Just allow me a moment Judge, take off these bonds from my utterance and let me speak. After that, I can come back beyond my shadow line of silence and wait.

I, who am the undersigned, I have come here with the specific aim to declare in front of this limited and technical audience to be at full disposal of any of the competent bodies with the sole purpose of ensuring the best interest of my daughter Alicia. In order to achieve such interest, I am ready to take part to the necessary steps to ensure her welfare, in the view of present circumstances and of the recent dramatic events.

This, at the time being, and being myself a neglected father, is as much as I can say.

I am aware that I was not able to establish a constant relationship with my daughter but I am also at peace with my conscience for having tried constantly and hard to be an active part of her life, albeit the physical distance separating us.

Although in the first seven years of my daughter’s life I was granted regular access to my daughter’s house and was therefore able to spend some limited but quality time with her, as the years went by the time and space granted to me by my daughter’s mother were every time more limited and shorter. In more than one occasion I was not allowed to see my daughter although I had come to Ireland with that sole purpose.

Right after I made the application to have the Legal Guardianship granted I was not answered on telephone calls for some months, my daughter was nervous when she saw me, I was not allowed to see her in her house anymore, except for one occasion, in which she was constantly monitored by her mother and her grandmother.

Other attempts at having access or visit resulted in even worst and frustrating disasters, like the time Alicia bursted into tears when I asked what I had done so bad she did not want to spend time with me anymore. At that time, Judge, I kind of felt I had to make a step back. And wait. And so I am still waiting.

I have made attempts to re-establish a relationship with my daughter Alicia at different times and involving different actors, but with extremely poor results. She has just refused to even be at my presence. And still I do not know why. And still I am waiting, Judge, for someone to enlighten me. Everyone of us makes mistakes. Few of us are ready to admit and see them.I have gone through my possible wrongs like you do with the photographs of your past youth, and found some things there indeed. But do I deserve this, really?

After the last attempt at having an access failed in September 2014, I – in accordance with and following the advice of the psychologist appointed by the Court – have decided to take a step back and not insist in claiming that my and my daughter’s right to have a serene relationship was enforced. I haven’t come to Ireland since and have reduced the evening telephone access calls to one or two per month, as per advice received and I have done so in the best interest of my daughter, assuming that the other parent was not fully aware of the damage that was provoking to our daughter with her oppositive behaviour. I have received little if no information at all about my daughter’s life, have never heard her voice on the telephone, except for one single occasion in 28 months, on her 12

There is nothing you can do at the moment says he, Judge, so I haven’t come to Ireland since and have reduced the evening telephone access calls to one or two per month, as per advice received and I have done so in the best interest of my daughter, assuming that the other parent was not fully aware of the damage that was provoking to our daughter with her oppositive behaviour. I have received little if no information at all about my daughter’s life, have never heard her voice on the telephone, except for one single occasion in 28 months, on her 12th birthday last December. She spoke to me in monosyllables, but she did. Boy, I was so happy! Silence again after that. Well, I’m kind of used to it.

Then the breaking news.

Now, always in the light of pursuing the best interest of Alicia, I know the moment has come for me to step in and become the active party in her upbringing I was denied to be so far. As long as I shall be allowed to, this time.

I am therefore more than ready, in full accordance to my wife and family, to take part into the discussion about the possible solutions for her present predicament, including the possibility of obtaining her legal custody.

Myself and my wife are ready to participate in the necessary talks with psychologists, counsellors, social workers and solicitors with the aim of finding the best solution for Alicia.

The undersigned. Me. In the same Castlebar Court I have spent entire days. Waiting. For a word. A nod. A sign. Here. I undersign. Here. Myself I sign.

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