News and Events

Child Law Clinic supports FLAC in successful Supreme Court Appeal

25 Jan 2024

The Supreme Court delievered the judgement on Monday 22nd, January. 

On Monday 22 January, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment in O’Meara v Minister for Social Protection {2024] IESC 1, in which the restriction of surviving partner's pension to married couples was found to be unconstitutional. The first plaintiff, represented by FLAC, had lived with his partner for almost 20 years and they had three children together, before she sadly became ill and died. The father applied for a survivor’s pension, which he would have been entitled to if the parties had been married; but his application was refused on the basis that the pension was not available to unmarried couples.

A constitutional challenge to this decision was dismissed in 2022. The Supreme Court granted permission for a leapfrog appeal, which was heard in 2023. At the request of FLAC, the Child Law Clinic assisted the O’Meara’s legal team in preparing their submissions to the Supreme Court by providing a research brief directed towards the children’s rights aspect of the case.

The Child Law Clinic, currently directed by Professor Conor O’Mahony, provides pro bono research assistance to lawyers and civil society organisations. It has assisted successful litigation at all levels of the Irish courts, from District Court to Supreme Court, as well as in the European Court of Human Rights. Solicitors or barristers who are working on cases related to children which might benefit from pro bono research assistance are welcome to contact us to discuss further. See details at

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