New Viral Video Asks Do All Families Matter in Ireland?

Press Release

New Viral Video Asks

Do All Families Matter in Ireland?

(Dublin, 14 May 2014) Eight national organisations interested in promoting equality for all families have released an innovative video that shows how the Constitution of Ireland excludes many types of families. All Families Matter is a campaigning coalition that would like to change the Constitution so that all types of families can be respected.

Tomorrow, 15 May, is UN International Day of Families and this year we also celebrate the 20th anniversary of UN International Year of the Family so it is timely to think about what family means.

This two minute video presents a series of everyday situations in which three ordinary families are told they are ‘not a real family’ because only one kind of family, the marital family, is represented in our Constitution. A quirky, fun and enjoyable video, it explores scenarios featuring a one-parent family, parents who are not married to each other, and same-sex parents to illustrate how the wording of our Constitution is so clearly out of line with the reality of the lives of hundreds of thousands of families in Ireland.

The members of All Families Matter include One Family, Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Barnardos, the Family Resource Centre National Forum, Marriage Equality, New Communities Partnership (NCP), Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and Treoir. They came together over a shared belief that a Constitutional review of how family is defined is required so that all families feel protected and recognised.

We all know and care about families like those represented in the video. All Families Matter calls on everyone to watch and share the video and to ask themselves, what really makes a family and isn’t it time the Irish Constitution reflected the lived reality of our families?

The video can be viewed here.

On Sunday 18 May, founding All Families Matter member organisation One Family hosts its annual free Family Day Festival in the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2 from 11am-5pm. Many of the All Families Matter members will be in attendance at the event and available to share information about it and their work. Further information on


Further Information

Facebook: @AllFamiliesMatterIreland | #AllFamiliesMatter

Twitter: @FamiliesIreland | #AllFamiliesMatter

Available for Interview

  • One Family CEO Karen Kiernan | t: 086 850 9191

For Video Files or Further Information

Shirley Chance, Director of Communications, One Family | t: 01 662 9212 or 087 414 8511 | e:




Convention on the Constitution Announces Topics for Review

The Convention on the Constitution has just announced that it has chosen Dáil Reform and Economic, Social and Cultural rights for discussion at their final two meetings in February 2014. It is noted that the Family is included as one of the other prominent topics throughout the process and that “it is likely that the Convention members will take the opportunity to make a recommendation early next year on how these issues might be addressed in the future.”

While we are disappointed at today’s announcement, we look forward to engaging with the Convention in the future.

You can read the Convention press release here.

For further information on the campaign All Families Matter, which calls for a review of the Family in our Constitution, click here.

Definition of family in Irish Constitution no longer valid in today’s Ireland

  • One Family calls for equal respect and value for all one-parent families under the Irish Constitution as the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Free Legal Advice Centre and the Irish Penal Reform Trust launch a Shadow Report for the UN Human Rights Committee’s examination of Ireland’s compliance with the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Half a Million people in Ireland live in a one-parent family.
  • 1 in 6 families in Ireland are a one-parent family.
Monday 14 July 2008: A leading national support organisation for one-parent families, One Family, is calling for equal respect and value for all one-parent families under the Irish Constitution.  One Family welcomes today’s (14 July 2008) launch of a shadow report detailing Ireland’s compliance to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). One Family along with many other NGOs have contributed to the production of this report which will be used to further the promotion of human rights in Ireland .The report, being launched by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Free Legal Advice Centre and the Irish Penal Reform Trust incorporates recommendations on Article 23 of the ICCPR to the effect that the Irish Constitution be changed to give full equality to all families under Irish law and also to ensure an ending to  the practice where the welfare of the child is not given paramount consideration in all family law proceedings.
One Family has long maintained that the definition of a family as laid down in the Irish Constitution “is no longer valid in today’s society” and is completely “out of touch with reality” as it is defined traditionally through judicial interpretation to mean the family based on marriage.”
Candy Murphy, Policy Manager of One Family said “It is extremely important to recognise one-parent families for the strong family units they are and we are calling on the Government to change the Irish Constitution to reflect this.  In our view all families should be recognised within the Constitution and families in difficulties supported, particularly those that are especially vulnerable. It’s about equality for all families and particularly all children.”
One Family has being in existence for 36 years and provides a range of services for one-parent families in Ireland. Services include parenting and skills training, counselling and parent mentoring and a wide range of information supports.
For further information please contact
Catherine Joyce, Communications Manager 01 664 0125/ 086 343 2542
Candy Murphy, Policy Manager 01 662 9212/087 293 3180
Editor’s Note: The UN Human Rights Committee’s examination of Ireland’s human rights record takes place in Geneva on Monday 14 July and Tuesday 15 July.
The examination is the first by the UN Human Rights Committee since 2000 and will provide a definitive assessment of Ireland’s human rights record.

One Family’s Submission to the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children May 2008


In general One Family supports the submissions to the joint committee made by the Ombudsman for Children and by the Children’s Rights Alliance. One Family is therefore limiting its response to Clause 1 (Article 42(A).1), Clause 2 (Article 42(A) 2.1) and Clause 4 (Article 42(A).4.

Submission-PDF file -May-2008

Submission to the review of provisions relating to family in the Constitution

Submission to the All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution

The changing nature of family life in Ireland

Modern family life in Ireland is remarkably different now compared with the period in which our Constitution was first developed.  With declining marriage and birth rates, higher rates of extra marital cohabitation and birth and a growing diversification of the structure of families, the typical Irish family is no longer typical.

APOCC-submission-two parts-PDF

Paper One: On Constitution which affords equal rights to all families
Paper Two:  Recognising the realities of family diversity