USA – MA – WALSH – 1998

USA – MA – WALSH – 1998(1998) (Return ordered) (13b) Physical abuse) WALSH v WALSH. Mother flees with her lover and children to US. Father files for return under the Hague Treaty. Mother does not dispute the wrongful removal but relies on “grave risk” defense. With undertakings, the court returned the children to Ireland.


In re Walsh (D.Mass. 1998)31 F.Supp.2d 200
23 International Abduction [US 1998]

In re the Application of John Walsh
31 F.Supp.2d 200

United States District Court
D. Massachusetts
No. Civ.A. 98-11638-WGY

18 Dec 1998

<* page 201>

E. Chouteau Merrill, Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer, Boston,
MA, for John Walsh, plaintiff.

Thomas J. Barbar, Anne Marie Corraro, Cambridge, MA, for
Jaqueline Walsh, defendant.


YOUNG, District Judge.

001 This sad case is a gritty refutation of the folk
wisdom that marriages are made in heaven and Pliny’s
observation that “children are conceived by moonbeams.”

002 John and Jacqueline (“Jackie”) Walsh live in Ireland.
John physically abuses Jackie. She drinks to excess and
eventually takes up with another man. Each exaggerates the
conduct of the other. The children — there are two, Mary
Kate, 9, and Eoghain, 4 — suffer. Eventually, Jackie flees
from Ireland to the United States with her lover and her two

003 Her flight with the children gives rise to this
litigation. The case arises under the Hague Convention on
the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“the
Convention”), as implemented in the International Child
Abduction Remedies Act (“the Act”), 42 U.S.C.  11601-11610
(1998). Pursuant to the Convention, John seeks the return of
Mary Kate and Eoghain to Ireland. Both the United States and
Ireland are signatories <* page 202> to the Convention,
which establishes procedures for the prompt return of minors
wrongfully removed from their State of habitual residence.
See Convention, Art. 1. Under the Convention and its
implementing legislation, the burden rests on the petitioner
to show by a preponderance of the evidence. that the
removal was wrongful. See 42 U.S.C.  11603(e)(1)(A). If the
petitioner meets this burden, the respondent may oppose the
return of the children by establishing that any of a number
of narrowly drawn exceptions applies.

004 In this case, Jackie does not dispute that John has
met his prima facie burden, but relies exclusively on an
exception providing that a child need not be returned when
“there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose
the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise
place the child in an intolerable situation.” Convention,
Art. 13(b). The burden now rests on Jackie to establish the
applicability of that exception by clear and convincing
evidence. See 42 U.S.C.  11603(e)(2)(A).


005 These are the facts. Jackie grew up in Malden,
Massachusetts. She met John in a pub in Ireland in 1988 and
they lived together off and on, John spending most of his
time in Ireland and England and Jackie spending most of her
time in Malden. Their first child, Mary Kate, was born in
Boston on August 24, 1989. The couple married in May, 1992.
It was his second marriage, her first.

006 Marital vows added no stability to this union.
Incidents of physical abuse commenced within months.
Jackie’s aunt died on August 17, 1992. John expected to be
asked to be a pallbearer and, when not invited, he shouted
and screamed at Jackie, struck her several times, and
squeezed her hand so hard that her thumb was swollen.

007 The following New Years Eve, a drunken John subjected
Jackie to severe verbal abuse. Ten months later, after
imbibing a number of brandies, John became obsessed with the
idea that a young neighbor next door had dealt the drugs
that caused the death of another Malden youth from an
overdose. Raging “I’ll kill you,” John began smashing on the
neighbor’s door until Malden police restrained and arrested

008 Facing a court appearance in the Malden District Court
to answer charges of assault with intent to murder, John
fled to Ireland in January, 1994. He dare not return, as a
default warrant for his arrest has issued. Pregnant with
their second child, Jackie followed. Despite her condition,
John’s physical abuse continued sporadically. In June,
1994, Jackie, then seven months pregnant, admitted to her
gynecologist, Dr. Ann Marie Burke, that certain bruises she
bore were the result of spousal abuse. Dr. Burke recommended
that she document the abuse and seek legal help. Eoghain was
born on August 25, 1994 in Waterford, Ireland.

009 As the victim of random beatings and the mother of two
small children in a loveless marriage, Jackie felt
increasingly alone and isolated in Tramore, a small town
outside Waterford. One activity she shared with her husband
was visiting the local pub. Like him, she sometimes drank to
excess, sometimes becoming falling-down drunk.

