The Future of Ireland

The Last Lecture Series

UCC

2 February 2005           

 

 

 

Science, Technology and the Future of Ireland

 

 

Edward M Walsh

 

 

 

In a lifetime Ireland has transformed itself from being one of the poorest countries in Europe to one of the most affluent.

 

Ireland’s politicians and public servants can take credit for devising, even if with considerable good luck, a strategy that has attracted the world’s most sophisticated corporations and with them the most advanced technologies and scientific know-how the human mind has conceived.  In turn we have demonstrated an ability to quickly learn and transform other people’s ideas into high-quality products.  We have made Ireland the world’s most profitable location for US foreign direct investment and as a result our people have become remarkably rich (in GDP next to Norway and the US, the world’s richest).

 

Successive governments during the past decades can take credit for supporting the stable and consistent policies that provide the sturdy foundations for this remarkable success story.  In difficult times the political temptation to waver has been resisted and the low corporate tax and pro-enterprise policies central to Ireland’s economic success remain firmly in place.

 

But the success story offers no guarantees for Ireland’s future.  Indigenous enterprise has not grown in real terms during the past decade.  We have become rich by processing other people’s ideas, not through creating our own, or new enterprise. Were it not for the presence of US multinationals in Ireland we would still be struggling at the bottom of the EU charts with Greece and Poland. 

 

There is no reason why overseas corporations should stay here in the long-term or even in the short term.  Indeed, those that are labour intensive are already slipping away to the new EU states where labour costs are closer to €5 per hour than €20.

 

The key challenge is to embed without delay the major blue-chip global corporations already in Ireland. The way of achieving this is to provide the talent and build the infrastructure essential for work at the sophisticated end of the spectrum, where labour costs are not a critical factor. Hence the major commitment under the National Development Plan to grow the research and development capabilities both within the academic and within the enterprise communities.  Billions, rather than the millions previously, are now provided under the current Plan. The creation of Science Foundation Ireland, the major research investments of the Higher Education Authority, combined with other initiatives such as the appointment of Ireland’s Chief Scientific Adviser and a new Cabinet Committee chaired by the Taoiseach, have demonstrated Ireland’s commitment to the research agenda and given a strong signal to major foreign corporations that Ireland is determined to establish itself as an attractive European location for corporate innovation and research.

 

While a number of remarkably fine new indigenous companies, particularly in the food area, have been launched and grown into well-established enterprises, these have been the exception.  Ireland has yet to grow a significant base of internationally trading indigenous enterprise that is strong enough to protect Ireland’s future wellbeing.

 

However at present the stark reality remains that we are greatly dependent on those multinational companies that have chosen to locate in Ireland. A good future depends on embedding these companies, by encouraging them to do more innovative work here, while at the same time energetically developing a robust and sophisticated national portfolio of indigenous companies trading internationally.

 

That is the essence of Ireland’s technological and economic development agenda for the decade ahead. If we fail to address it successfully during these ten years, we can expect to commence descent of the ladder of success up which we have come so recently.

 

While economic success may be a necessary requirement for Ireland’s good future it is not a sufficient one. Other factors that contribute become increasingly significant as life and society become more complex.

 

Many who are old enough to remember the poor, emigration-ridden, TB-infested, church-dominated, introverted 1950s of de Valera’s Ireland, know how much better off we are now and what progress has been made since he retreated to the Park in 1959 and Lemass commenced the challenging task of opening Ireland to the world.

 

Some are old enough also to recall the good aspects of life in Ireland that are now lost or endangered as a nouveau riche society rushes ahead with the discernment of an alcoholic in an off-license.

 

The ideal future scenario for Ireland must surely be one in which we continue to enjoy the material benefits of our recently-acquired affluence together with those good aspects of pre-sixties Ireland which are endangered.

 

The pursuit of happiness has not been traditionally favoured as a goal within the Christian tradition. In the context of where we are heading it might be seen as a relatively better national objective than the bald pursuit of increased GDP.

