Irish Divorced Dads

Last week’s post covered parents in France and Belgium who must be constantly vigilant in regard to their teenagers’ choices of websites. The above link refers to another European nation, Ireland, one I know far better than those two francophone countries. Three quarters of my ancestors are Irish and I was raised Catholic, as were over 90% of the citizens of the Republic of Ireland (as opposed to the Protestant Northern Ireland, which is , for the most part, proudly part of the United Kingdom).
Most Americans don’t realize the huge impact the Irish have had on the USA. We are the #2 ethnic group, behind only the Germans. The Irish have become secularized, as have virtually all Americans, but the Catholic Church has yet to fully liberalize divorce and remarriage, so there remains a bit more stigma to single parenting than that found among the typical American. One of the most interesting statements from the article is that divorced dads can help their ex-spouses pursue their careers by helping with childcare.
This points out the #1 difference with life here because in the US 75% of custodial mothers move within the first four years after a divorce, often making such arrangements impossible. Ireland is like the Scandinavian nations featured in last years fantastic film, Divorcecorp, where childcare is easily shared because up to half the population lives in one metropolitan area.
Speaking of films, I should point out the wonderful Irish father-custody film, Evelyn. It stars Pierce Brosnan, who ironically was the bad-guy in perhaps the most famous father-custody film, Mrs. Doubtfire. In that he portrayed that archetypal villain all divorce dads hate, the suave, handsome, wealthy suitor of one’s ex. Brosnan really makes amends for that role by being a loving father of three who loses custody of his three kids, partly due to that bete noire of the Irish, alcohol.
It is based on the true story of a man who takes his case to the Irish supreme court and won. As one who wrote his own brief to the California Supreme Court, won, and received no benefit whatsoever, I can only congratulate that hero, Desmond Doyle, on having the luck of the Irish!

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