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Maria O’ Donovan & Co. is owned and operated by Maria O’ Donovan. Maria has worked in the legal industry for over 14 years, qualifying as a solicitor in 2010. She is experienced in all manner of disputes and dispute resolution, in particular in the firm’s core practice areas of family law, employment law and litigation.

Maria enjoys problem solving and looking for new and innovative ways to do that. In 2012 she created a precedent in the High Court by becoming the first solicitor in Ireland to obtain an order for service of proceedings via Facebook.

She combines a sound respect for the best of legal tradition with strategic and lateral thinking to obtain the best solution for your individual needs.

As well as her legal knowledge, Maria is a certified mediator, collaborative practitioner and a facilitator in restorative justice. These additional skills and training give her an edge in finding practical and long-lasting solutions to legal issues.

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Family law issues require an experienced family law solicitor. Certain family law matters can take some time to bring to an end from a legal point of view, so apart from advising you on your rights you need an adviser you can trust, who will listen to you and take time to find out about what’s important for you and your family.

We believe that things like compassion, empathy and understanding towards our clients during what can be a very traumatic time are just as important as knowing the law. We also know that sometimes you need an adviser who will fight to ensure that justice is done and your rights vindicated.

We take time to get to know you and your particular situation so that we can work with you to obtain the optimum solution.

Guardianship, Access, Custody, Maintenance, Domestic Violence, Childcare Law, Judicial Separation, Divorce, Separation Agreements, Cohabitation Law, Civil Partnership Law, Collaborative Law, Mediation

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Like all relationships, the employer / employee one can have its ups and downs. We are experienced in acting on behalf of both employers and employees. This means that we can look at each situation from all angles, giving you the fullest advice on your particular situation.

For employers, we can help you to get your employment law documents, policies and procedures right from the start, helping to avoid disputes down the road. If things go wrong, we can help to protect your business.

For employees, we can help to ensure that all of your employment rights are protected and help you to manage matters if you need to take further action.

Employment Contracts, Company Handbooks, Employment Law Tribunal Representation, Dispute Resolution, Negotiating Termination


Litigation is the process of bringing a legal action in court to enforce a right. It can relate to anything from personal injuries, a dispute about property boundaries, contesting a will, suing for a debt, failure to carry out a contract – if your rights have been infringed then the traditional way to remedy that is to enter into litigation.

We are experienced in acting in litigation matters at all court levels and on a wide and varied range of issues.

We are also experienced in alternative dispute resolution methods and, if appropriate, can assist in and recommend other ways of resolving your dispute than the traditional court process.

District Court, Circuit Court, High Court, Mediation, Collaborative Law, Negotiation

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We practice in other areas outside of our core areas of law. Below is an example of the additional services which we can offer. If you don’t see it listed here, please contact us and we will let you know if your issue is one we can deal with, or we can offer you a referral to a suitable and trusted practitioner.

Licensing Law – Transfer of Publican’s Licence; Restaurant Certificates; Club Registration and Renewal; Exemption Orders

Immigration – Residency Applications; EU Treaty Rights; Citizenship Applications; Business Visas; Employment Permits;

Mediation – Legal Assistance in Mediations; Legal Advice on Mediated Agreements

Collaborative Law – Accredited Collaborative Law Practitioner

“We are happy to recommend Maria O’Donovan to our clients for their family law needs. We know that Maria has the expertise and experience to give them the help that they need to get the best outcome possible in their circumstances. And we do so secure in the knowledge that Maria goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to client care and customer service".

Flor McCarthy, McCarthy & Co. Solicitors



20 Nov
Immigration and Residency Laws in Ireland

Posted by Admin

In order to live and work legally in Ireland you must be an EU citizen or hold the appropriate visa or permit to allow you to do so.

If you are a non-EU citizen then your options are generally as follows:

1. If your work is an eligible occupation and you have secured employment in Ireland you or your employer can apply for a Work Permit which will allow you to live and work in Ireland for the duration of the permit. They are generally granted for 2 years and can be renewed for a further 3 years. At that stage you may no longer require a permit to be able to live and work in Ireland. You may also be eligible for a long-term residence permit and / or to apply for Irish citizenship.

2.You can apply to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) for a residency permit under the EU Treaty Rights system. If you are a non-EU citizen and are married to an EU citizen who is living in Ireland and exercising their EU Treaty Rights (in employment, education or in a position to support themselves financially) you may be entitled to apply for a 5 year residency visa.

3.If you are in a de facto relationship with an Irish citizen and wish to reside in Ireland with your partner of the same or opposite sex and can prove your relationship you may be entitled to a residency visa. This permission to reside in Ireland will only last as long as the de facto relationship continues – if the relationship ends then the permission to remain also ends.

