The Sunday Tribine published One Family’s letter responding to the comments of Mr. Brian Mooney in an article that appeared on 26 August 2007. The following letter was published on 2 September
Lone parents need support, not criticism From Karen Kiernan
ON BEHALF of our thousands of clients and members, One Family would like to express its surprise and disappointment at an article in last week’s Sunday Tribune. In this article Brian Mooney, described as former president of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, expresses a number of views on what are described as single parent families. He expresses unsubstantiated and very disturbing opinions that ‘lone mothers’ are emotionally abusing their teenage sons and causing their daughters to self-harm.
Would Mr Mooney’s position not be better used to call for support for families facing parenting challenges and for proper research on the impact of changing family realities on children in Ireland?
We are also concerned that the Sunday Tribune would publish such views without allowing for any balancing views to be expressed. The result of such irresponsible journalism is to increase the stresses experienced by many lone parents who are doing their best and to perpetuate a negative and erroneous image of one-parent families in Ireland today.
We were disappointed that Mr Mooney went on to promulgate similar views in a piece on Today with Pat Kenny on Wednesday 29 August rather than to use this second interview to provide a more balanced view.
In over 35 years of working with one-parent families we have always found that parents strive above all else to do what is best for their children. Such families need support and respect not criticism and condemnation, a view one would expect to be endorsed by an experienced guidance counsellor.
Karen Kiernan, Director, One Family, Cherish House, 2 Lower Pembroke, St Dublin 2.