Up to 27 local couples seeking help with their relationships have been left high and dry because Donegal has no family mediator.
Now Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald has been called on to ensure that a full time family mediator is immediately allocated to the Donegal Family Mediation Office based in Letterkenny.
There currently is no mediator in place in the office so no service is being provided.
This has resulted in a growing waiting list for mediation, currently at 27 couples and no new cases have been taken off the list since October 2014.
Deputy Padraig Mac Lochlainn said he was alarmed to learn off this serious situation.
“Family mediation is vital to so many families, particularly when couples separate and there are difficult issues such as the sharing of parenting responsibilities and financial challenges.
“It is also for many, a much more appropriate avenue than the adversarial environment of a court room and with all the cost that can ensue”.
“As Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on Justice and Equality, I have repeatedly advocated for the resourcing and promotion of mediation services for families. I want to see the long delayed Mediation Bill 2012 that would strengthen mediation services, taken through the House of the Oireachtas and enacted. Minister Fitzgerald insists that she shares my determination in this regard.
“I am now calling on the Minister to ensure that a full time family mediator is immediately allocated to the Donegal Family Mediation Office based in Letterkenny to ensure that the growing numbers of families on the waiting list, currently at 27 couples, is urgently addressed and that these families get the support they need”.