Child removed after remarks by ‘bigoted busybody’, says Higgins

‘Good faith based on bigoted assumptions is a mandate for injustice against minorities’

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins criticised the response of the media,  HSE and gardaí to the removal of children from their parents and said the cases had ‘shamed’ the State in the eyes of the world.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins criticised the response of the media, HSE and gardaí to the removal of children from their parents and said the cases had ‘shamed’ the State in the eyes of the world.

Thu, Oct 24, 2013, 15:04

The authorities have been accused of removing a child from its family because of the comments of a “bigoted busybody”.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins criticised the response of the media, HSE and gardaí to events and said the State “is shamed in front of the world in a situation where a bigoted busybody sends an ignorant and bigoted Facebook message to a journalist”.

The Dublin West TD quoted the Facebook message that “it’s a big problem with missing kids, the Roma robbing them to get child benefit in Europe”.

He told the Dáil that a journalist, the Garda and HSE had swallowed “the assumption that is based on the most abysmal ignorance and racial stereotyping - to the effect that it is impossible to be blond and blue-eyed [and Roma] - and peremptorily removes that child from its home” in west Dublin, with an apparently similar situation in the midlands.

Speaking during debate on the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill, Mr Higgins said it was “pathetic for the Taoiseach to say that he believes that this was done in good faith”.

“Good faith based on bigoted assumptions is not a basis for child protection policy. It is a mandate for injustice against social minorities.”