010 In October, 1996, Jackie participated in a “pub quiz”
concerning Irish sports. Afterwards, walking home, John
ridiculed her and fell to punching her, kicking her
prostrate body when she fell. Jackie went to a pharmacist,
Ann Phelan, the following day and had herself photographed.
The Court has reviewed the photos. They are inconclusive.
They show cuts and short lacerations consistent with falling
FN01 or being knocked to the ground.

011 Jackie returned to Malden without the children in
December, 1996, to spend the Christmas holidays with her
father, paying for the trip with money her father had sent
her. The night before she left, John pushed her so hard that
she fell and hurt her coccyx, <* page 203> thus spending the
entire trip in significant pain.

012 What of the children during these years? As is
inevitable in these tragic cases, they were constantly
exposed to their parents’ acrimony and occasionally observed
John’s physical abuse of their mother as well. Mary Kate
once fled the home when John was beating Jackie. Though
sometimes inattentive, Jackie has never struck her children.
John, however, is “strict” with the children, once spanked
Eoghain and sent him to his room after finding him in the
cookie jar, occasionally slapped Mary Kate across the back
of her legs for various infractions, and once called her
“stupid” and spit on her for having mud on her shoes.

013 Whatever hope there may have been for saving this
marriage collapsed in May, 1997, at the time of Mary Kate’s
first communion. Jackie’s sister Martha journeyed to Ireland
for the event. Leaving the children with John, Jackie met
Martha at the Dublin airport on May 16th. Martha had never
before visited Ireland and the two traveled leisurely south
to Tramore, celebrating Jackie’s birthday on the 16th and
arriving home on May 17th. During this leg of the trip,
Jackie revealed John’s physical abuse to Martha, who
strongly urged her to leave John, advising her that John was
a “bully” and would eventually hurt Mary Kate. Jackie and
Martha then left together for a two or three day trip to
Skibberene, spending a portion of the time with one Michael

014 The communion service was scheduled for Sunday, May
24th. On Saturday evening, Jackie stayed home to prepare her
daughter’s dress and Martha, John, and Michael Walsh (John’s
eldest son by his first marriage — apparently an older
teen-ager) went out to the pubs, enjoying Ireland’s summer
twilight. Michael Walsh broke a beer bottle. Saying, “I
raised no son of mine to behave like that!,” John attacked
his son, fists flying. Michael stood up to his father
briefly, but then fled. Martha and John (now bloodied)
returned to the marital home. When Michael Walsh wandered
in sometime later the fight resumed. Martha testified she
observed clots of blood from the fisticuffs on the fireplace
hearth. Jackie and Mary Kate came downstairs and eventually
the fighters subsided, mutually battered. Michael Walsh was
sobbing and Mary Kate made efforts to console him. John
said, “Mary Kate, take a look at your brother and tell him
to leave; that you don’t want him here.”. Jackie then
interposed herself and pleaded with him to leave Mary Kate
alone. John took Jackie upstairs and they fell to arguing
and shouting. Jackie cowered on the bed as John circled it.
He smacked her open-handed, and when Martha called out “Are
you all right?”, Jackie replied “Yes.”

015 Things, of course, were not “all right.” Eventually,
Martha slept in the bed with Jackie and John went elsewhere.
The following day a battered John closeted himself alone,
Michael Walsh apparently having given as good as he got and
the remainder of the family accompanied Mary Kate to her
first communion.

016 This apparently was the last straw for Jackie. When
next John raised his hand to her, she fled to the home of
Paul Walsh, John’s brother. When Michael Walsh arrived,
crying, Paul called the police. Accompanied by the police,
Jackie returned to the marital home to find John throwing
her bags into the street. Jackie declined to press charges
against John for assault, and the police recommended Jackie
seek legal aid.

017 Supported by her legal aid lawyer, Aidan Lynch, Esq.,
Jackie obtained a Protective Order against John and
negotiations commenced concerning who was going to live
where and with whom. By July 13, John had agreed to vacate
the marital home and Jackie had moved back in to rejoin the
children. Jackie had also applied for a “barring order” — a
longer-term order that would establish and govern the rights
of each spouse to be in the presence of the other and to
have access to their children. In so doing, Jackie submitted
herself and the custody issues concerning the children to
the courts of Ireland.

