No Translator, No Lawyer, No Money No Hope for Father
From: The Dads House Forum
Via: The Honor Network
Priority News Exchange Program News Item (PNEP)
John Marques, the father who was jailed for 3 months last July after a maintenance order beyond his means was imposed on him by the Family Law Courts, has been jailed again yesterday, by Judge Mary Martin at Carlow District Court, and is being held in Cloverhill Prison in Dublin.
Mr. Marques lost his job after been incarcerated in Mountjoy, and has been unable to find work due to the fact that he is still on bail waiting for the Circuit Court to set a date to hear the appeal of the maintenance order and his subsequent detention.
Mr. Marque’s case made media attention last summer as he was held in a holding cell along with 14 other prisoners in a 3 meter by 3 meter cell along with Gary Douch murder suspect Stephen Egan. After he was unable to pay a maintenance order for 3 children of which only one was his biological child. The other children were previously adopted by another man.
“I spoke with John this morning and he is really fearful for his life being back in prison, those memories of the horror of Mountjoy have not left him and he is scared.” Said Donnacha Murphy, Chairman of The Unmarried Fathers Of Ireland. “I was there in the Court House yesterday, and the Judge had no regard for the circumstances of his case. He is on bail pending an appeal, and the reason for the delay is the Court Service cannot determine if the case is a matter for the Family Law Courts or for the criminal Court. It is clearly Criminal, if the man received a conviction.
“In the Court”, Mr. Murphy said, “ the Judge refused Mr. Marques, who is Portuguese access to a solicitor and refused permission legal Aid and for a translator. I saw 3 other non-nationals detained without appropriate legal advice and they clearly had no idea what was happing, as they were refused a translator. It is clearly not in line with the principles which govern the administration of justice, and our legal system is clearly breaching the rights of non-nationals, who have constitutional protection in this country”
“Sentencing a Father to a prison term, not because he did not want to pay, but because ha was unable to pay the maintenance order, due to the fact the actions of the courts placed Mr. Marques in the position he is in, by labeling him a criminal, is the most grotesque abuses of a human right, and clearly emphasis the need to repeal our family law system.”
For Further Information Contact Donnacha Murphy
Chairman of The Unmarried Fathers of Ireland