About Us

Geatóir is a Court Advocacy Service, established by Deborah Nolan in 2016.

Geatóir provides an Advocacy service for parents in child protection proceedings who have – or are thought to have – impaired cognitive functioning, intellectual disability, or mental health concerns. The provision of an Independent Advocate for parents with impaired functioning is common practice in District Court proceedings, and the appointment of such support is provided for clients of the Legal Aid Board (Circular 2/2007).

Each Advocate at Geatóir has worked extensively with families going through the child protection and/or child law process, and all have more than ten years experience in the area. Our Advocates have worked in diverse roles with families from all backgrounds. Each of the Advocates works through a lens of therapeutic understanding of the social and cultural needs of each family at the centre of our work.

The service of an Advocate facilitates a more productive relationship with clients who, understandably, struggle to comprehend the legal process and legal information. The Advocate supports the client in any way that is deemed part of their role, easing stress on the client and alleviating the additional time pressures experienced by solicitors. The Advocate provides reassurance to the legal team that the client’s instruction is based on supported knowledge of the changing information and a clear understanding of the solicitor’s advice to the client.

Once appointed, an Advocate will be available to attend the following:

  • Consultations with legal teams.
  • Court appearances to provide support and to assist in explaining the proceedings and court outcomes to the client.
  • Reading and explanation of reports, with feedback to the legal team, to increase clarity of instruction.
  • Attendance with the client at Child in Care Reviews, Case Conferences, Signs of Safety meetings, Reviews, and other appointments related to their case.