018 Driven out of the marital home by John, this period
also saw Jackie take up a more or less open liaison with
Michael Murphy. FN0 <* page 204> While Michael Murphy did
not live with Jackie, he was frequently at the home and
their liaison was well known in the locality.

019 Not surprisingly, the absence of the constant tension
and bickering between John and Jackie was beneficial to the
children and they took readily to Michael Murphy. Jackie’s
new found companionship was not, however, an unmixed
blessing. When she and Michael Murphy would go pub
crawling, they would take the kids, who would often find
themselves at a late hour sleeping in an out of the way
corner of a hotel lobby or pub. This matter was of
sufficient seriousness to come to the attention of Irish
social service agencies who warned Jackie of her
derelictions in this regard.

020 For her part, Jackie denies any lack of attention to
her children and complains that the Irish social service
agencies, the police, and indeed her own Irish lawyer are
unsympathetic to her situation. She asserts that the social
service agency pays little attention to the needs of her
children and rebuffs her with the comment, “This whole
situation is between two adults; the children are not
involved.” The police, she says, treat her complaints of
breaking and entering (see below) with indifference. Her own
lawyer told her unequivocally that she would have to give up
Michael Murphy if she. were to have a chance to obtain
continued custody of the children.

021 Nor was the Protective order adequate to keep the
parties apart. During one evening when Jackie and the
children were out with Michael Murphy, John broke into the
home and smashed furniture and fixtures. Michael Murphy
thrashed John, who preferred charges against him of assault
and battery. As the date for hearing of the barring order
(and the hearing on criminal charges against Michael Murphy
for assault and battery) drew closer, tensions rose. John
believed Jackie and Michael Murphy were attempting to suborn
perjury by paying for evidence of John’s spousal abuse. In
early October, 1997, John again broke into the home when
Jackie and the children were out for the evening. FN3 He
smashed everything breakable and threw turf around the
floors before he left.

022 In November, 1997, Jackie left Ireland for her
father’s home in Malden. She took Mary Kate and Eoghain
with her, having earlier taken the precaution of insuring
that the children’s passports were in order, While it plays
no direct role in this Court’s ultimate decision, the Court
notes that among Jackie’s incentives to leave Ireland is the
well-founded belief that her chances of securing a divorce
and custody of the children are greater in the United States
than in Ireland. See Family (Divorce) Act, No. 32(e) (1996);
Ir. Const. art, 41.3.2 (amended by Ir. Const amend. XV
[1995]). Her flight was, in fact, an extreme form of forum
shopping. Michael Murphy went along. Already possessed of a
long criminal record replete with crimes of violence, he was
unwilling to stand trial for assault and battery on John.
Jackie and Michael Murphy now live together with the
children in Malden.

023 The children have adjusted well to their surroundings
in the United States and to Michael Murphy acting as a
father figure. Jackie, however, has kept John from
communicating with the children, and Mary Kate suffers from
an adjustment disorder that one professional has diagnosed
as post-traumatic stress disorder. Mary Kate does not wish
to return to Ireland or to have anything further to do with
her father.

<* page 205>


024 The Court begins by noting that Art. 13(b) does not
permit an ad hoc inquiry into the merits of the underlying
custody dispute. See 42 U.S.C.  11601(b)(4) Rydder v.
Rydder, 49 F.3d 369, 372 (8th Cir. 1995); Blondin v.
Dubois, 19 F.Supp.2d 123, 126 (S.D.N.Y.1998). Those matters
are reserved for the courts in the country of habitual
residence, which are presumptively able to determine and
protect the interests of the children. Accordingly, the
grave risk of harm exception has been construed narrowly.
“When we trust the court system in the abducted from
country, the vast majority of claims of harm — those that
do not rise to the level of gravity required by the
Convention — evaporate.” Friedrich v. Friedrich, 78 F.3d
1060, 1068, (6th Cir.1996). An analysis performed by the
Department of State explains further:

A review of the deliberations on the Convention
reveals that “intolerable situation” was not
intended to encompass return to a home where
money is in short supply, or where educational
or other opportunities are more limited than in
the requested State. An example of an
“intolerable situation” is one in which a
custodial parent sexually abuses the child.

