Man ordered to stop posting about baby’s paternity on Facebook

Judge adjourns family law case to May 18th for paternity test to take place

The judge ordered the man to cease all direct and indirect contact with his estranged partner, who is the mother of the baby. Photograph: Getty

The judge ordered the man to cease all direct and indirect contact with his estranged partner, who is the mother of the baby. Photograph: Getty

 

A judge has ordered a man to stop posting messages on Facebook about the paternity of a six-month-old baby girl.

At a family law court in the southwest of the country on Thursday, the judge ordered the man to cease all direct and indirect contact with his estranged partner, who is the mother of the baby.

The two are embroiled in a row concerning the baby, and the judge previously ordered that a paternity test be carried out. He also called in gardaí to investigate claims of forgery in the row, and gardaí were expected to use a handwriting expert in their investigation.

In court on Thursday the judge placed the man in custody for two hours after finding him in contempt of court due to the man’s repeated interruptions in court of his former partner’s solicitor, Ann Walsh, and his own solicitor, Stiofán Fitzpatrick.

The man was later freed from custody after apologising for his behaviour from the witness box. “I spoke out of place and I apologise to the court,” he said in court. “It is frustrating about not knowing if the child is mine or not.”

Earlier in court, Ann Walsh, solicitor for the mother, said the Facebook messages being posted by the man about the paternity of the baby and the paternity test “are very upsetting for the mother”.

She said one post concludes: “She says that the baby is 100 per cent mine, so why won’t she take the DNA test?”

In reply, solicitor for the man, Mr Fitzpatrick, said the mother “has herself posted on Facebook about the DNA issue going back a number of months”.

The judge adjourned the case to May 18th for the paternity test to take place and asked that solicitors for both parties have in court a booklet of the messages that have been publicised on Facebook.