 

Certainly planning for increased gross national happiness (GNH) per capita is much more complex than the simpler pursuit of GDP. It can be argued that provided wealth is generated nationally it is up to the individual to make the most of it and convert this into happiness as each sees fit.

 

To a certain extent this is valid but the onward rush of society towards maximising GDP can eliminate the option for individuals to optimise their own overall happiness.

 

Perhaps the equation

 

          GNH  =  GDP +  QL  , where QL is the Quality of Life

 

might crudely represent what we are after, and considering how Ireland might optimise
                                     

                                         (GDP + QL)

 

would be an interesting if somewhat exotic exercise.

 

To many peoples’ surprise, especially those who commute to work in Dublin, the Economist Intelligence Unit[1] ranks Ireland as the country with the best quality-of-life in the world. Since GDP per capita, adjusted for purchasing power, places Ireland amongst the top four, next to Luxembourg, Norway and the US[2] we could make the claim in 2005 that we already have the world’s highest GNH per capita.

 

This is a good position from which to commence planning the future.

 

But we can neither be complacent about the GDP nor the QL component: both are under threat for different reasons.

 

Extensive analysis has been carried out on how best to keep the GDP statistic pointing north and there is a strong consensus as to what the challenge is and how to go about it.[3]

 

The same cannot be said for the QL component.  It has not been extensively analysed, there are no strategic plans for increasing it and many have concern that it is rapidly heading south.

 

What do we know about the happiness equation? 

 

                             GNH  =  GDP +  QL 

 

The concept of development policies designed to optimise GNH are not altogether theoretical. The State of Bhutan under His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck has pursued the objective for some years.  The King has proclaimed “gross national happiness is more important than gross national product” because “happiness takes precedence over economic prosperity in our national development process”.[4]  This apparently eccentric policy has lead to State regulations that are global anomalies.  For example Bhutan limits the numbers of tourists permitted to visit each year to 7,000 and there is of course great competition amongst the world’s wealthy to secure a visa.  It is unlikely that the King and his administration are moved by more than emotion and intuition in shaping this national policy.

 

The west has produced a certain amount of empirical data in measuring the relative weight of the components of the equation that determines happiness

               

                                     GNH  =  GDP +  QL 

 

A recent poll of Economist.com readers on personal happiness priorities suggests that most of the 3,160 people who participated agreed with King Jigme Singye Wangchuck: they rank material well-being second last in a list of ten criteria as outlined in Figure 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1.  Personal happiness factors[5].   

 

 

A broader pole in Ireland would be likely to produce somewhat different results, but I suspect Health and Family Relations would continue to feature strongly.

 

What should the State make of these findings, without intruding as far as the King of Bhutan, in deciding what is good for us?

 

It should, I believe, not take the eye off the ‘GDP/ knowledge age/ high-tech agenda’ that it has addressed so well; but evolving State priorities, plans and policies should take serious note of those aspect of life that citizens associated with happiness and social well-being.

 

Let us look at the top two

·        Health

·        Family relations

 

Consider what we can learn from those societies that have had a lengthier exposure to our kind of wealth.

 

 

 

 

Health

 

We are ranked 5th in the world in terms of the number of doctors and nurses per inhabitant[6] (we need more consultants but we have more nurses per capita than any other country in the world). Despite the large numbers of people employed in the health system we are ranked by the same report 44th (ahead of India by two points but behind countries like Columbia) in terms of satisfaction with the health system in meeting the needs of society[7].

 

Other countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Spain have addressed problems similar to our own by creating competition and stimulating the private sector.  The recognition is that, while the State can fund a health system, it is unable to run it well.  In many countries it has been found that the quality of the health system improves when the state stimulates private sector competition, withdraws from operating hospitals, and limits itself to issuing licences and monitoring quality. The use of a State-funded voucher system that follows the patient has been shown to have much merit: it creates market competition that holds costs down, improves the quality of service, and gives the patient clout.

