Mother learns from unexpected arrival of Gardai to her home

The Alliance of Birthmothers Campaigning for Justice set up in June 2019 is Ireland’s largest advocacy group for mothers who have difficulties with Tusla, the Gardai and the Family Law Courts.

The group is run by a team of volunteers who receive no payment and it’s not state funded.

One of the volunteers writes:

“When Gardai arrive unexpectedly to my home in relation to a family law matter….

I Engage at all times with politeness and curtesy. They are probably acting under instructions from a higher rank.

I don’t react with fear

If Gardaí ask to enter my home, I ask them do they have a warrant.

If they do not have a warrant I talk to them outside.

I Ask them to wait outside.

I Close over the door.

I Stay calm.

I activate my recording device and I get pen and paper.

I know I am acting within the law when I record the Gardaí once I inform them.

When I am sufficiently composed I go back out.

I tell them politely the conversation is being recording.

I Write down the time and date.

I Ask each Garda for their name.

I Ask each Garda for their badge number

I Ask for their ID and match with what they have given me.

I Take plenty of time. I Don’t rush taking details.

I Ask the name and badge number of the sergeant/inspector who sent them.

I Ask for the purpose of their visit.

I Ask for the section in law that the callout refers to.

I Ask why that section in law refers to me.

I Tell them I need to get legal advice.

I Politely terminate the conversation.

I return to my home and I Close the door.

𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑑𝑜 𝐼 𝑑𝑜 𝑖𝑓 𝑎 𝑔𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑎 𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑛𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑚𝑦 𝑜𝑚𝑒?

If a garda rings me and tells me he is on his way to my home…

I Do not give my address to him.

I ask him politely to hold the line for a moment.

I stay calm, breathe deeply and exhale slowly to gain composure.

I activate my recording device.

I return calmly to the call and I speak politely in a low tone.

I tell the Garda I am recording the conversation.

I ask the Garda for their name, rank and badge number; The Name, rank and badge number and the station for the officer above him who requested the phone call.

If I give the Eircode or address of my home it may be classified as an invitation to come to my house.

I Never give Gardaí directions to my home when they ask because this may entitle them to enter my home.

I tell them I need to get legal advice.

I Politely terminate the conversation.

When the call is over, I take a screenshot of the call information: time, duration and phone number.

I write out the transcript of what was said on the recording and attach the call information.

My experience is that when a Garda fails to coerce me into giving my address or Eircode it results in them not arriving at my home.

I share my experience, strength and hope with you which is not to be taken as advice.

We are mothers who are currently experiencing horrendous state abuse spoken about by Deputy Bernard Durkan who has described in the Dáil the forceful removal of our children by the Gardai and said on 23 February 2023 that we “are being subjected to the kind of abuse that was used in prisoner of war camps in years gone by and which is totally alien to the Irish Constitution and justice system and to human rights.”

I will end with a quote from Margaret Mead:

𝑁𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑑𝑜𝑢𝑏𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑎 𝑠𝑚𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑔𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑝 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ𝑡𝑓𝑢𝑙, 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑧𝑒𝑛𝑠 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑; 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑒𝑑, 𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑠