 deaths registered last year, 29% were on foot of a coroner's certificate - a percentage that has "risen significantly over the years".
The report also reveals that two customer complaints were made to the Ombudsman during 2018 - one relating to a refusal of a registrar to change particulars of a birth registration, the second relating to someone seeking recognition of a foreign divorce who was unable to contact their ex-spouse.

Paid Maternity & Paternity Leave in Ireland To Be Extended By Two Weeks

PARENTS WILL SOON be able to avail of two weeks extra maternity or paternity leave.
New legislation will provide for extra paid parental leave for each parent of a child who is born, or adopted, from 1 November 2019.
The Bill was published by Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty, and Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton.
The changes were flagged back in April.
The government has estimated that up to 60,000 people could benefit from the scheme in a full year. In both 2017 and 2018, almost 25,000 new fathers availed of the newly established two-week paid paternity leave scheme.
Speaking about the new legislation, Flanagan said: “Having a new baby is a magical time, but it can also be very challenging. We want to support parents and help give them more opportunities to spend time with their children.”
Doherty said the legislation will provide for paid parental leave for each parent of a child under one, who is an employee or self-employed.
“This payment is in addition to existing maternity, paternity and adoptive leave entitlements. It will provide working parents with a further opportunity to spend more time with their new baby during its first year which is of particular importance,” she stated.
Stanton added that the government intends to increase the paid leave available to new parents over time.
The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Bill is due to be brought before the Seanad in the coming weeks, with passage through both Houses of the Oireachtas expected before 1 November.

 Source: The Journal

Maid of Honor shows up to wedding in T. Rex Costume after being told she could wear anything

A bride didn't exactly know what she was getting herself into when she told her bridesmaids they could wear anything to the wedding.
Her sister and maid of honor, Christina Meador, took "anything" quite literally and donned a dinosaur costume for the big day.
Meador shared a photo of herself in the full Tyrannosaurus rex ensemble, holding a flower bouquet and standing by her big sister Deanna Adams, on Facebook on Aug. 10 where it blew up with thousands of likes, shares and comments. 
"When you're maid of honor and told you can wear anything you choose...I regret nothing," Meador captioned her photo.
She told the Daily Mail her sister asked her to be maid of honor last year and tried to make the entire process as simple as possible so she could participate.
"She, knowing that I'm not a big fan of wearing formal dresses and that I probably wouldn't have a lot of money to buy something really nice, reassured me by letting me know that I could pick out any outfit that I choose," Meador told the newspaper. 
The 38-year-old said she wanted to pick an outfit that she would wear after the wedding as well.
"Well, she did say anything, and if I'm spending more than $50, I want it to be a dinosaur costume, because they're fantastic, and I've always wanted one," Meador said. 
She sent Adams a text to let her know and was surprised to find out that she "was OK with it." 
On the day of the wedding, Meador gave her sister multiple opportunities to back out of letting her wear the T. rex costume, but the dino was a go.
Though Meador's outfit received a lot of praise, there were some negative comments, but Adams came to her sister's defense.
"It's not a joke, it's a giant middle finger at spending thousands of dollars and putting ungodly amounts of pressure on ourselves just to please a bunch of people who, in the end, only want free food and drinks," Adams wrote in response to a critical post. "My sister is awesome and I genuinely was not kidding when I said she could wear whatever she wanted."
Source: USA Today

Medieval Dublin: Small, Smelly, Busy & Holy

In late medieval times, walled Dublin was very small, confined to the area between Merchant’s Quay and Wood Quay and inland for 300-400 metres to include the area around Christ Church and Dublin Castle. Dublin had suburbs outside the walls, along today’s Dame Street to College Green, around St Patrick’s Cathedral, along Thomas Street and James’s Street, and across the Liffey in Oxmantown.
Dublin had a notorious hygiene problem caused by human and animal waste. Henry VII learned that “pestilential exhalations” hung over his city of Dublin, preventing his administrators reaching Dublin Castle and visitors coming to the city. In the early 16th century Dublin city authority continued to fight a losing battle with the disposal of waste.
Late medieval Dublin had an impressive water supply service set up in about 1250, by which the river Poddle, re-energised by water diverted from the Dodder, delivered 2.7 million litres into the city every day. While the supply was regularly under threat from polluting animals and fishers who interfered with the water course, it was patrolled by bailiffs and overall it worked well.
The Liffey estuary and Dublin bay was always badly silted and ships setting out from the quays to sail to Chester found it tricky to get out of the estuary and the bay until they had “clear road” at Poolbeg. The problem was never solved until ships’ berthage was moved east of the city in modern times.
Most job opportunities came from the craft guilds – training for a boy or girl over seven years leading to qualification in a craft such as merchant, miller, tailor, sadler, butcher, smith or tanner. Training in about 50 such trades was available in Dublin provided the apprentice could pay the registration fees. Not to diminish the crafts which needed both manual dexterity and intelligence, other work could be done that was more intellectually-based – clerk, secretary, scribe, legal notary, lawyer, clergyman. To enter these employments required education in Dublin where there were very few schools, or education abroad in an English university. In both cases a prerequisite was family financial support.
Without a recognised skill one could work occasionally as a labourer, but there was the danger of falling through the social net and relying on begging. These beggars were not welcome in Dublin (beggars specifically being named as persons who must leave the city). Those in serious poverty could enter the hospital of St John near Thomas Street, the institute having 113 beds in 1373 and 50 beds in 1539.
In business, everyone had debtors and creditors and agreed a date of settlement. If a dispute arose, merchants had access to a merchants’ court where quick decisions were made by the justice often within an hour of the disputants entering the court. These courts were called pie powder courts (pie poudré, French) or “dusty feet” courts, a reminder that those who used the court were busy merchants on the move who had come into court off the street in their travelling clothes.
Final settlements with debtors and creditors came at the time of death when one’s will was processed. Debtors and creditors would normally reside 5-10km from the testator, but mayhave been located 15km distant. At his death, John Mold of Malahide had debts to pay across the Irish Sea in Conway (Wales) and in Bristol.
Late medieval Dublin had a symbiotic relationship with Chester, Dublin merchants bringing goods to the city in the mid-15th and early-16th century. Dublin exported skins, hides, fish and textiles to Chester and brought back local salt and continental goods. Merchants frequently sailed for Chester, but also regularly used factors or on-board agents to bring their goods across the Irish Sea. John Wilkynson was such a person, working for 25 merchants out of Dublin, Howth and Drogheda, making 39 agreements with them, and sailing 5,000 miles in one year. Christina Clerke also worked as a factor out of Dublin and sailed over 1,000 miles in a year.