 

Government initiatives directed towards stimulating private investment and competition provide encouraging indications that Ireland’s health system may be commencing to move in the right direction.

 

Family

 

In addressing this topic, while I have some practical experience, I am claiming no academic authority (despite the excellent grounding in engineering I received as a student at UCC!). However as a citizen and someone who has spent much of my time since returning to Ireland in 1970 attempting to make it a better place, I have been concerned at the extent to which the good aspects of the Ireland I knew are being eroded and at the extent to which Irish society appears to have become impoverished morally and in spirit as our economy has become more prosperous. The following is my attempt to summarise the data and research findings from a variety of sources, national and international. 

 

Irish family structures have been transformed in 40 years. Women have been liberated. Family size has dropped from an average of four children in 1965 to less than two now.  Both parents working outside the home is the norm and the three-generation family has all but vanished.  The percentage of single parents giving birth has doubled in a decade to more than thirty percent now.[8]

 

While much of this has been of benefit to adults…and especially to women…it is not clear that it has been as beneficial for children.

 

Until now, in the long span of evolutionary time, the typical family consisted of clusters of the clan: parents, children, grandparents, and an assorted collection of relatives that happened to be about.  Parents were busy most of the day but children were cared for directly or indirectly by next-of-kin or neighbours. The intermingling of three generations was the norm: both parents and grandparents transferred know-how and tradition. This process gave grandparents a valued role while children had access to adults, perhaps often with more time than their parents, in whom they could confide. Children could not wander far, even in the large settlements, without being noticed and neighbours felt free to correct if a young person went beyond the mark. The village educated the children, and as they matured they had a sense of belonging. They were disciplined by custom and practice.  There were role models of behaviour that provided a sense of how to participate in society.

 

Wealth, freedom from the constraints of church and clan, career options, commuting parents, children in crèches, mortgages have combined to create new forms of stress, both for Ireland’s parents and their children.

 

A new generation of young people is emerging whose experience of growing up differs radically from any before it. Based on the statistics it would appear that in general this generation might be receiving less attention and discipline, than previous ones. Many pre-teen and teenage children are out of control at school, and teachers are subjected to abuse that would not have been tolerated in the past.

 

Ireland is ranked 51st out of 60 countries for alcohol and drug abuse[9]. There has always been a strong drinking culture in Ireland but now it has spread to younger age groups. The number on methadone maintenance has increased from 150 to 6500 in a decade[10]. Abortion rates in Ireland are estimated to have increased from 4.5% in 1980 to 10% in 2002[11]. The number of reported cases of Chlamydia has increased from 200 in the 90s to 2000 a year with a similar order of magnitude increase in the cases of Syphilis (Figure 2) and HIV.

Source: National Disease Surveillance Centre, Annual Report 2003

 

Figure 2.  Cases of Syphilis in Ireland

Source: National Disease Surveillance Centre, Annual Report, 2003

 

 

The prevalence of Ireland’s treated drug abuse almost trebled in the four-year period from 1998 to 2002[12] and is now reputed to be amongst the highest in Western Europe[13]

 

Studies in the 80s showed that substance abuse among young people in Ireland was moderate compared to that in other countries[14]. Now 20 percent of Dublin’s 14 to 15 year-old children engage in binge drinking.[15]

 

In recent years there has been a growing discipline problem in Irish schools. According to the ASTI

 

Alcohol abuse militates against learning and progress at school as young people try to cope with “hangovers”…

 

And at the 2003 Convention members heard teachers describe the breakdown of discipline in the schools: A of alcohol abuse and there is also an increased likelihood of

“It seems that there is a hierarchy of rights and that those of the well-behaved students are less important than those of the undisciplined students.”