4.If you have been legally residing in Ireland for more than 5 years you can apply for Irish citizenship. You must be able to show the appropriate permission stamps in your passport. If the application is granted you will be invited to attend a naturalisation ceremony.

5. If you have a child who is an Irish citizen then you may be granted permission to remain in Ireland in order to support that child. As of 2004 a child born in Ireland is not automatically an Irish citizen. Typically the child will need to have one Irish parent in order to attain Irish nationality. This application is known as a “Zambrano Judgment” application and is based on a European Court of Justice decision from 2011 where that Court held that Member States cannot refuse a right of residency to a parent of a child who is a citizen of that Member State.

6.Business permission – a non-EU national who wishes to establish a business in Ireland can obtain residency permission subject to certain criteria. They must demonstrate an ability to invest a minimum of €300,000 of their own money into a business and must employ at least 2 people in the proposed business.

Immigration applications can be complex and require strict compliance with the requirements. If you need advice on an application you are making yourself or would like the entire application to be handled for you please get in touch.

Maria O’ Donovan

01 Nov
Communication after Separation

Posted by Admin

When couples separate, whether they have been married or not, deciding on appropriate arrangements for the children of the relationship can be a source of serious friction between the parties.

Naturally enough, a separation by itself will usually leave one of the parties unhappy with the decision. Couples separate for a variety of reasons, and most of these reasons will leave one or both of the people involved feeling upset, angry, bitter, resentful and all of the other emotions which go with it. These emotions often leave the couple unable to communicate clearly with each other, if at all. When emotions are running high it is often the case that no matter how reasonable a person is trying to be, the other person can take what is said in a different light to what was intended. The natural response where there is a perceived slight is to react in a similar manner. This leads to a vicious circle where no one is saying what they mean, or meaning what they say.

If there are no children involved, a couple who separate will generally go their separate ways and never have to speak to each other again if they don’t want to. When you add children into the mix when all of this is going on in the background, reaching agreement on when and where the other party is to spend time with the children and how the children are to be parented can be impossible. I have found that sometimes the simple things that a parent does with their children can become an enormous bone of contention between the couple, even where that thing might have been part of daily life when the couple were together. For example, a child might not get to eat dinner until later than usual due to an event, a sporting activity, etc. Where this would have been acceptable as a part of everyday life while the couple were together, it can become an issue worthy of a lengthy and expensive solicitor’s letter when they are separated.

So what are the options available to a separated couple who are going through a period of non-communication?

Firstly, putting aside the issue of non-communication for the moment, their options in general are to either:

A. Reach an agreement between them on access and other arrangements; B. Engage the assistance of a third party e.g. mediator, solicitor to help them to reach an agreement; or C. Make an application to court.

Option A is clearly the cheapest and easiest option but requires a high level of good communication and trust. If you can sit down and talk to your ex-partner; if you can communicate regularly and trust each other to communicate on issues such as birthdays and other events, illnesses or any other issues the children might be dealing with then this is the best option for you.

Option B comes at a cost, but if you can’t sit down and talk with your ex-partner or if you just need some independent, objective advice on what might suit your family best then it might be money well spent if you can reach an agreement.

Option C is really a last resort in my view. It is true that court applications can be resolved by agreement, but issuing and serving court proceedings brings with it its own difficulties in promoting good communication, particularly where an application is made without warning. Of course, in some cases it is necessary to make an application without notice in the interests of the child or children. However, if, after proceedings are issued an agreement still can’t be reached, then the Judge will make an Order which one or both of the parties may not be happy with. By giving the decision-making power to a Judge you are removing it from yourself and therefore have little or no control over the final outcome.

In my experience, the greater the communication between a separated couple the easier the separation will be. Particularly where there are young children involved, a couple will need to continue their relationship, in a different format, until the children are old enough and mature enough to look after themselves. The effect on the children of a couple who have separated and are unable to communicate can be long-lasting. It can affect the children’s own relationships in the future; it may cause them to take sides when they are older (a teenager’s outlook on life can be very black-and-white!); and can result in them playing one parent off the other when they can see that their parents are not united.

Communication really is key to ensuring that access arrangements and the general parenting of the children run smoothly after a couple have separated.

Maria O’ Donovan & Co.


We are located at 13 North Street, Skibbereen, Co.Cork. If you require directions please use the interactive google map below to help you.

Head Office

13 North Street (Ground Floor)

Skibbereen, Co.Cork


Phone: 00353-028- 23787

Email Address: info@modandco.ie

Flexible Appointment Schedule - Click HERE to call 028- 23787

If you need to arrange an appointment outside normal working hours please contact us using the contact details below and we will do our best to accommodate you. Where possible, we can also arrange an appointment at your home or business or at an alternative location convenient to you.

We can also provide consultations via SKYPE. Contact us below.

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Contact Details

028 - 23787



13 North Street, Skibbereen, Co.Cork, Ireland