Public Notice 957, 51 Fed.Reg. 10,494, 10,510

025 The decided cases provide a harrowing look at the
kinds of deplorable circumstances that, nevertheless, fail
to satisfy the Art. 13(b) exception. In Steffen F. v.
Severina P., 966 F.Supp. 922, 926 (D.Ariz. 1997), for
example, the court rejected the argument that the petitioner
father posed a grave threat to his young son, despite the
high probability that the boy’s sister had been sexually
molested, because it was not shown by clear and convincing
evidence that the father committed the abuse. Similarly, in
Nunez-Escudero v. Tice-Menley, 58 F.3d.374, 377 (8th Cir.
1995), the court reversed the denial of a petition in a case
involving allegations of physical and sexual abuse of the
mother by the father, and general allegations of abuse among
various members of the husband’s family. The court held
that such allegations concerned only “the problems between
Tice-Menley, her husband and father-in-law,” id., and were
immaterial to the Art. 13(b) inquiry. See also K v. K., 3
F.C.R. 207 (Eng.Fam. 1997) (granting petition even though
child witnessed several incidents: of violence by petitioner
father father against mother); N. v. N. 1 F.L.R. 107
(Eng.Fam. 1994) (granting petitioner’s request to return
child to Australia despite sexual abuse of child
petitioner); Murray v. A.C.T., Appeal No. EA-51 (Austl.
October 6, 1993) (affirming grant of petitioner despite
evidence that petitioner father had inflicted numerous acts
of violence upon children’s mother in the presence of or in
close proximity to children). FN04

026 It is thus apparent that the grave threat contemplated
by the Convention,must be directed at, the children who are
the subject of the petition, see, e.g., Rechsteiner v.
Kendell, 80 A.C.W.S.3d 1195 (Ont.Fam. 1998), and that such
threat must be established by clear and convincing evidence.
See,’ e.g., Blondin, 19 F.Supp.2d at 126-29 (denying
petition where petitioner, father routinely beat mother, hit
child, twisted electrical cord around child’s neck, and
threatened to “kill every one”); Turner v. Frowein Docket
No. FA-97-0084450 (Conn.Super.Ct. Jun. 25, 1998) (petition
denied based on over whelming evidence that petitioner
father had sexually molested his son, the subject of the
petition); In re Ves, 559SP (Ir.H.Ct. 1996) (petition denied
based on evidence of sexual abuse to children by petitioner
father). FN05

<* page 206>

027 There are no allegations in this case, much less clear
and convincing evidence, that the children are threatened
with the degree of harm visited upon the children in Steffen
F. and Turner. The evidence demonstrates that John is
intemperate and often unkind to his children and that he
spanks and slaps them for minor childish infractions, and of
course, there is the constant exposure to verbal and
physical conflict within the home. As regrettable, and
indeed as reprehensible as this state of affairs may be, it
does not furnish grounds to deny the petition. Cf. Re HB, 1
F.L.R. 392 (Eng.Fam. 1996) (granting petition because
ill-treatment, insensitivity, and inappropriate chastisement
of children by petitioner mother did not amount to grave
risk of harm); K v. K, supra. Whatever damage long term
exposure to such a poisonous atmosphere may cause, the
evidence does not reveal an immediate, serious threat to the
children’s physical safety that cannot be dealt with by the
proper Irish authorities. See In re BAD, 113 M (Ir.H.Ct.
1997) (granting petition and deferring to English courts’
ability to protect child); Murray, supra (deferring, to New
Zealand courts to make appropriate orders to protect child).

028 The Art. 13(b) exception is similarly narrow with
respect to a child’s emotional well being. Some courts have
recognized that separating a child from his or her primary
caretaker may cause severe psychological harm, but have been
reticent to apply the Art. 13(b) exception absent specific
evidence that the child in question would suffer this type
of harm. Compare Rydder, 49 F.3d at 373 (8th Cir. 1995) (no
specific evidence. of potential harm to child where both
parties were “intelligent, mature, loving parents”) with
Steffen F. 966 F.Supp. at 927-28, 930 (psychological
testimony established by clear and convincing evidence that
child had bonded and attached to his mother, would not
likely bond with his father, and therefore faced grave risk
of harm in the event of removal).