Trade in Dublin was regulated by the city’s authority so that everyone involved would make a reasonable profit and that the system would be fair to all. The authority also concerned itself with maintaining standards of hygiene in the fish and meat trade, and in particular with the regulation of supplies of ale, cereals, fish and meat. The authority’s greatest fear was
that the city, largely occupied by non food-producers, would run short of cereals in winter.
On occasions, it was forced to search barns in the city to find stockpiles of grain and put them on the market to avoid famine in the city.
The traditional church was loved by the laity, despite the strict regime in which sinners were publicly denounced on Sundays and those who ignored the church in legal matters were excommunicated. Church authorities visited monasteries and convents and pointed out their failings. While expensive indulgences were occasionally preached, at parish level income from indulgence offerings seems to have been modest enough. There was a long tradition in the medieval church of devotion to Our Lady and of praying to her as an intermediary. The
laity regarded as most sacred the moment of consecration in the Mass and were capable of developing a personal relationship with the crucified Christ.
The church changed most significantly in the late medieval period – the laity could arrange for Masses to be said with their chosen selection of readings, at times and for reasons required by their lay religious group (chantry), and lay proctors (churchwardens) were elected by the laity at parish level to run the parish in all material matters. In the late medieval period, the laity began to pray before images of saints rather than solely before relics as heretofore.
When the Reformation came to Dublin in the late 1530s, offerings at shrines were stolen by the state (£500,000 in today’s money) in Dublin city and county, monasteries were closed and buildings, lands and leases were confiscated and redistributed. Government officers sought and received monastic buildings at Celbridge, Grace Dieu and Holmpatrick, Co Dublin. Some monastic buildings were used by lawyers (King’s Inns) and for the storage of munitions. Liturgical books were censored, references to relics, Thomas Becket and the Pope being excised.
Source : Social Life in Pre-Reformation Dublin, 1450-1540 by Peadar Slattery is published by Four Courts Press.
Extracts from The Irish Times.

The Missing: Bill Ends 7 Year Wait for Presumption of Death

CHARLIE FLANAGAN HAS welcomed the passing of a new law which allows the families of missing people to declare them as dead. 
The Civil Law (Presumption of Death) Bill, which was passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas on the 3rd July, provides for the establishment of a register of presumed deaths – meaning families will no longer have to wait seven years to deal with estates.
Speaking after the Bill completed its final stages in the Seanad, the Minister for Justice and Equality said: “The families of missing persons often feel like they are living in limbo.
“I hope that the Bill we have passed today will give them some measure of much-needed closure by enabling them to put the affairs of their missing loved ones in order.”
The Bill will allow the families of missing people to apply for a ‘presumption of death order’. This order has the same effect in law as the registration of a death under the Civil Registration Act 2004.
In practical terms, this means that the estate of the missing person can be administered and the missing person’s financial and property affairs can be managed and put in order.
The legislation also provides that a presumption of death order has the effect of bringing a marriage or civil partnership with the missing person to an end.
The Bill had cross-party support and Flanagan acknowledged “the positive and collaborative approach” taken by government and the Bill’s sponsors, senators Marie-Louise O’Donnell, Lynn Ruane and Colm Burke.

 Source: The Journal

Long Gone Occupations Revealed in Irish Deaths Records from 1878 Available Free Online

This summer a further tranche of Ireland’s historical Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths records have now been made available to view free online at
Births are available already from 1864 to 1918 and marriages from 1864 to 1943; and now death records ranging from 1878 to 1968 have been added to the free website.
 Included are the November 30th, 1967 death certificate for poet Patrick Kavanagh and for his nemesis Brendan Behan, who died on March 20th, 1964.
 This digitisation process is part of a joint initiative by the Departments of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
 The records were prepared and uploaded by the Civil Registration Service and officials from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
 Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan described this addition of further years of historic registers of births, marriages and deaths as “an exciting development in family history research for Irish people here and all Irish descendants around the world.”
 She noted how “since this online service became available in 2016 over 2.1 million visitors to the website have viewed these records.”
 Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty described the Civil Registration Service as “one of the State’s essential services and one of the greatest resources for those establishing their family histories. Providing this open and free access to older records and register entries will further support the efforts of many family historians throughout the world”.
 Research by the has established how these historic registers show that many of our ancestors’ jobs have become extinct.
 Included would be that including a snob, someone who repaired shoes; a knocker upper, whose job was to tap on the windows of workers to wake them for work ;and rat catchers who, as the name suggests, had a job catching rats in a specific area.
 Also gone is the job of lamp-lighter, responsible for lighting and extinguishing street lamps around cities and towns; the linotype operator, who used hot metal to produce the daily newspaper; elevator opeator; fishwife - a woman who sold fish; town crier, who shouted news at street corners; and, a tweenie or junior domestic maid who helped older housemaids and cooks.