Decision due over girl taken into care on identity concern

Pavee Point calls for review of actions by authorities after second child taken into care


A decision by the Family Law Courts in Dublin is expected this evening in relation to a young girl who was removed from a family in the west of the city and placed into the care of the HSE.

That action occurred on Monday because of concerns relayed to the gardai - by a member of the public via a journalist - the girl did not resemble the couple who claim the child is their biological daughter.

In a similar case a 2-year-old boy was removed by gardaí from a family in the midlands yesterday evening after concerns were raised that a couple who claimed the child was theirs may not be his biological parents.

The child spent the night in HSE care and was returned to his parents today.

The father of the boy said the family provided whatever documentation was requested and the officers checked with the hospital where the child was born before returning him to the family this morning.

The girl from west Dublin remains in HSE care pending the results of DNA tests which the couple have consented to as part of their insistence that the child is theirs.

Traveller support group Pavee Point this evening called on Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald to conduct an independent review of the actions of State authorities in respect of the removal children from their families in recent days.

The organisation said the removal of children from their families appeared to “be a matter of first resort and not as a matter of last resort”.

In the west Dublin case the gardaí were not fully satisfied by the assurances of the couple that the girl in question was their biological daughter after spending a number of hours with the family.

The family produced a birth certificate and a passport to support their claims, which did not allay the gardaí’s concerns.

The gardaí then removed the child under section 12 of the Childcare Act. She was medically examined and taken into the HSE care, which then applied to the court yesterday for the emergency care order to facilitate the child remaining in care.

The family was insisting the child was “100 per cent” theirs, said Gabby Muntean, a support worker who has been in regular contact with the parents.

The family in question are foreign nationals and it appears the concerns gardaí acted on were based on the fact the child in no way resembles the couple or other family members.