 

Ireland has the second highest per capita consumption of alcohol and the highest rate of youth binge drinking in the EU[16]. According to Minister Mary Hanafin “[alcohol] is not only associated with increased violence and risky sexual behaviour among young people, but also increases the likelihood of developing alcohol dependence later in life.” [17] Of every 100 drinking sessions, 58 end in binge drinking for men and 38 end in binge drinking for women.[18]

 

A Strategic Task Force on Alcohol was set up by Minister Martin in January 2002 and has made a number of useful recommendations. The likely introduction of compulsory biometric identity cards at an early date will assist efforts to control the sale of alcohol to minors, although it is unlikely that these efforts will solve a problem that has deeper roots. 

 

The rapid rise in the incidence of binge-drinking, substance abuse, HIV, juvenile crime, and the many associated social problems appear to represent the symptoms of an immature society that has yet to put in place a suitable framework of values and an awareness of citizen’s responsibilities.

 

The retreat of the Catholic Church, under the cloud of its own sexual scandals, bribery and corruption in politics and the shaming of members of the judiciary and police, have so eroded the standing of public icons, and left such a vacuum, that the traditional value framework of Irish society is rickety indeed.

 

Much of what has happened behind ecclesiastical and political closed doors is now out in the open and people have been shamed. It is now timely to make a fresh start in reconstructing an appropriate new framework of values within which young people can mature and older people can operate.

 

The State cannot do this alone, but it can act as a catalyst, and political leadership can point the way.

 

The State could make a start by identifying and modifying those policies and public programmes that tend to aggravate rather than remedy Ireland’s key social problems.

 

A body of international research and experience in other countries indicates that when there is a significant increase in the formation of lone-parent households in a community it can be expected that undesirable social problems will intensify. As a result other countries, such as the UK and the US, have taken a variety of initiatives during the past decade to discourage the formation of loan-parent families as a key strategy in addressing a variety of social problems[19]. 

 

If experience in other advanced economies is any guide then there should be concern in Ireland at the rapid rate at which lone parent families have been forming during recent decades. The number of female lone parents receiving Lone Parents Allowance from the Department of Social Welfare and Family Affairs was 2,496 in 1975 and is now above 78,000 and rising[20] ( Figure 3). The National

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3   Number of females receiving Lone Parents Allowance, Ireland[21]                     * published estimate, ( ) estimate

 

 

Economic and Social Forum issued a report[22] in 2001 that gives some insight into the characteristics of lone-parent families in Ireland.

 

·        Almost half of lone parents have only primary level education, and they make up less than 2 per cent of those on mainstream training, education and work programmes;

·        Participation by lone parents in the labour force (at about 35 per cent) is well below that in other countries [and the national average]

·        Two-thirds of first-time applicants for the One Parent Family Payment are living with their parents.

 

While Dr. K. McKeown[23] and his colleagues reported that

·        a quarter of all children (24%) do not live in a household containing both their biological parents

 

There is an extensive body of international literature demonstrating that children from lone-parent households are more likely than those from two-parent households to draw the short straw of life.[24] [25]

 

The major study of Smith and Jarjoura of the University of Maryland, involving 11,000 households, found that

 

The percentage of single-parent households with children between the age of 12 and 20 is significantly associated with rates of violent crime and burglary.

and

 

The effect of poverty on burglary rates becomes insignificant and slightly negative

 

Macro studies prior to this had generally failed to drawn a distinction between the nature of the households and level of affluence: poverty tended to be identified as the prime cause of crime. This failure to distinguish between the two is quite prevalent, even in Ireland: surprising given the fact that when poverty was pervasive here violent crime was negligible.

 

A body of international and national research associates lone-parent families or fatherless families with a variety of social problems.

 

·        The rate of child abuse in lone-parent households is claimed to be nearly twice the rate of child abuse in two-parent households[26] [27]

 

·        The child of a lone-parent household is more likely to be a truant and 1.7 times more likely to drop out of school.[28] [29] [30]

 

·        Other studies found that 60 percent of men accused of rape and 72 percent of murder grew up in homes without the biological father[31] [32].

 

 

While it is not established that all these discouraging findings apply in Ireland there is little reason to believe that the situation here is so different that they can be disregarded.

