A couple of years ago in January I wrote a post on likely developments in Ireland in the New Year which, if I recall correctly, had the expression “High Hopes” in the title. Those hopes related primarily to the publication of a new, comprehensive piece of legislation on mediation and the impact it might have…

At this time of annual reflection, I always feel it is worth looking back and picking out some of the better readings and materials I have come across over the past number of months. My father recently said he wished he had been in possession of a wheel barrow when visiting Harvard University’s bookstore, and…

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” (Nelson Mandela) The inspiration for this piece has come from a two very different sources. First the extraordinary event that was the World Conflict Resolution Day conference in Stafford in October which focused on children and…

Never one to turn down the opportunity to try out new technological developments, I was interested to come across software designed to assist in formulating parenting plans earlier this year. This may sound rather “out there” to many mediators, so bear with me while I try to set out how it works and how I…

The weekend past saw Irish and international conflict resolution professionals gather in the (sunny!) leafy setting of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth for a conference entitled “Where next? Creative Responses to Conflict through Mediation and Restorative Practice”. With an ambitious broad ambit, the conference features no less than 60 speakers, presenting on an enormous…

“When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.” (Nietzsche) Relationship breakdown and the resulting fall-out is an abyss most people do not like to look into, even as they tumble into it. As family mediators, our job is to accompany and support people’s navigation into, through and, hopefully, out of the abyss…

At the risk of being accused of being too much of a purist, I just have to have a little grumble about the latest misappropriation of the term mediation. All involved in promoting and encouraging the use of mediation know how one of the largest barriers to people availing of this process is the lack…

The last few weeks have seen a failure to apologise result in a political crisis, a senior police official being forced to resign, and our Minister for Justice’s already wobbly pedestal threaten to give way entirely beneath him. The coming weeks and months will tell whether the “Minister for Borrowed Time” as he has become…