MII Awards for Family Mediation 2015 presented at the Annual Conference

MII Award receipients 2015

Family Mediation Service, Ann O’Kelly, Courts Service (Mr.T.Ward), Mediation Border Counties, Family Mediation Northern Ireland, Siún Kearney and Delma Sweeney recognised for excellence in mediation at the MII Awards for Family Mediation 2015

Friday, 23rd October 2015: “Despite the failure of government to deliver the Mediation Bill, mediation is increasingly being recognised as a premier process for resolving disputes and increasingly being employed by the Irish legal system. Irish and international judges, including Brussels Judge Avi Schneebalg (who addressed conference today) are promoting mediation as an option before requiring the bench to issue adjudication. This year the Courts Service is supporting a Chambers Ireland “Mediation Meets Judges” initiative. The Workplace Relations Commission expects over 50% of its cases to be resolved through mediation. Ger Deering, the Financial Services Ombudsman, has called for a greater use of mediation to resolve complaints against regulated financial services providers” according to Gerry Rooney, President of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland who was addressing over 200 delegates at the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland’s (MII) annual conference which took place today in Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

“However, to really promote access to and practice of mediation in Ireland requires the endorsement and encouragement of the State. The State’s general laissez-faire approach to the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission; and its response to the EU Cross Border Mediation Directive is disappointing” stated President Rooney, “Despite the inclusion of the Mediation Bill in the Programme for Government and cross party support for the Mediation Bill, the MII is at a loss as to why the government has not introduced this win-win piece of legislation, that would not only provide substantial cost savings for the State, but would also encourage our citizens to utilise what is recognised as an accessible, relatively inexpensive, and speedy dispute resolution process

The outcome of the MII Awards for Achievement in Family (Separating Couples) Mediation 2015 was announced at the conference, which saw 7 organisations and individuals recognised for excellence in mediation. The awards, which were set up to recognise the increasingly successful impact of family mediation, saw the Family Mediation Service, Ann O’Kelly, Courts Service (Mr.T.Ward), Mediation Border Counties, Family Mediation Northern Ireland and Siún Kearney recognised for their excellence and commitment to mediation as a key element in resolving family issues, particularly those involving children, separation and divorce. In addition, Delma Sweeney received a special award to acknowledge a life time of the practice of mediation, the promotion of mediation and the development of training and research standards.

Congratulating the award winners Mr Rooney said, “It is fitting that as we look to the future, this year’s conference recognises the achievements of organisations and individuals who have made a significant contribution to Family Mediation in Ireland. It was this sector that provided the starting point for the establishment of our Institute and it remains a significant and vibrant component of the practice of mediation in Ireland today”.


Citations for Awards:


Family Mediation Service.


For their leadership of mediation in the area of child protection. For being an integrated service, their location and accessibility. Being open to the possibilities to develop models of mediation to suit the circumstances. The judging panel also wish to acknowledge the work of all the Family Mediation Services offices and also the research being carried out by the Family Mediation Service.’’


Ann O’Kelly.


‘’The panel made this award to specifically recognise Ann’s work in promoting the voice of the child in

Mediation .The panel also wish to acknowledge the amount and level of research carried out by Ann.’’


Court Services and Mr.T.Ward.


‘’ The panel wish to acknowledge the initiatives taken by the Court Service in the promotion of mediation. The panel also wish to highlight the role of Mr. T Ward as his championing of mediation. This award is to recognise the role of the Court Service and to commend Mr.T.Ward for his drive.’’



Mediation Border Counties.


‘’The panel acknowledge the difficult area the Mediation Border Counties operate in. The panel was also impressed by the financial accessibility of the service. Also the panel noted the provision of conflict coaching and the fact the mediation service is provided by volunteer mediators’’.



Family Mediation Northern Ireland.


‘’For the innovating work in leading the case for the provision of mediation in Northern Ireland. For the work done jointly with Queens University to develop child centred policies in mediation and their persistence in working to change the system. The panel also noted the training provided to the judiciary and its overall level of dedication to the promotion of mediation. This award acknowledges the all Ireland scope of mediation.’’


Suin Kearney.


‘’This award is to acknowledge the positive trail blazing work the energy and commitment to the promotion of mediation. Her contribution to the MII. Her work in setting standards for the Family mediation Service and the MII. The research she carried out to establish an understanding of mediation. The panel also noted her engagement with the legal profession in order to promote an understanding of mediation.’’



Delma Sweeney.


‘’This award is to acknowledge a life time of the practice of mediation, the promotion of mediation and the development of training and research standards. Her establishment of academic frame work for the training of mediators at U.C.D. and latterly at the Kennedy Institute Maynooth. This award also acknowledges her proactive research and a contribution to mediation that is outstanding.’’      



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