029 Other courts have viewed evidence of this type of
emotional harm with considerably more skepticism. The
English Court of Appeals held in In re A., 1 F.L.R. 3G5, 372
(Eng.C.A. 1988), that the harm required under Art. 13(b) is
“something greater than would normally be expected on taking
a child away from one parent and passing him to another” and
concluded that evidence of parental bonding could not form
the basis for a grave risk of harm. See also Friedrich 78
F.3d at 1067-68 (characterizing feelings of loss,
abandonment, and anger as “nothing more than adjustment
problem, that would attend the relocation of most

030 Moreover, it, bears emphasis that the appropriate
order under the Convention is for the return of the children
to the jurisdiction from which they were abducted. This
Court is not in a position to make a custody order, and the
children are not by virtue of this order removed from the
care of one parent, or remanded to the custody of the other.
Allegations of physical and psychological harm should be
considered in the children’s home jurisdiction. See LAING
and the Central Authority, 21 Fam.L.R. 24 (Austl. 1996)
(holding that Georgia courts were appropriate forum to
consider and determine allegations of physical,
psychological, and sexual abuse). Even if the various
anxiety and stress related conditions with which Mary Kate
has been diagnosed approach the severe harm contemplated by
Art. 13(b), to the extent that the children may be spared
both separation from their mother and exposure to their
parents’ fighting, concerns for their psychological well
being are largely mitigated.

031 Jackie raises several additional matters that she
maintains are relevant to the Art. 13(b) consideration. She
maintains that the difficulty she will have obtaining work
in Ireland, a result of her lack of Irish citizenship,
militates against granting the petition. She also suggests
that the failure of Irish authorities to respond to her own,
complaints of abuse reveal an inability or unwillingness to
protect the interests of her children, a factor she insists.
creates a grave risk to the children.

<* page 207>

032 In support of the first point, Jackie relies on
Panazatou v. Pantazatos, 1997 WL 614519 (Conn.Super. Sept
24, 1997) (Interim Memorandum of Decision). That case,
however, does not stand for the proposition that such
practical concerns should prevent return of the children but
that the concerns may be eliminated or mitigated by means of
appropriate undertakings. The court in Panazatou secured the
promise of the petitioner father that he would provide
proper housing and financial support for the child and
mother. The Panazatou court held that the mother could not
take advantage of her lack of employment prospects to
prevent the return of the child, so long as the
representations’ were honored. See id. at *2-4. In this case
the Court has also secured appropriate undertakings from
John, which are discussed below.

033 As for the second contention, that the Irish
authorities will not protect Mary Kate and Eoghain, Jackie
relies on Turner, which, as discussed above, involved direct
physical evidence of child molestation by the child’s
father. The Court in Turner did advert to the mother’s
allegations that Dutch authorities had not responded to or
investigated her charges of child abuse. The court, however,
made no specific findings on that point and rested its
holding generally on all of the facts and circumstances of
the case, the most compelling of which was the fact of the
abuse itself. In any event, this Court has made no finding
that the authorities in Ireland are unable or unwilling to
intervene in cases of child physical or sexual abuse, or
that they are not capable of protecting the best interests
of Mary Kate and Eoghain once they are returned to Ireland.

034 Despite the truly deplorable circumstances in which
Jackie now finds herself, and in the face of her laudable
concerns for her children, she has not established by clear
and convincing evidence that her children face a grave risk
of exposure to serious physical or psychological harm, nor
that their situation upon returning to Ireland will be
intolerable. As a result she may not lawfully maintain her
children here in the United States, and must return them to

035 Having reached this conclusion, the Court faces
numerous pragmatic issues that invite pragmatic solutions.
Numerous courts granting petitions under the Convention have
recognized the legitimacy of exacting appropriate
undertakings from the parents designed to ensure that the
children will be cared for properly during transit and that
no harm will come to the children pending disposition in the
country of habitual residence. See Feder v Evans-Feder, 63
F3d 217, 226 (3rd Cir. 1995); 63 Fed.3d at 226; Thompson v
Thompson, 199r D.L.R.4th 253 (Can.Sup. 1994); Re O, 2 F.L.R.
349 (Eng.Fam. 1994); C v C, 1 F.L.R. 403 (Eng.C.A. 1989).
With this end in mind, the court requested and received the
following undertakings from John and Jackie Walsh at the
hearing on this matter.

036 John is to provide the transportation and escort of
the children back to Ireland. Once the children reach
Ireland, John is to provide adequate housing, clothing,
medical care and serve as a parental figure for the
children. If John cannot provide adequate housing and
provisions then he must provide the Court with a detailed
description of how the Social Services authorities in
Ireland will make these provisions. In either event, the
Court is to be informed specifically what provisions are in
place before the, children will be ordered returned to

037 If Jackie determines to return to Ireland with the
children, she mast do so at her own expense. If she does
return to Ireland, however, John must have no contact with
her nor come within 10 miles of her residence, wherever she
chooses to take up residence. Moreover, if Jackie returns to
Ireland, John will have no contact with the children unless
ordered by the authorities in Ireland. Each of these
undertakings are conditions of this Court’s order, and if
any is violated, the order will be of no force and effect.

