Ireland to review Roma cases

Ireland's police watchdog will review the cases of two Roma families having children removed from their homes amid claims they could not prove their identity.

Irish police watchdog to review Roma children cases

Ireland's police watchdog will review the cases of two Roma families having children removed from their homes amid claims they could not prove their identity.

Two reports have been ordered on the controversial action by gardai and health officials after a seven-year-old girl was taken from her home for 48 hours and a two year-old boy from his home overnight.

Both children were subsequently proven to be members of the families with the girl returned home after DNA tests.

The police watchdog, the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission, said it has not received any complaints but has demanded copies of a report by the Commissioner Martin Callinan.

"We have requested this in order to inform ourselves fully of the circumstances of events so that we can take an appropriate position," a spokesman for the Ombudsman said.

Irish police 'responded in good faith to public concern'

Ireland's Justice Minister Alan Shatter has defended the Irish police and social services for their role in lifting a Roma child from her family on Monday afternoon and keeping her until DNA tests proved her parents were who they said they were.

The Irish police, an Garda Siochana, seen at the Tallaght station the young Roma girl was held.
The Irish police, an Garda Siochana, seen at the Tallaght station the young Roma girl was held. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Alan Shatter said:

"An Garda Siochana and the HSE have to deal with very difficult situations and have to make very difficult decisions when dealing with issues of child protection.

"They can be open to criticism for either doing something or doing nothing. In the past, for example, the authorities have been criticised for not intervening to protect children at risk.

"In each of these cases, the Gardai responded in good faith to concerns expressed to them."

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Roma family call for inquiry after child taken into care

The family of a blonde-haired, blue-eye schoolgirl removed from them by Irish police have supported calls for an investigation into why their child was taken by authorities.

DNA tests tonight proved she belonged to her parents, who have been maintaining that she is theirs since she was taken by authorities on Monday afternoon.

Read: Blonde child returned to Roma family after DNA tests

Their lawyer, Waheed Mudah said:

They do not accept that this was any proper or sufficient basis to take their daughter away from them thereby causing her and them the upset which has been caused.

They are also conscious that it will be difficult to try to return to normal life.

They believe that there are very serious questions arising about the procedures used in this case.

Sister: 'The most important thing is she is coming back'

A 21-year-old sister of the child returned to her Roma family in Ireland, who can not be identified for legal reasons, said their mother had not eaten for three days because of she was so distraught.

"Everyone was very sad," she said. The sister said she hoped no other family would have to go through a similar ordeal.

"The most important thing now is that my sister is coming back," she said. The sister said she supported calls by human rights campaigners for an independent investigation into the cases.

She added that neighbours, family and friends were very supportive to them during the last number of days.

"We are very happy," she said. "We will have a big party. We will have music, dancing, everything."

Blonde child returned to Roma family after DNA tests

A blonde haired, blue-eyed schoolgirl removed from a Roma family will be reunited with her parents after DNA tests proved she is their daughter.

The seven-year-old youngster had been in State care in Ireland for two nights after a member of the public raised concerns about her appearance compared to relatives in a Dublin suburb.

Press Association sources confirmed DNA test results tonight proved she belonged to her parents, who have maintained she was theirs since she was taken by authorities on Monday afternoon.

Earlier a two-year-old boy was removed from his family home in the town of Athlone overnight was returned to his parents following inquiries by gardai.

A human rights group has called for an independent inquiry amid claims the two Roma children were "abducted" from their families by authorities.

Pavee Point fears there is hysteria after the case of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl named Maria was found with a Roma family in Greece and accused gardai and health chiefs of racial profiling.