Domestic Violence in Ireland is governed by the Domestic Violence Act, 1996. The 1996 Act provides remedies for people living in domestic relationships. The aim of the legislation is to protect people in a domestic relationship where their safety and welfare is at risk due to the conduct of the other person in the relationship. The Act also increased the powers of arrest of An Garda Siochana.
This Act provides legal remedies for people who are experiencing domestic violence. There are four legal remedies available: interim barring order, barring order, protection order and safety order.
For any of the below remedies to apply they must satisfy a residency requirement. The parties must either be married, co-habiting couples who have lived together in the last six months, parent of an adult child or other category of parties who live together.
Unfortunately, parties who have a child together and do not satisfy the above requirements cannot seek any of these remedies. They merely have recourse to the criminal law and should report any incidences of violence or threatening behaviour to the Gardai. Presently, there are representations for the law to be changed to include such categories of persons.