 

In Ireland the lone-parent household phenomenon is relatively new, but the number of lone-female parents receiving State support is growing rapidly, so rapidly in fact that waiting lists for Local Authority housing is increasingly composed of requests from lone-parent families. The proportion is 43 percent nationally and rises to 60 percent in Dublin City[33].

 

Again because of the recent growth of the lone-parent household in Ireland we do not have as much research to draw on as would be desirable: much of the available data is international.  A number of Irish researchers have been doing excellent work, such as those associated with Kieran McKeown Ltd. Their report[34] on family well-being concludes

 

The type of family in which one lives – such as a one- or two-parent household and whether the parents are married, cohabiting, single or separated – has virtually no impact on family well-being.

but

mothers in [one-parent single families] tend to have lower levels of psychological well-being than other parents

and

although fathers exercise less influence than mothers on the well-being of children, even in two-parent families, their supportiveness increases the child’s life satisfaction and reduces their psychological disturbance and is strongly related to the mother’s supportiveness, suggesting that supportive parents may reinforce each other’s supportiveness.

and

Children tend to show fewer signs of psychological disturbance as family income rises. This however is one of the least influential of the direct factors affecting child well-being

 

While the study is welcomed it is generally accepted that the samples are small and more extensive work is required in Ireland.

 

The growing proportion of males isolated from the process of rearing a family is also a cause of concern, Tom O’Dowd, Professor of General Practice at Trinity and a practicing GP writes pungently of his experience in dealing with the lone-parent phenomenon:

 

 

If you drive around [urban blackspots] you will see lots of young girls pushing buggies. They usually travel in groups and you seldom see a male with them. They don’t know it yet but they are a young matriarchy entering a prison all of their own which will keep them and their children in poverty for much of their lives.

 

Most of the kids may have little experience of a father in their lives. The girls often want to become pregnant and we as doctors and nurses subsequently give them plenty of care and attention. The boys want sex and are often surprised when the girl announces her pregnancy. There is no place for them to develop a relationship or a home and he quickly becomes a peripheral figure in both the girl and the baby’s lives.  It is not tasteful to say it but the boy may be reduced to that of a sperm donor and the relationship may break down before the baby is born. Hence the boy never actually gets to experience fatherhood…

 

Taking fathers out of the communities is not good for them or for their communities. It depletes the area of role models and deprives them of opportunities to care and mature…

 

It is hardly surprising that young biological fathers who do not experience the responsibilities of fatherhood remain as immature lads, take risks and get into enough trouble to end up in prison.[35]

 

 

A wide range of social and financial supports click into place once a lone parent emerges. For example an 18 year old who leaves home without means and has a child can expect to get a variety of allowances: a personal allowance of €7,737 per year, plus a child allowance of €1,003, plus the normal child benefit of €1,579 and possibly a rent or mortgage supplement of up to €7800, a fuel allowance of €234, and, if one signs on for unemployment assistance further support emerges.  If eligible for all of these, the annual sum paid by the State could exceed €20,000 per year.  In addition a medical card may be provided, and a confinement allowance of €275 may be paid for each pregnancy. When a second child is born the child benefits double and the maximum rent and mortgage supplement increase to €8840 per year. Lone parents can also expect to receive a higher priority on the housing lists than their counterparts who have not had a child.  Those in receipt of Lone Parent Allowances may not cohabit.

 

A well-balanced society puts supports in place that appropriately assist lone parents who do not have adequate financial means.  Ireland has taken a number of initiatives over the past decades and each presumably has been introduced for good reason. However there is an emerging view that the combined package, while perceived as limiting by older lone-parents, may amount to an inducement to those who are young, with poor prospects and without income or a home of their own.[36] The State may have unintentionally put a system in place that encourages more than it discourages the formation of lone-parent families and leads some people into a poverty trap that is neither good for them, their children or society[37].

 

Given the social problems encountered in other communities when a substantial proportion of lone-parent families emerge it would appear that the State would be wise to review and if necessary adjust existing arrangements so that it is quite clear that the overall system does not actively encourage the formation of lone-parent families or lead people into the associated poverty traps from which it is difficult to emerge.