<* page 208>


038 The determination that Mary Kate and Eoghain do not
face the kind of grave risk required by the Art. 13(b)
exception does not in anyway diminish the deplorable
conditions of domestic abuse that this Court has identified,
nor should this decision be read to minimize the impact such
violence has on the lives of children. This Court concurs in
the recent conclusion of the Supreme Judicial Court of
Massachusetts that a child who is forced to witness abuse
within the family suffers a distinctly grievous kind of
harm.” Custody of Vaughn 422 Mass. 590, 595 [664 N.E.2d 434]

039 Notwithstanding these reservations, this Court
exercises a limited jurisdiction, and the applicable law is
narrow in purpose and effect. The sole objective of the
Convention, and therefore of this Court, is to return Mary
Kate and Eoghain to the country of their habitual residence,
where the question of custody and well being properly may be
adjudicated before a competent court. It is not the
prerogative of this court to determine or protect the best
interests of the children, save only that the Court may act
to avert truly extraordinary threats to their health and
safety. The conditions to which Mary Kate and Eoghain are
to be returned, while far from satisfactory, are not
intolerable within the meaning of Art. 13(b). Further, the
court has imposed and the parties have consented to, such
safeguards as will hold in abeyance any potential threat to
the well being of the children, at least until their fate
can be decided by an Irish court. As soon as the necessary
undertakings are completed the Court shall order the return
of Mary Kate and Eoghain Walsh to Ireland forthwith.

1. John, not surprisingly, claims in his affidavit that
Jackie simply fell down while drunk. Although his
affidavit is hearsay, Fed.R.Evid. 861(a), as it must
under the Convention, the Court considers it and [he
other materials attached to the petition as evidence
in the case. See 42 U.S.C.  11605. In all other
respects, the Court applies the Federal Rules of
Evidence to the data proffered. Fed.R.Evid. 101.

2. John suspects that his wife’s infidelity pre-dates the
final blow-up, that the relationship was under way as
early as the trip with Martha to Skibberene, and that
when Jackie fled she actually abandoned John for
Michael Murphy. The actual date of the relationship’s
commencement is of no moment to this opinion. Jackie
admits to mid June, 1997. The Court’s general view of
what happened is set forth in the text.

3. No one saw John break into the home on either occasion
but circumstantial evidence points to him as the
perpetrator. The Court reaches the conclusion about
John’s breaking and entering by employing the familiar
fair preponderance of the evidence test to the record
before it. It should be remembered that the Irish
police need evidence that will potentially pass a
beyond a reasonable doubt test before a prosecution
can be brought. See O’Leary v. Attorney Gen., 1 I.R.
102 (Ir.H.Ct. 1990). This Court’s findings cannot —
and ought not — be read as impugning the willingness
of the Irish police to investigate the report of
crimes within their jurisdiction.

4. Although decisions from foreign jurisdictions have no
precedential weight, it is appropriate and desirable
for the Court to consult these decisions along with
those of courts in the United States in construing the
terms and scope of an international convention. See
Air France v. Saks, 470 U.S. 392, 404 [105 S.Ct. 133
8, 84 L.Ed.2d 289] (1985).

5. There are reports, however, of some cases wherein
courts have denied petitions due to situations that,
are much less threatening to the abducted child. For
example, a French court. reportedly refused to return
a child to Los Angeles under Art. 13(b) because of the
polluted environment. See Court Awards $12.5 Million
in Damages in International Child Abduction Case;
Largest U.S. Verdict on Record, Bus. Wire, July 6,
19983; see also PF v. MF, 1992 Ir.S.1C. 390 (Ir.1992)
(denying petition based primarily on petitioner
father’s irresponsible management of money.)
MacMillan v. MacMillan, 1989 S.L.T. 350 (Scot
Ex.Div.1989) (denying petition based on evidence of
petitioner father’s alcoholism and depression). These
cases go against the overwhelming weight of authority.

6. Of course, an order by the Irish authorities that
permits John to contact the children or Jackie shall
not act to negate this order.