Pat's Answer

As a minor, can I get a barring order against my Dad?

Your Question

Hi Pat, I’m 14, I’ll try to explain my situation a little, my dad is a horrible man in many ways and he does not live with me he lives with his partner. he gives my mam hell and isn’t nice to her in the slightest, the same goes for me and my brother. we all dislike him very much. lately, he has threatened to show up at our schools or home unannounced. He belittles, degrades and basically is a bully towards us over media (texting). he had a court date with my mam to discuss an enforcement order which is in October. he is a terrible man, yes, but he’s not in any way physically abusive thank god. My dad thinks that my mam is ‘influencing’ us to not see him anymore as we haven’t seen him in nearly a year (we used to go over on weekends but then stopped). he has this impression of my mam, even though I have told him time and time again that it was not my mothers choice it was mine. I wanted to get a barring order against him, would I be able to do so as a minor. if not that, is there anything i can do., thanks


Hello you and welcome to Ask Pat,  

Thank you so much for trusting us with your thoughts. We know it can be difficult, but also know how great it is for young people to share their problems. Talking about sharing what is going on for you is a big step forward.  

Everybody deserves to be treated with respect and it is not okay for anybody, regardless of their age, to bully anyone else. When we see or experience bullying behaviour it can be difficult for us to understand. Even more so when this behaviour is coming from a parent or an adult. Whether a family member or our friends, it is important that we feel loved, secure and accepted by those we choose to spend time with in our lives. If someone in your life makes your feel belittle or degraded you do not have to spend time with them. This sounds like a choice that you have already made. This is a very brave step but unfortunately, it sounds like your choice has not been respected.   

Have you ever spoken to a Túsla Social Worker or another trusted adult about your concerns? From what you have said, your parents are involved with the Court system and your question about obtaining a barring order is a legal matter. If you speak with a social worker or a trusted adult, they will be able to support you to have your voice heard in the court system. This can be done by a judge appointing a guardian ad litem. The role of the guardian ad litem would be to reflect your feelings and experiences back to the judge.  

If you would like to, you can contact Túsla – the Child and Family Agency. Their job is to make sure all children and young people in Ireland are safe and looked after. You can find more information about how Túsla can help you on the Changing Futures website. This was created for young people by young people with experience of Túsla services: You will see how to get in touch with Túsla here: – you may need the help of an adult to do this. 

If you do not feel comfortable having this conversation with the adults in your life right now, you can contact Childline anonymously to discuss this with a trained volunteer. If you log onto the Childline website there are 3 ways in which you can talk to us: live message, free text 5010 or free phone 1800 66 66 66. There are some articles on the Childline website which may also help you with the problems you are facing at the moment: ; ; 

Thank you again for getting in touch and sharing how you are feeling. We appreciate how hard it can be to speak out about something that’s concerning you. Mind yourself and know that Childline is here for you whenever you feel you want to share more.  

Take care,  


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