 

There is much valuable experience and guidance that can be drawn upon from other countries that have addressed this social issue. A recent report published by the UK Centre for Policy Studies[38] outlines the dramatic success of the 1994 US initiatives, taken with cross-party Democrat and Republican support, in addressing the problem of lone-parent families. [39] Teenage pregnancies have been reduced by nearly a third, the proportion of children living in lone-parent families has levelled off at 33%, and the numbers on welfare have been reduced by 54%. Pregnant teenagers are required to live at home and attend school in order to qualify for benefits. The child support system is now more rigorous, tracing an absent parent is conducted with determination, and non-payment now results in financial penalties with income deduction at source. The possible introduction of similar policies into the Irish system might usefully be considered.

 

The key issue to be addressed by the State is how best it should deploy public resources and frame regulations so that stable family structures, in which both biological parents participate, are encouraged. This is a significant challenge, but for openers the State could, without waiting for lengthy debate and analysis, take on board experience in other countries and move to modify regulations and financial incentives so that the formation of lone-parent families is actively discouraged.

 

Well-ordered democracies seek to ensure that citizens are aware not only of their rights but equally of their obligations to the common good. Ireland has yet to find the balance.  Too often those who are most vocal in demanding citizens’ rights are mute on the matter of citizens’ responsibilities.

 

 

 


SUMMARY

 

1.     Pro enterprise, low-tax economic policy and the availability of highly skilled people have made Ireland one of the world’s attractive locations in which to produce technologically sophisticated products.

 

2.     Labour-intensive enterprise will continue to move away from Ireland to lower-cost countries.

 

3.     Ireland’s future economic well-being can best be assured by investment in education and research that will help embed advanced enterprise and strengthening the capacity of indigenous companies to innovate and compete

 

4.     In the race for growth we have endangered some of the good aspects of life that made Ireland an attractive place in which to live

 

5.     In planning for the future of Ireland we must take into account not only those factors that contribute to economic growth but also those that contribute to social stability, quality of life and general happiness of the population.

 

6.     Levels of drug abuse and binge drinking in Ireland are amongst the highest in Europe

 

7.     Discipline has broken down in many classrooms. The rights of the minority of students who are disruptive should not outweigh those of the well behaved who wish to learn.

 

8.     The rapid rise in substance abuse and various forms of delinquency represent symptoms of a society that has yet to put in place a framework of values capable of adequately filling the existing vacuum.

 

9.     The nature of the Irish family is evolving rapidly and, when adjusting social policy to meet new conditions, Ireland should take the experience of other prosperous societies into account.

 

10. The future prospects of children born into lone-parent households compare unfavourably statistically with those in which both biological parents are present. 

 

11. Research abroad has found that the percentage of single-parent households with children between the age of 12 and 20 is significantly associated with rates of violent crime and burglary in a community.

 

12. While providing appropriate care and support for lone parents the State system should be reviewed with a view to introducing change that discourages the formation of lone-parent households.

 

13. Pregnant teenagers should normally be required to live at home and attend school to be eligible for public support.

 

14. The process for identification of absent parents should be made more rigorous. Penalties for non-payment and income deduction at source should be introduced.

 

15. In a well ordered democracy citizens’ responsibilities are as important as citizen’s rights’. Ireland has yet to find the correct balance and must now intensify the search.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

In two decades Ireland has transformed itself from being one of Europe’s poorest into one of its most prosperous economies. Great social change has taken place, but in the process the icons of Irish society have been tarnished and old values that served us once, no longer do.

 

We need to pause, assess where we are, where we are heading as a society, and while we still have opportunity to make choices, debate the options, and select our goals thoughtfully.

