SPARK is a campaign group of single parents, who came together on social media following the budget cuts of 2012

S.P.A.R.K. is a diverse group of single parents living inIrelandwho have united together to protect our children from the radical policy changes introduced in Budget 2012. We are here to raise awareness of the many challenges one-parent families currently face and to identify the essential supports needed to allow us equal participation in society. We assert the rights of our children to be treated equally and demand acknowledgement and recognition of our family status. We actively challenge stereotyping of our families. We oppose any economic, social, legal or political policies that have a detrimental effect on our children or on us as single parents. We seek equality for children regardless of their family circumstances.


Today single parents acrossIreland, are involved in a postal campaign. This is a warm-up for the protest called by SPARK on February 18th, meeting2pmatGarden OfRemembrance. The postal campaign is a letter to Minister Joan Burton with a matchstick from all parents, to inform her she has ignited the SPARK in single parents acrossIreland. Tomorrow is Valentines day, and these letters are planned as a Valentines surprise for Joan Burton. On Valentines day parents from SPARK will be at the gates of the Dail at10.30am. Here they will give Minister Joan Burton a Valentines day card from SPARK.

Single Mother Leah Speight says” Minister Joan Burton has discriminated against single parents in this country in a fashion similar to 1950’s Catholic Church mentality.Irelandhas a disgraceful history in its treatment against single parents. These cuts went too far, and single parents acrossIrelandare connecting to finally stand up to this discrimination.”

CONTACT: Leah Speight 0871390278   Grace Costigan 0862222103  Louise Bayliss 0894309580  Andrea Galgey 0863389416  Michelle Frawley 0863735113 or check or email


Minister Joan Burton                                                                  Your Name

Dail Eireann                                                                                 Address   1

LeinsterHouse                                                                             Address   2

Kildare Street                                                                               Address   3

Dublin2                                                                                       Ph:


14th February 2012

Dear Minister Burton,

Please find enclosed a match as our contribution to your Valentine’s celebration, we hope you can use it for a candlelit dinner. You ignited the SPARK in lone parents, we would like to return the favour. As people who are parenting alone, Valentine’s Day is just another occasion that we face alone.

Budget 2012 illustrated how little you appreciate the barriers to work lone parent face or the effect a missing parent has on our children’s well-being. The regressive measures introduced will force lone parents into long term welfare dependency and increase child poverty rates.

We call on you as a mother, woman and human being to reflect on these disastrous decisions.

Yours sincerely,




Your Name


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