 

This lecture is intended to stimulate the debate. We have pursued Lemass’s vision for 40 years with astonishing success, and displaced economic poverty.  The challenge now is to do likewise with Ireland’s current moral poverty, and poverty of spirit, and fill the values vacuum. What better time and place in which to commence the debate than now and at the heart of  The European Union’s 2005 Capital of Culture, University College Cork.                            

 

 

Dr Edward M Walsh is the President Emeritus of the University of Limerick


[1] Kekic, Laza. World’s best country. World in 2005. Economist, p. 95. London. 2005.

[2] OECD study puts Republic in top five wealthiest. Irish Times, 12 Jan 2005.

[3] Ahead of the curve. Enterprise strategy group. Forfas. 2004.

[4] Schell, Orville. Gross national happiness. Red Herring. 15 January 2002.

[5] Here’s to health and happiness. World in 2005. Economist, London. 2004.

[6] World competitiveness yearbook 2004, IMD, Lausanne.  www.imd.ch/wcy/

[7] Ibid.

[8] ESRI, 2004.

[9] World Competiveness Yearbook 2004. IMD. Lausanne.

[10] Addiction Spoke. Summary Report. Dublin 2002

[11] Economist, 16 Oct. 2004.

[12] CSO. 2003.

[13] O’Dowd, F. TD. Oireachtas, 30 June 2004.

[14]Morgan & Gimble. 1989.

[15] Submission to commission on liquor licensing. ASTI. February 2001.

[16] Drugnet, Ireland. Issue No. 12. November 2004.

[17] Hanafin, Minister Mary. Budget 2003 tackles youth binge drinking. Press Release. Dublin. 5 Dec. 2002.

[18] Drugnet, Ireland. Op. cit.

[19] Kirby, Jill. Price of parenthood. Centre for Policy Studies. London. 1995.

[20] Drew, Eileen. Based on: Reconceptualising families in the EU. J. Statistical and Social I society of Ireland. 27:253, par 4. 1997 and Department  of  Social and Family Affairs, Jan 2005 (Private correspondence).

[21] Drew, Eileen. Based on: Reconceptualising families in the EU. J. Statistical and Social I society of Ireland. 27:253, par 4. 1997 and Department  of  Social and Family Affairs, Jan 2005 (Private correspondence).

[22] Lone parents. Forum report no. 20. National Economic and Social Forum. Dublin. c. 2001.

[23] McKeown, K. Pratschke, J. et al. Family well-being: what makes the difference. Dublin. 2003.

[24] Importance of fathering. National Centre for Fathering. fathers.com

[25]Smith, Douglas A. & Jarjoura, G.Roger. Social structure and criminal victimization. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. 25:1, p. 27-52. 25 Feb 1988.

[26]America’s children: key national indicators of well-being. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. 1997.

[27] Child abuse and murder. Family violence: a list of references. Amen, Co. Meath. www.amen.ie

[28]Denny, Kevin. Born to be wild? Effect of birth order families and schools on truancy.  WP 2004/06. Institute for the Study of  Social Change. Dublin. 2004.

[29]No-fault divorce: proposed solutions to a national tragedy, Journal of Legal Studies 2: 19. 1993.

[30] Survey of child health. US Department of Health and Human Services. 1993.

[31]Cornwell, Dewey et al. Characteristics of adolescents charged with homicide. 1987.

[32] Davidson, Nicholas. Life without father, Policy Review, Winter 1990.

[33] Byrne, Frances. Joint Committee on Social and Family Affairs. Oireachtas. 3 December 2003.

[34] McKeown, K. Pratschke, J. et al. Family well-being: what makes the difference. Dublin. 2003.

[35] O’Dowd, Tom. Benefits of being a dad. Medical matters. Irish Times. 25 Jan 2005.

[36] Power, Brenda. Single parenthood cannot be the easy option. Sunday Times, 30 Jan 2005.

[37] O’Dowd, Tom. Benefits of being a dad. Medical matters. Irish Times. 25 Jan 2005.

[38] Kirby, Jill. Price of parenthood. Centre for Policy Studies. London. 1995.

[39] Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act, Washington. 1996.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *